"HOW SHALL WE THEN LIVE?" Francis Schaeffer

Sunday, June 08, 2014

LEWIS HOHENSTEIN - spiritual father

I want to pay tribute to Lewis Hohenstein, my pastor at the Whittier Grace Brethren Church during my teen years.  My Dad had been asked to lead the music there when  I was 10,  so the the family left a Baptist church and joined the Brethren Church.  It was a small church but they had a great pastor in Lewis C. Hohenstein.    Three years later, when I was 13, my Mom and Dad felt led to go to another church and couldn't decide if they would make me go with them or let me stay at the Brethren Church  with my two older sisters, 15 and 17.   They decided to let me remain.  I was thrilled.  A) my best friend,  Don Downs [ later known as Dr. Donald Downs DDS] , was there and B) I would be out from under my Mom and Dad's eagle eyes.  I stayed until I  was 19 and "Bud" Hohenstein was forced out, due to accusations of a moral failing.

But in those crucial teen years, he regularly taught the teenagers on Wednesday notes at one of the member's homes.  He was a man familiar with C.S. Lewis, Francis Schaeffer and was ahead of his time in having a "Biblical Worldview."   He prepared me mentally and philosophically for the world of secular academia.  He was a bright and thoughtful man and he, in a sense, adopted me.  My father was a fine Christian man but we were never on the same wave-length.  Bud was on my wave length and could put in words my questions and concerns and provide logical answers.  He was always my pastor, not my best friend, but he became my mentor ultimately and helped prepare me for adulthood.

He pastored two other churches and my Mom and Dad actually rejoined him for a few years when I was in my 20s.  But I was no longer in the area, and had gotten married and began attending churches in the area in which my wife and I lived.

Bud's wife was Kay Hohenstein, a nurse and fine lady; plus 3 children, Judy, David and Leslie.

God knew I needed Bud Hohenstein if I was to survive the 60s in some kind of rational state and I believe, to this day, my parents were led to his church as much for my sake as anything else.

Bud Hohenstein has been dead a number of years now, died in his late 80s.  He wasn't a perfect man but he was a Godly man and understood grace.  He passed that legacy on to me.

No comments: