Wilmette Baptist Parish Holds Dedication [Part 2]
Wilmette Life (Wilmette, Illinois), 18 Apr 1924, Souvenir Section, p. 12, 13, 14

Full Text


Sunday, April 27 is Dedication Day proper. At the morning service at 11 o'clock, the sermon will be preached by Rev. B. Frank Taber now pastor of the First Baptist church, Washington, Pennsylvania, who was the pastor of the Wilmette church from January 1914 until March 1917.

In the afternoon at 3:30 o'clock the Church Property will be formally turned over by the Building committee to the Board of Trustees. This will be a service of dedication in which the address will be given by Rev. William S. Abernethy, D.D., pastor of Calvary Baptist church, Washington, D.C.

On Sunday evening, May 4, at 7:30 o'clock,the new Austin organ will be dedicated and a recital given by William H. Barnes, organist of the church.


Rev. W.S. Abernethy, D.D.

The Dedication Sermon on Sunday afternoon, April 27 at 3:30 o'clock is to be preached by W. S. Abernethy, D.D., pastor of Calvary Baptist church, Washington D.C. Dr. Abernethy sprang into International notice at the Conference on the Limitation of Armaments called by President Harding in 1920. He was at that time, Mr. Harding's pastor and was asked to offer the prayer at the opening of the Conference. Because of the wording of the Prayer there was considerable criticism brought to bear upon him by certain religious elements in the country.

Dr. Abernethy is regarded as one of the great preachers and a leading administrator in the Baptist denomination. He has served as president of the American Baptist Foreign Mission society and, two years ago, spent the summer visiting the capitals of the countries of Europe in the interests of Christian American Good-Will. He is a native Chicagoan and a graduate of the University of Chicago, and was pastor, for ten years of the Baptist church in Berwyn, where, under his ministry, was accomplished an achievement very much like that now being celebrated by the Baptists of Wilmette.

Rev. Frank L. Anderson, D.D.

In 1912 and 1913 when the beginnings of the Wilmette Baptist church were made, Dr. Frank L. Anderson was the superintendent of the Chicago Baptist Executive Council and had a great deal to do with the plans preparatory to the organization of the church. Later in 1918, Dr. Anderson moved to Wilmette and was a member of the church with his family for two years. In 1920, he was called to be the president of the International Baptist seminary at East Orange, New Jersey, where theological training is given to men of eight different nationalities most of whom return to their own countries to evangelize their people. Dr. Anderson will preach the sermon at the ordination of W. J. Kitchen on Thursday evening of Dedication Week

Rev. James Madison Stifler, D.D.

Among those who were instrumental in accomplishing the organization of the local church eleven years ago was Dr. J.M. Stifler, the older brother of the present pastor of the church, who had been for more than fifteen years pastor of the First Baptist Church of Evanston. Dr. Stifler is one of the leading preachers of the Baptist denomination. He has served on the General Board of Promotion and has been a member of the Board of Education for many years. His Evanston ministry has been a notable one, especially in the dedication, a year ago, of a $285,000 educational plant as an annex to the already well-housed church.

Rev. B. Frank Taber

Rev. B. Frank Taber was called from the First Baptist Church of Battle Creek to become the first pastor of the Wilmette church in January, 1914. During his pastorate, the membership of the church doubled and the beautiful site on which the building now stands was purchased. Mr. Taber has held many notable pastorates in different parts of the country and is now pastor of the First Baptist Church of Washington, Pennsylvania. His oldest son, Benjamin R. Taber, is a resident of Wilmette and a trustee of the Wilmette church.

Rev. Julius Rohrbach, D.D.

Among those who are to have part in the Ordination service on Thursday evening, April 24, are two notable Baptist ministers of International experience and reputation. The ordaining Prayer is to be offered by Rev. Julius Rohrbach, D.D., a member of the local church, and now retired from the active ministry. Dr. Rohrbach is a native of Germany, where in his student days, he left the State church to become a pastor in the Free Church movement. He took post graduate work in England and held early pastorates in Germany, England and Sweden, mastering the languages of those countries. His chief work was done in the city of Berlin, where he was pastor of an Evangelical church for 35 years. He came to his country in 1914, where his youngest son was training for the Baptist ministry, and has made his residence in Wilmette for the past two years.

Rev. Jacob Heinrichs, D.D.

Dr. Jacob Heinrichs, who is to give the Charge to the Candidate in the Ordination service, was likewise born in Germany, from which country he was sent as a Baptist missionary to India, where he served for many years. Since coming to this country he has been Professor of Theology at The Northern Baptist Theological seminary, Chicago. His oldest son, who, as an aviator in the war, was severaly [sic] wounded and gained considerable publicity for the success with which modern surgery restored him to perfect health, is now a secretary for the Young Men's Christian association in the Near East. Professor Heinrichs supplied the pulpit of the local church while the pastor was absent on war work in 1918-19.

Rev. Henry Clay Miller.

