York countian Elmer Q. Gleim: At 93, he continues his prolific writings. Also of interest: Mother Codorus has long served as leading light in obscure Dunkard Valley and People of varying religious groups founded York County – 13/31 iconic images and All God and York County posts from the start.
Dianne Bowders e-mailed a short biography on her father Elmer Q. Gleim, introduced to Yorktownsquare.com readers in a recent post. That post tied Dianne’s precise captions of her photo work capturing historic scenes around York County, Pa., to her father’s teaching of that rich history over the years.
Dianne’s short bio, titled ‘A Brethren Treasure,’ is so insightful that I’ve included it below, with a partial list of Elmer Gleim’s work.
It’s fortunate that Dianne’s has compiled such a history of her historian father’s work:
“Surrounded by a life-long collection of books, files, and extensive documents of Brethren historical significance, the work day begins before 6 AM for Elmer Q. Gleim. This minister, theologian, teacher, scholar, genealogist, and nonagerian (93) continues writing prolifically 6 to 8 hours per day, penning articles for the Southern District of Pennsylvania, as well as authoring numerous Brethren books and articles although he has long passed the age when most retire.
“His collection of genealogies, cemetery records, files of newspaper clippings and family records is large, filling the study that houses his extensive library and providing resources for his continued writings and research. Working at his computer, he continues to write as if his veins flowed with ink.
“Elmer, son of Quentin Albert and Mary Elizabeth Alverta Doner Gleim was the eldest in a family of thirteen children, born January 1917 in the Cumberland Valley of Pennsylvania. He was nurtured by his loving Grandmother Doner who lived nearby. She taught him to read at an early age. This immeasurable blessing and love of learning from his Grandmother was a gift that he hoped to give others.
“He was the first to attend college in his family, and he chose Elizabethtown where he met Ruth Rishel. Elmer and Ruth’s three children also attended Elizabethtown as well as a grandson and several nephews. He graduated from Crozer Theological Seminary, and later obtained a masters degree in education from the University of Pittsburgh.
“Besides his written work, embodied in more than 17 books and innumerable articles, Elmer has exerted a powerful influence through his teaching and 73 years in the ministry. He continued his thirst for knowledge and hoped to inspire others to continue a life-long quest for learning through his ministry in churches, teaching in colleges and universities, more than 30 years in public schools, and almost 25 years of Literary Roundtable studies at the Brethren Home in New Oxford.
“Ruth, his wife of 68 years, offers her assistance to the incredible amount of work which he has accomplished. Together they have worked for the goals of Church of the Brethren for more than 140 collective years. Their tireless works of humility, integrity and Christian love, are evident in many churches throughout the Southern District of Pennsylvania as well as throughout various schools.
“Ordained at 18, Elmer faithfully served seventy-three years in the ministry including churches in Philadelphia, Fayette and York Co., PA., as well as serving as interim minister in Adams, Franklin, and Cumberland Co. churches. He tirelessly served as moderator for many churches in York Co., as Southern District of Pennsylvania Historian, and on various committees and boards at the Southern District, Elizabethtown College, and Camp Eder.
“Those who have had the good fortune of knowing him recognize him as cultured as he is witty and as sympathetic as he is kind and warmhearted. Elmer has reached an age denied most men, in full possession of his mental gifts, in lively contact with the world, and as active as always in his fields of interest. Few have the energy to follow his lead. His life is a treasure to all who know him and a gift of immeasurable importance to the Church.
His books include:
- Change and Challenge; A History of the Church of the Brethren in Southern Pennsylvania, 1972.
- From These Roots; A History of the North Atlantic District of Pennsylvania, 1975.
- Foreword to Light in the Valley, 1976, written by William Gould, an old school friend.
- A Child in Their Midst, Children’s Aid Society History, 1988.
- The History and Families of the Black Rock Church of the Brethren (Centennial Volume), 1988.
- The Brethren in the Upper Cumberland Valley (1800-1989), 1989.
- The Upper Conewago Church of the Brethren, “Brethren History Along the Big Conewago” (1741-1991).
- Madison Avenue Church of the Brethren, Anniversary Book (1926-1996), 1996.
- A Dunker Boy Becomes Ecumenical, Bernard N. King’s Biography, 1996.
- A Church in Mission (Hanover Church of the Brethren Centennial Volume) 1902-2002.
- Antietam Antecedents, Vol. I, and Vol. 11, 2006.
- The Gleim Family History; The Gleims of Germany and America, 1976.
- Gleim Family History, personal volumes, 1999-2007.
- The Careers of Charles Wayne Hash (On Lofty Ground), biographical, 2002.
- This is My Story, Treva Snyder Story, 1999.
- The Faith of a Mother (a biographical account of Mary Hodges Strawbridge written for Helen Neal) 2001.
- The Brethren Home Centennial Volume, New Oxford , 2007.
- Born of a Dream, Fifty Year History of Camp Eder, Southern District of Pennsylvania, 2008.
Articles of Importance:
- Numerous articles for the Brethren Encyclopedia, more than 14 articles in volume I and II.
- “Confessional Christianity and the Church of the Brethren”, District paper printed in Brethren Life and Thought, Spring 1983.
- Adult Studies in the Faith and Practices of the Church of the Brethren, membership study booklet, 1987.
- “The Ephrata Community and the Brethren”, article in Brethren Life and Thought, Summer 1970.
- “Development of a Theology for Ecology”, 2004.
- “The History of the Miller Meetinghouse”, written for the transfer of the Meetinghouse to Camp Eder, 2005.
- Madison Avenue Church of the Brethren (Seventieth Anniversary booklet), 2006.
- A series of 5 to 6 page studies for the Literary Roundtable in a variety of topics from Abraham to Augustine, and from Moses to Maimonides, given at the New Oxford Brethren Home Community. Articles began October 1983, and continued monthly until November 2007.
- A series of outline materials written for the Old and New Testament books, including Ecclesiastes (Koheleth), Second Isaiah, Jeremiah, Epistle to the Ephesians, Galatians, etc.