How it all began…
It’s important to know:
-Before 1972, there were seven (7) presbyteries in the state of Indiana.
-Before 1972, what is now the Synod of Lincoln Trails was the Synod of Indiana and the Synod of Illinois.
-In 1971-72, The General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (UPCUSA) approved a major denominational re-organization which created large regional Synods and necessitated the creation of large, sustainable, presbyteries.
-In December, 1971, the Synod of Indiana, approved the establishment of 3 Indiana presbyteries, effective July 1, 1972.
Before we were One … we were Three:
-The Presbytery of Wabash Valley was created from all, or part, of the Presbyteries of Crawfordsville, The Dunes, and Wabash River. We were named for the river than runs along our highways and through our county seat towns.
-At the time of its creation, Wabash Valley Presbytery claimed 100 ministers, 114 congregations, and 44,282 communicant members.
Some Interesting Notes about our History:
-Our first Stated Clerk was the Rev. Allen Jump who also served as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Rochester.
-Our first Moderator was The Rev. L. Wayne Smith, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Rensselaer; he was so effective he served for two years!
-Ruling Elder Janet Meyer of First Presbyterian Church, Winamac, was the first woman to serve as Presbytery Moderator.
-Ruling Elder Eleanor “Cozy” Underwood of The Presbyterian Church, LaPorte, was the first woman to serve as Moderator of Ministerial Relations (now COM.)
-Ruling Elder Ina Zigler of the Schneider Presbyterian Church was the first woman to serve as Moderator of the Candidates Committee (now CPM.)
-The Rev. Lucy Rupe was the first clergywoman to serve as our Presbytery Moderator.
-We were the last presbytery within the Synod of Lincoln Trails to call an Executive Presbyter; Charles A. Hammond came to this position in 1975 and served with us until 1987.
-We were the first presbytery in the UPCUSA to have its Executive Presbyter elected Moderator of the General Assembly. Chuck Hammond was elected to this office in 1980.
-We were the first presbytery in the Synod of Lincoln Trails to call a woman as our Executive Presbyter – when we elected Ruling Elder Suzanne P. Whitford to that position in 1988.
-We are one of the few, if not the only, presbyteries to have at one time three sets of parent and child minister members serving simultaneously in our bounds: Wallace and David McDonald, L. Wayne Smith and Ann Smith Williams, and Orus and Lucy Rupe.