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Today in OPC History

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August 16

Dick and Rita Gerber

On this day in 1968 Richard Gerber married Rita Rodenbach in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. They met at at the Olivet Evangelical Congregational Church in Bethlehem, and when he graduated from Moravian College they were married that same year.

In the fall of 1968 Dick began studies at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia while commuting from Bethlehem as Rita completed college and worked in the Public Library. After her graduation they moved to Philadelphia where Rita taught in the Salvation Army Christian Day School.

Immediately upon graduation from seminary, in the spring of 1971, OPC Home Missions General Secretary Leroy B. Oliver recruited Dick for a special assignment - to assist Westminster OPC in Valdosta, Georgia, in the absence of a pastor. Caring for the congregation for the next five months, Dick and Rita’s task was completed with the congregation’s call to the Rev. William E. Warren, after which they moved to Wildwood, New Jersey, where Dick was ordained and installed as the pastor of Calvary OPC in the spring of 1972.

Seven years later the Gerbers moved to Hamden, Connecticut where Dick took up labors as pastor of Westminster OPC in 1979. There Rita completed her masters degree in Social Work and served as a case worker for a local Christian adoption agency. For most of his years in Hamden, Dick also served as a member of the denominational Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension. And in 1999 the Committee called him to serve as Associate General Secretary, where he would remain until his retirement in 2014.

The Gerbers have raised four children, and now live in Moodus, Connecticut, where, in their retirement, they are helping to establish the new Harvest OPC mission work in East Haddam. Today we congratulate the Rev. and Mrs. Richard R. Gerber on their 50th wedding anniversary.

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