Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rev. J. A. Griffith

According to the BIOGRAPHICAL DIRECTORY OF PASTORS OF THE AMERICAN LUTHERAN CHURCH (c1962), John Adam Griffith was born on February 22, 1885 in Ashville, Ohio to Mr. and Mrs. G. D. Griffith. Rev. Griffith married Golda Wheeler in 1910, the same year that he graduated from Seminary at Capital University.

Rev. J. A. Griffith served as the pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sandusky from 1919 until 1957. Prior to coming to Sandusky, he had also been a minister in Lancaster and Youngstown, Ohio. He was a past president of the Erie County Ministerial Association. In 1952, Rev. Griffith authored a book of inspirational poems, entitled GARLANDS GATHERED FROM GOD'S GARDEN. This book is housed in the Local Authors Collection of books at the Archives Research Center of the Sandusky Library, as well as at the library of the R. B. Hayes Presidential Center.

In the 1960's a local area business owner, speaking to a group of high school students, credited Rev. J. A. Griffith with successfully helping him to turn away from alcoholism. Rev. Griffith officiated at several weddings, funerals, baptisms, and confirmations for members of my extended family. Though I was very young when I met him, I thought the pastor looked like an angel, with his white hair and gentle spirit. Rev. Griffith is pictured below at a baptism in March, 1952.

Rev. J. A. Griffith passed away on January 13, 1963. He was survived by his wife, two brothers, two sisters, and several nieces and nephews. He was buried at Oakland Cemetery. Mrs. Griffith died in 1974.The symbol of the Luther Rose appears on the tombstone for Rev. and Mrs. Griffith. Though Rev. J. A. Griffith did not have any biological children, he was mentor to many young people who attended St. Paul Lutheran Church. During the years of Rev. Griffith's service in Sandusky, St. Paul Lutheran Church was located at the southeast corner of Central Avenue and Tyler Street.

Below is a photograph of Rev. J. A. Griffith with a Confirmation Class, about 1923.

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