«II' A CELEBRATION of MINISTRY California-Pacific Annual Conference The United Methodist Church HERMAN N. BEIMFOHR May 28, 1902 - May 12, 1997 Beimfohr, ...»
Following his miliary commitment, he relocated to San Diego where he served as senior pastor of St. Paul UMC for 37 years. He retired from the ministry in June of 1992, completing 49 years of service.
Rev. Phelps was the first African-American to campaign for public office hi San Diego, losing by only ten votes after a controversial recount. Although unsuccessful in his bids for San Diego City Council and the Board of Education, Grandison manifested a noteworthy commitment to public service through his church, in housing, and in structured childcare and early childhood education. With the support of St. Paul UMC, he was responsible for the creation of Gingerbread Day Care Centers, providing an educational foundation for thousands of San Diego children. Rev. Phelps also administered San Diego's first Head Start programs through the Gingerbread facilities. The day care centers closed after his retirement in 1992; they were in operation for over 20 years.
In 1968, Rev. Phelps established Bay Vista Methodist Heights Apartments, the first federally-supported affordable housing development in southeast San Diego. Rev. Phelps served as General Manager and Chair of the Board of the 268 unit complex from it's inception until his death. Bay Vista Methodist Heights provides full-time employment to 35 employees.
Grandison served on the Board of Directors of Pacific Homes from 1981 to 1997. He also served on the board of Neighborhood Development Corporation, an organization which purchased and rehabilitated housing which was then made available for sale through low interest federal loans. He was very active on many other boards and organizations throughout his life.
He marched for civil rights in San Diego and with Dr. Martin Luther King.
Rev. Phelps is survived by his wife, Susan Chenier Phelps; 4 children: Grandison M.
Phelps, III (wife, Rosetta), Joseph Caspar Phelps Sr. (Geri), Jonathan deKoven Phelps, Cheryl Alethia Phelps; a stepson, Jamie R. Fountain; two sisters: Mrs. Sara P. Linden and Delores White; 6 grandsons and one great-granddaughter.
SHANOR, C. RICHARD. (T.50; F.52) Pitts.; SCA 61 Fullerton, First, Assoc.; 66 Coor., METRO, SD Dist.; PSW 77; C-P 85; 88 R'd.
Dick was bora in Butler, Pennsylvania, the fourth child of Paul and Marion Shanor. He grew up on his family's poultry farm and attended a one-room country school that included children from the first to eighth grades. It was a big change when he got to Butler High School with about 1500 students. Dick was president of his class, but he missed his high school graduation due to a ruptured appendix that almost killed him.
By the time he was ready to go to college he knew he wanted to be a minister. He attended Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania and continued his education at Boston University where he earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology and PhD. In the process, he was Minister of Education at West Roxbury, Massachusetts Congregational Church, studied the Character Research Project in Schenectady, New York, taught Christian Education at the Methodist Church in St. Petersburg, Florida and men at Fullerton UMC in California.
In 1966, Dick accepted the challenge of urban ministry when he founded METRO, a social service agency in San Diego. He was the director for 21 years. During those years, METRO grew from the Good Neighbor Center at Chollas View UMC, providing some emergency food and clothing to a multi-faceted program addressing many needs in the community. Included as part of the family are the San Diego Interfaith Housing Foundation, Horton House for lowincome seniors, Project Transition for ex-offenders, the Welfare Rights Organization, and the San Diego Indian Ministry.
Upon his retirement in 1988, he welcomed the opportunity to pursue volunteer projects near his home in Escondido. In recent years, Dr. Shanor served on the board of directors of the North County Interfaith Council, which coordinates more than a dozen faith groups working on everything from emergency food supplies to long-term housing. In 1991, Dick received a i Christian Unity Award, for serving as an advocate for the needy with city and government agencies as well as addressing the needs of such people.
He is survived by his wife, AnnaLou Shanor; a son, Rick Shanor; a brother, Donald and two grandchildren.
SWALBERG, RACHE. (P.89; F.93) Pomona: Westmont; 93 Fontana; 96 Santa Paula Rachel Cook was born and raised in Butler, New Jersey. She attended Butler High School where she became known for her twirling abilities as a drum majorette. She graduated in 1959 and went to Patterson State College where she received her B.A. in Education in 1963.
Rachel embraced Methodism from early childhood. She found in it a deep and abiding source of inspiration and comfort. In her late teen years she began to experience feelings of being called to be more involved in the church—maybe even a minister. But, she put those feelings aside and pursued a teaching career.
She taught in Butler for one year and then accepted an assignment in the Antelope Valley in California in
1964. It was there that she met her husband-to-be, Philip Swalberg. They were married in 1966 and she stopped teaching to become the mother of two boys, Eric and Jim. All during this time she remained active in the church.
In 1979 the family moved to Milford, New Hampshire and she became very active in the lay ministries of the church. But, it wasn't enough. So, with encouragement from her pastor, she applied to enter the Master of Divinity program at Boston University in late 1982. This activity was short-lived because Philip's work required the family to return to the Antelope Valley in 1983. She became active in the Palmdale church but was not satisfied. In 1985, she entered the Master of Divinity program at the Claremont School of Theology.
In 1990, she was ordained Deacon and served the Westmont Church in Pomona. In 1993 she was ordained Elder and, when most women her age were thinking about grand-motherhood, she was launching herself into a new— and greatest career of all, service to the Lord. She was transferred that year to Fontana UMC where she served for three years. In 1966 she was appointed to the Santa Paula UMC.
Rachel fell in love with the Santa Paula area. After spending so many years in the desert conditions of the Antelope Valley, the cool ocean breezes and fog were like balm to her being.
This was where she was meant to be. Her whole being seemed to say, "Here I am Lord. Is it I Lord? I have heard you calling in the night." And sure enough, the Lord was once again calling her, only this time He was calling her home. Rachel had been only three months into her Santa Paula appointment when she was diagnosed with cancer. Shortly after the beginning of 1997, she was unable to continue with her ministry.
And so to you dear Rachel we say, there are few people who have had your faith, let alone the courage to act on it as you did. Your strength and tenacity over the years is a powerful inspiration to us, your husband and children. Even in your moments of greatest anxiety and doubt, you never failed to be a mother to the children and companion, friend and lover to your husband. After all is said and done, you really were a teacher who touched so many lives especially during your ministry. But most of all you taught us to say, "I love you."
WERNER, RAYMOND S. (T.32; F.35) NCA; SCA 43 LA: Bethany; 44 San Pedro, First, Asst.;
50 LA: Florence Ave.; 58 LA: Hawthorne; 61 LB: Los Altos, Assoc.; 63 Redondo Beach, First, Assoc.; 66 No. LB, Assoc.; 67 Inglewood: Grace; 70 (Aug.l) R'd; PSW 77; C-P 85 R'd.
Reidar Sverre Wernersen, a middle child, was born to Methodist parents in Fredrikstad, Norway. His family consisted of eight brothers and one sister, all of whom were essentially reared by his mother, as his father, a seafaring man, was absent from home on long voyages lasting three to four years at a time. As a youth, Reidar developed an active church life and, at age sixteen, during a conversion experience, he committed himself to becoming a minister of the gospel.
In 1925, he emigrated to the United States leaving behind what he considered to be a less than favorable religious and political climate for religious dissenters from the established state church (Lutheran). He became an active member of the Bethelship NorwegianDanish Methodist Church in Brooklyn, New York where he met his future wife, Hannah Olsen, also an immigrant from Norway. He became a US citizen and anglicized his name to Raymond S. Werner, a common practice of new citizens at that time.
He prepared himself for his future education by studying English at night school while supporting himself as an electrician during the day.
The fulfillment of a long-held dream became realized when he enrolled at Garrett Biblical Institute, Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, graduating in 1932. After his first return trip to Norway to join his wife, who had earlier returned to her family home to await the birth of their son, he decided not to remain in the Norway Conference of the Methodist Church, but to return to America to serve pastorates in Wisconsin where he preached in both languages.
During the mid 1930's, the family moved to Oakland, California where Raymond was appointed to one of the charges of the Norwegian-Danish Conference of the Pacific Coast. Remaining fluent in both English and his native tongue, he served bilingual congregations until sometime after the conclusion of World War II. In 1943, he transferred to the Southern California-Arizona Conference and served churches in the Los Angeles area until retirement.
During WWII, Raymond's tireless efforts, together with his wife Hannah, on behalf of Norwegian Relief was recognized by His Majesty King Haakon VII in a personal award presented by the Norwegian Ambassador during a ceremony in Los Angeles.
After 38 years in the ministry, Raymond retired from active service to care for his wife, who endured a long and debilitating illness. They were married 56 years before her death in
1987. Soon after retirement, he fulfilled a project which was to read the entire published works of Henrik Ibsen in the original text. Raymond continued to read, study and manage on his own at their home in Torrance until a little over a year before his death.
He is survived by a son, Dr. Raymond S. Werner, Jr. of Irvine; two daughters, Mrs.
Margaret Jenssen of San Pedro, and Mrs. Betty Wagner of Chattanooga, TN; seven grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and one great-great grandchild.
