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Always Check the Back (Part 1)

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

One of my jobs as the Historian for the First United Church of Christ of Easton, (formally the Reformed Church of Easton,) is to keep a certain display case in our lobby clean, organized and properly labelled. There are four old photographs in one section that have always been there, neatly spread out and labelled, but which caught my eye and attention just the other day because I had just run across one of the names in another search. I picked that one up and did something I haven’t thought to do in over ten years.

I turned it over.

This is what I found:

Rufus W. Miller, D.D.

Dr. Rufus W. Miller, son of Elder Thomas T. Miller, was born May 12, 1862, in Easton, baptized by Rev. Dr. John Beck and confirmed by him in his last class, 1877. The Sunday after his confirmation he became a teacher in the Sunday School, having obtained permission from Supt. Jacob Rader to teach a class if he himself would gather it. He later gathered in the Chinese and organized a Chinese Department. Helped to organize and was first President of the Schlatter Missionary Society. After graduation at Lafayette and Lancaster Theol. Seminary, he had successful pastorates at Reading and Hummelstown, organizing the Brotherhood of Andrew and Philip, was called to the leadership of the Sunday School work of his denomination as Gen. Secy. Of the Sunday School Board and was instrumental in the creation of the Reformed Church Building, 15th and Race Sta., Philadelphia. He has become one of the best-known and most influential leaders of the church in America, and is highly regarded in all denominations. Both Heidelberg University and Lafayette College conferred upon him the degrees of D.D.

The above was written in tiny, cramped characters, in Cursive (of course. Nearly all old documents are), and with an old-style Fountain Pen. Rufus Wilder Miller did so much more than is even listed here and is well worth the looking into. He died on October 12, 1925. This memorial must have been written soon after.


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