This is a brief listing of my ministry which started informally when I was still in high school. I will elaborate on it as time permits Be patient! 1/26/2011.
After my decision in May 1844 to enter the ministry, my grandfather, Rev. Walter H. Ott gave me the first opportunity to preach a sermon. In the fall of that year, my brother Chuck and our sister Betty formed a trio with me. Betty played the piano and sang, Chuck was the soloist, he and I sang duets and I preached. That was the begining - at Linwood Community Church, Linwood, New Jersey, November 1944.
During the Summer of 1945 when I was in the US Army and stationed at Camp Croft, Spartanburg, South Carolina my, brother chuc and I forme "The Soldier's Trio" with another soldier. We sang at the Spartanburg Gospel Church and several other places.
Soon after arriving in Germany in the US Army occupation troops, both Chuck and I became very active in the Frankfurt Youth for Christ organization. We both sang, Chuck became the soloist and song leader for the Saturday night rallies and I was elected President and the Director of the rallies.
After being discharged from the Army and returning to our home in Trenton, New Jersey, Chuck and I were joined by our brother Walt, having retuned from four-years in the US Navy, and we started the Zulker Gospel Trio with Ginny Lou Wright, Chuck's girlfriend as the pianist. We sang in a variety of places including the Church of the Open Bible, Central Baptist Church, and the Shadyrest Bible Conference. A partial list of our engagements is forth-coming. A hand-written letter from our grandfather dated February 10, 1947 recounts our ministry at the Linwood Community Church in Linwood, New Jersey on the preceding Sunday.
In May, 1947, I started Trenton Youth For Christ in Trenton,New Jersey. Serving as Director, with both Walt and Chuck assisting, we conducted Saturday night rallies, had a fifteen-minute radio program each week and started the Trenton Youth Center.
During the time I attended Bob Jones University (Sept.1948-June 1949); The King's College (Sept. 1949-Jan. 1950); and Eastern Baptist College (Jan. 1950-June 1953), I had several opportunities to preach at various churches and the Zulker Gospel Trio held several services in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. but most of the time was spent in my educational pursuits.
In September 1953, my formal ministry began to take shape when I was employed as The Assistant to the Minister at the Bethany Temple Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Though I was a "full-time" student at the Reformed Episcopal Theological Seminary (Sept. 1953-June 1955), and Temple University School of Theology (Sept. 1955-June1956), I was given numerous responsibilites at the church including oversight of the Sunday School, the Youth Program, various lay committes, and an extensive visitation schedule both to individual homes as well as to those in hospitals. On occasion I led Bible Classes, Midweek Prayer Services and at several times preached at a Sunday Service. Other preaching opportunities at other churches arose from time to time.
1956 - 1960
The big change came when I was graduated from seminary, ordained as a minister by the Philadelphia Presbytery of the United Presbyterian Church in June 1956 and then became the Minister of Bethany Temple following the resignation of the former minister.
Receiving an invtation to join the administration at Eastern Bapitist College I resigned from Bethany Temple on July 1, 1960, having completed almost seven years ministry there, three as the Assistant to the Minister, and almost four as the Senior Minister. A detailed story of my years there is told in a separate link which will be made shortly.
It was a surprise, most pleasant to be sure, when Dr. George S. Claghorn, Dean at Eastern Baptist College invited me to become the Director of Admissions, the first in the college's history. As such, I was to organize a new office, establish procedures and policies, employ and supervise a staff, visit high schools and churches, recruit and interview prospective students, and work with the Admissions Committee of the Faculty in approving or rejecting applicants. I was installe as a member of the Faculty.
In the second year of my employment, I was given the added responbility and title of Director of Financial Aid, in charge of awarding scholarship, grants, loans and the work scholarhip program. This included Federal Funds received for that purpose. I continued in that capacity for sixteen years.
A fuller report of my years at Eastern is forthcoming.
During the administration of President Dr. Daniel E. Weiss, - my third president - I was asked to become the first full-time chaplain of the college, and was given the title Dean of Christian Life, along with membership on the President's Cabinet. As such, I conducted chapel services as well as other religious meetings, I met with the various student religious groups and organizations, and continued the training, scheduling and oversight of "Turning Point", a six-member student musical ensemble which I had started in 1973 under the Office of Admissions. Details of this minstry are also forthcoming.
At this time, during 1978, I was also serving as the Moderator of the Philadelphia Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church.
Due to some major problems in the Admissions Office under the leadership of my successor, I was asked by the President to return to that position full time. I left the Christian Life Office and resumed the Directorshp of the Admissions Office for another three years..
Upon the arrival of another new President, Mr. Robert A. Seiple, I was asked to leave the Admissions Office and was appointed Assistant to the President, a position I held for the next seven years. A part of my responsibility was to develop better relationships with churches in all denominations through a visitation program, the ministry of "Turning Point", and through special events. One of those we called "Eastern College Celebration", which we held in various cities by renting a local school auditorium. We then featured Dr. Anthony Campolo as the speaker along with the President and the music of ""Turning Point."
When President Roberta Hestenes began in 1987, she continued my position as Assistant to the President. Beforel long, however, she too became unhappy with the leadership of the Admissions Office, called for some resignations, and asked me to assume double duty and for the third time take on the additional title of Director of Admissions.
In July, after thirty years serving in the Administration of Eastern College, I submitted my resignation for the purpose of writing a book on the life of John Wanamaker, founder of the department store. He had founded Bethany Temple Presbyterian Church. as well as three others, and I wanted to tell the story of his Christian walk and service. John Wanamaker:King of Merchants was published in 1993. More about this is told in the section on John Wanamaker.
My Preaching Ministry-
After I left the pastorate of Bethany Temple, my preaching minstry expanded considerably. Because I was free on Sundays from my work at the College, I was able to accept invitations as guest minister at other churches. From June 1956 to 2010 I gave eighteen-hundred messages at two-hundred twenty-seven different churches. In addition, I gave one-hundred forty-eight lectures on the life of John Wanamaker at one-hundred places other than churches.
TO BE CONTINUED - 1/27/2011