Bausman Memorial United Church of Christ is part of a denomination which is a merger of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the General Council of the Congregational Christian Churches of the United States. The history of the United Church of Christ is centered in our Biblical heritage shared by the prophets and apostles, and extends through the Reformation to the United States via those persons seeking freedom and truth within their religious expressions.
In 1908 this fellowship began as a Sunday School under the leadership of the Rev. H.Y. Stoner. The name “Bausman Memorial” was chartered in tribute to the late Rev. Dr. Benjamin Bausman of St. Paul’s Reformed Church in Reading. Benjamin Bausman was born in Lancaster, PA in 1824 and died in Reading, PA in 1909. He graduated from Marshall College (now Franklin and Marshall) in 1851 and Mercersburg Theological Seminary in 1852. He entered the Reformed Church ministry (now UCC) in 1853 and held successive pastorates in Lewisburg, Chambersburg (during the Civil War), First Reformed Church in Reading and St. Paul’s Reformed Church in Reading which he founded in 1873. A prolific writer, he edited The Reformed Messenger and The Guardian (1867-1882), Der Reformierte Hausfreundas well as being the author of several books and poems. He was fluent in both English and German. He was known as a gifted speaker who attracted many members to the churches he served.
Benjamin Bausman had a great influence on the community. Among the many Boards on which he served were the Boards of Bethany Orphan’s Home, The Board of Foreign Missions, General Synod of the Reformed Church, Reading Pastor’s Group and Franklin and Marshall College. The College granted him an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on the 50th Anniversary of his graduation in 1908.
One of his great interests was to teach everyone about the Bible. He founded many Sunday Schools some of which developed into Churches. He often used personal wealth to support his projects. Dr. Bausman died in 1909. The new church that was being built in Wyomissing was named in his honor, The Bausman Memorial Reformed Church.
Two church leaders summarized the high regard people had for Dr. Bausman and his work:
“Dr. Bausman was the greatest influence for good in the Reformed Church in the 19th Century.”
A.R. Bartholomew, Secretary of the Foreign Missions Board, 1909
“It is important to understand the secret power of a minister who was a sterling citizen, a faithful Christian, an unusually effective preacher of the Gospel and an incomparable leader in the educational, missionary, and benevolent work of the Church. He probably would have ranked among the first five ministers as pastor, preacher and scholar in any church in America.”
George W. Richards, President, Evangelical and Reformed Church, 1935
More information on Rev. Dr. Benjamin Bausman
The membership of Bausman Memorial United Church of Christ has been blessed with the following pastors.
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Rev. Mark Johnson (2013 - present)