Warren Rinehart (June 12, 1933-July 8, 2017) was born in 1933. His father, my grandfather, Howard, worked in a steel mill in Canton, Ohio. Howard married Elizabeth Farber. They were members of Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Canton.

David Rinehart (my great, great, great, great grandfather) immigrated from Manheim, Germany. His ship, the Duke of Bedford, landed in Philadelphia on September 14, 1751. He was an indentured servant to a Quaker family to work off his passage on the ship. He settled in Somerset County (then Bedford), PA, eventually acquiring land in Tuscaroras County, Ohio in 1813. He and his wife Magdalena had two sons, Valentine and Phillip. His name is spelled “Rinehart” in the 1790 census.

Valentine (1773-1856) Rinehart’s name is spelled “Rinhart” in the 1820 census, “Rhinehart” in the 1830 census, “Rineheart” in the 1840 census, and “Reinhart” on his tombstone. He had nine children with his wife Elizabeth. The second oldest was Valentine Jr. His oldest son was David.

David (1807-1886) also married an Elizabeth. His name is spelled variously in different censuses. He claims on one census that neither he nor his wife can read or write. He donated some of his land for a Lutheran church. They had four children, one is whom is my great grandfather, Valentine III.

Valentine III (1841-1904) and Christena (17 years younger) could read and write. By this time the spelling was locked in at “Rinehart.” Valentine III said he was a farmer on the 1900 census. They had eleven children, the youngest of whom was Howard, my grandfather. Valentine III was 60 years old when Howard was born. Howard was only three when his father died age the age of 63.

Howard (1901-1985) had two children, one of whom was my father, Warren. In the 1940 census Howard said he had an 8th grade education. He listed his occupation as foreman at a cast iron foundry. Howard retired in the 60’s and died in the 80’s, while I was in seminary.

Howard and Elizabeth Rinehart, my paternal grandparents

Dad grew up in Canton, loving gardening and cooking. Apparently he had a duck.

Dad studyied engineering at Capital University where he met my mom, Patricia. They were married in 1957.

I was born in 1961, the product of an enjoyable internship year. My brother Paul was born in 1966 and sister Katie in 1969.

Dad graduated from seminary in Columbus, Ohio 1962. At the time it was known as the Evangelical Lutheran Theoogical Seminary at Capital University. Today, after a merger with Hamma Seminary at Wittenberg University, it is Trinity Lutheran Seminary.

There appear to be about a dozen faculty, and about 50 in his graduating class. Dad is in the second row, fourth from the left. In the front row, third from the left is Ron Hals, who was also my Old Testament professor. Fifth from the left is Fred Meuser, who would be president of the seminary by the time I arrived in 1984. On the far right is Merlin Hoops (New Testament), and third from the right is Art Becker (pastoral care). For Texas Lutherans, it may be interesting to know that Pastor Willie Rotter of LaGrange is in the back row, sixth from the left.

Dad was ordained at Martin Luther, Canton, in 1962, being called to serve St. Peter’s in Edon, Ohio.

I believe he was ordained at St. Peter’s, Edon, Ohio, by Norman Menter, Michigan District President.

Dad served St. Peter’s for two years. Here he is chatting with the groomsmen at his first wedding:

In 1964, he was tapped by the ALC Board of Missions, Michigan District, to start a new congregation in Grand Blanc, Michigan, a suburb of Flint: Holy Spirit Lutheran Church. He knocked on thousands of doors, and even laid the tile in the fellowship hall himself. For 33 years they lived in this parsonage, where dad plied his gardening skills.

Dad, my grandfather Howard, and my brother Paul in Canton around 1970. I’m in the tree behind them, bored or distracted as usual.

The family around 1972:

This is mom and dad at my graduation from Trinity Seminary in 1988:

Dad married Susan and me that same summer.

In 1997 mom and dad retired, moving to Leander, Texas, close to my sister Katie, and about three hours from where we live. They adjusted to retirement well. Dad did interims for about 12 years in Texas, and mom practiced real estate part time. Dad did interims in Caldwell, College Station, Columbus, MacGregor, Palm Valley, Pflugerville, Taylor, Waco, Weimer and more.

This 2003 photo shows them with their seven grandchildren.

Mom and dad attended my installation as bishop ten years ago.

Today dad is 84 and struggling with short-term memory issues. Holy Spirit Lutheran in Grand Blanc, Michigan, with around 500 members, continues on in ministry.