The Charge to the Church in the Ordination service is to be given by the Rev. Henry Clay Miller, pastor of the Marion Avenue Baptist Church, Aurora, Ill. At the time of the organization of the Wilmette church, Mr. Miller was pastor of the Baptist church at Highland Park, and conducted the survey of the village which resulted in the Charter Membership Roll of 62.


The Wilmette Baptist church has attracted considerable attention throughout the Northern Baptist Convention for its complete organization and efficient business management. The church functions through nine co-ordinating departments.

The membership department cares for the admission and dismission of members, evangelism, parish visitation and the conduct of the Ordinances.

The Property and Finance department has charge of all the financial affairs of the church and cares for the buildilngs and grounds.

The Department of Religious Education conducts the Sunday schoool and week-day courses in Missions and other subjects.

The Promotion department establishes the denomination connections and is the medium through which the church functions in co-operation with all forms of missionary work.

The church Worship department brings together what in many churches are separate and unrelated committees. It is responsible for the conduct of the Church services, and the part played in those services by music, flowers, decorations, welcome to strangers, and ushering.

The Community Service department is the arm of the church by which it cooperates with other community organizations and movements and is the department which cares for the church's publicity.

The Woman's department organizes the women of the church for their social, educational, and missionary activities.

The Young Peoples' department engages the boys and girls and young men and young women in expressional training for Christian service.

The financial policy of the church, which has now been followed for three years, provides for the raising of all funds as an act of worship through voluntary gifts. No money is raised through such commercial channels as bazaars, bake sales, or entertainments at which an admission price is charged. At the beginning of each Church Year, the various operating departments submit their budgets to the Property and Finance department which, in turn, presents the combined budget to the entire constituency, with the understanding that when voluntary pledges to cover this budget have been made, no further request for funds for the current expenses of the church will be made of any member. A similar system is employed with regard to the missionary giving of the church with provision for a limited number of free-will offerings to meet emergency appeals like that of the Japanese Earthquake in September and the Near East Relief.

Under this system the church has made amazing progress in its financial strength.


Rev. Francis C. Stifler

Rev. Francis Carr Stifler has been pastor of the church since April 1917. He was born in Upland, Pennsylvania, the eighth child of Rev. J.M. Stifler, D.D., at that time Professor of New Testament Exegesis at the Crozer Theological seminary, one of the leading Baptist Training schools of the East. Mr. Stifler graduated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1906 receiving his B.A. Degree. From 1906 to 1910 he was engaged in business in Chicago, connected for a short time with the Western Electric company and lately with the Union Carbide Sales company. In the Fall of 1910 he entered the Yale Divinity school, New Haven, Conn., where in 1911, he received his M.A. Degree from Yale university and in 1913, his B.D. Degree from the Divinity school. In 1913, he married Miss Jean Luccock, eldest daughter of the Rev. G.N. Luccock, D.D., then pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Oak Park. Mr. and Mrs. Stiffler settled at first in Saginaw, Michigan, where for three years, Mr. Stifler was pastor of the Michigan Avenue Baptist church. Since his pastorate began in Wilmette seven years ago, Mr. Stifler has been interested in many denominational and interdenominational movements. He has served as a member of the Board of Managers of the Illinois Baptist State Convention, has twice represented the Education Board of the Northern Baptist Convention at the Student Conference at Lake Geneva; served on the faculty of the Baptist Summer Assembly at Alton, Illinois, in 1922-23 and has also been a member of the faculty of the Y.W.C.A. conferences at Lake Geneva on various occasions. He has also been for four years chairman of the Lake Geneva Conference of the Missionary Education Movement, and has the distinction of serving for six years as chairman of the Wilmette pastor's Union, and for a year and a half as President of the Wilmette Church Council.

An interesting fact connected with the life of the local pastor is that his grandfather was a Baptist minister, his father a Baptist minister, and later a teacher; and all of the six living children are engaged in religious work. Four sisters married Baptist ministers, and the older brother, Rev. J. M. Stifler, is now pastor of the First Baptist church of Evanston. Both Dr. Stifler of Evanston and the local pastor chose the daughters of ministers as their wives.

Media Type:
Item Types:
Souvenir section included in 18 Apr 1924 "Wilmette Life"

Date of Publication:
18 Apr 1924
Personal Name(s):
Abernethy, William ; Anderson, Frank ; Barnes, William ; Rohrbach, Julius ; Heinrichs, Jacob ; Miller, Henry ; Stifler, Francis ; Stifler, Jean ; Stifler, James ; Taber, Benjamin ; Taber, B. Frank
Corporate Name(s):
Wilmette Baptist Church
Local identifier:
From the collection of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Illinois, United States
    Latitude: 42.0806132849562 Longitude: -87.7041503675842
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Terms of Use:
Digital images may be used with credit to Wilmette Public Library.
Wilmette Public Library
WWW address
Agency street/mail address

1242 Wilmette Avenue
Wilmette, IL
U.S.A. Phone: 847-256-6930

Powered by / Alimenté par VITA Toolkit

My favourites lets you save items you like, tag them and group them into collections for your own personal use. Viewing "My favourites" will open in a new tab. Login here or start a My favourites account.

Wilmette Baptist Parish Holds Dedication [Part 2]