The Werner Children MILTON E, \¥INHAIV1 November 22,1911 j August 25,1997 'WlNHAM, Mff.TON E. (T.57; F.59) Tcim,; 60 W, Ohio; 6B SCA Downey, Mm. of Ed,; 67V/L; 77 PSW Readmitted &ll\L; C-P «5 R'd
BOWERS, ROYL. (T.18; F.24) St. Louis, Missouri; So. Cal.-Ariz., 60 (Sept.) Phoenix, First, Assoc.; R'd. Died January 15,1969.
Floe was born on a farm near Nixa, Missouri. Her parents, Frances and "Pete" Frazier, raised their four children in the Southern Baptist denomination.
After graduation from high school, Floe attended Marionville College, and then taught school for two years in a one room school not far from Marionville. It was at Marionville that she met Roy L. Bowers, who was preparing to become a Methodist minister. It was somewhat challenging to let her parents know that she was planning to marry a Methodist minister, but the marriage did take place on May 24,1920.
Roy and Floe had four children: James W., Frances L., Duane R., and Leon "Bill". There are nine grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.
Despite her young age and fears of the role, she found that she loved being "her pastor's wife." With few conveniences, children to raise, food producing gardens to be tended, canning out of necessity, and few dollars at hand, Floe always counted it a privilege to serve in the Christian ministry side by side with "her Pastor."
She was very active in the former Southwest Missouri Annual Conference (Missouri West) endeavors, especially the WSCS. She not only served in various offices on the district level, but also on the conference level. For several years Roy served as dean of the conference youth institute, and Floe worked untold hours helping with the planning and details each year.
The World War n years found Floe even busier than usual. Besides arranging housing for many Camp Crowder, Missouri GI's and their wives, she became quite involved with the Gray Ladies at the local hospital in Joplin. During those same years, her service with the Girl Scouts led to her becoming the camp director for several years.
After spending most of their lives in Missouri, Floe and Roy moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1960 where Roy became the Associate Minister at the First UMC for the next eight years.
While at Phoenix, Floe found yet one more talent to be shared with hundreds of people over the next many years. Until she reached 96 years of age, she presented monologues (in costume) lasting 45 to 60 minutes, without notes or prompter. She did her own research, wrote and memorized her own scripts, and presented to her many audiences in four states: Susanna Wesley, Granny Brand, the Circuit Rider's Wife and The Missionary.
Being allowed by God to remain active until her last illness, simply meant a longer opportunity to find new ways to serve and share her unshakeable faith. She participated in, and finished a six mile Crop Walk at 90. Every new day was a day to be cherished, and to find something that she could do for someone else. She continued to garden and her flowers frequently were taken to others to enjoy.
Floe moved to Washington in 1990 to be near her son Bill. Roy died in 1969 and her oldest son died in 1992. Her daughter passed away in 1997. Influenza that turned into pneumonia became the illness that caused Floe's death.
L.F. "Bill" Bowers
VERDA E. CORDELLOctober 10,1899 - October 8, 1997 CORDELL, ROBERT E. (T.23; F.25) Ind.; N.Y.East; Cal. 37 Hanford; Cal., 39 North Kings County Parishdale Broadway; SCA 52 Venice; 57 LA: Robertson Blvd.; 59 Simi; 60 Riverside, Arlington; 62 LB: Moore Memorial; 65 R'd. Died December 29,1976.
Verda E. (Barton) Cordell was born to a large family in Albion, IL. Her twin brother, Vernon, died at an early age and from her passing age, at two days short of 98 years, she lived her life for two.
After college, the family moved to Indianapolis, IN. It was there, while attending a prayer meeting, at the Grace Methodist Episcopal Church that she met Robert Cordell. It seems she had a mouth full of chewing gum and her dad insisted that she get rid of it. They were kneeling down to pray and the fellow in front of her had a nice big foot so she parked the gum on the inside of his heel. They were married a year later after a Watch Night Service at Midnight the start of 1920.
With Robert, Verda also took on his two daughters, Pauline and Mary Belle from his deceased first wife.
At a revival meeting at the Grace Church, Bob got the call to Christian ministry and so went Verda. Bob gave up a promising career as a draftsman, with only an eight grade education and a family. Then Verda had a son of their own, Robert Eugene.
They started with the Waverly Circuit, then Whiteland Station, attending Franklin College for two years. A chance to go to DePauw University in Greencastle brought the Quincy Circuit.
Bob had to finish his high school courses before he could be graduated from college and also was working on his Conference Course of Study for Ordination. This meant that Verda was mother, sometime tutor and part time provider for the family through all this.
The family moved to the New York East Conference and Union Theological Seminary and churches in Brooklyn. Verda earned the money for the four new tires that got them through with no flats. At home, Verda was mother and nurse and at church, she was play director and Sunday School teacher. In West Haven there were threats for trying to close down gambling joints. In Torrington the family saw the marriage of the two daughters.