Minute for History presented by Rev. Walter Dosch
The Ardmore Presbyterian Church means a great deal to me because of three personalities. Back in 1950 after we had served as a chaplain in the Navy we went to the Absecon Presbyterian Church where we served for four years and then in 1950 we were called to the Westminster-Mayfair Presbyterian Church in northeast Philadelphia and your pastor Allan Frew was the moderator of the Presbytery and he welcomed us into the Presbytery here in Philadelphia and he was your pastor.
And then when I was a student in Princeton Theological Seminary, Dr. Kenneth Hammonds was there, we were both members of the Warfield Club and today I came up from Ocean City in order to preach here at Ardmore Presbyterian Church and I went to the closet to look for my robe and I couldn’t find it and so now I am wearing Kenneth Hammonds’ robe in the Ardmore Presbyterian Church and I now have a doctors degree. Thank you, Kenneth Hammonds!
The third name that I want to bring to your attention is Dr. and Mrs. Charles E. Scott and Dr. Scott and Mrs. Scott after serving as missionaries in China regarded the Ardmore Church as their church home and they sat about ten pews from the back on the north side every Sunday except when he was invited by me and by others to come and give a mission ministry and so we used to come and pick up Dr. Charles Ernest Scott and bring him to Westminster-Mayfair Presbyterian Church and we had a wonderful relationship and even to this day when I am going down Lancaster Avenue, Route 30 and come to Church Road where it crosses Lancaster Avenue I think of bringing home Dr. Charles Ernest Scott and his wife home as they lived here in this community.
The point I want to make this morning is this. That when Dr. Scott was in China they gave birth to a child, Elizabeth, and she became known as Betty and she married John Stam who had relationship to the Narberth Presbyterian Church and that was one of my interims as well. They became missionaries to China . Unfortunately, they were there at the communist takeover and the communists wanted to wipe Christianity and its influence out of China and so the missionaries left who could but John and Betty Stam did not make it and they were executed – publicly – as a sign of the communists hatred against Christianity. They had a daughter, just a little child by the name of Helen Pricilla and they were about to execute little Helen Pricilla and one of Chinese Christians said, “Why are you going to execute that child?” And the person in charge of the event said, “Your life for the child’s?” and he said, “Yes!” and she was spared her life.
There was a time when the Presbytery of Philadelphia had a condo downtown for retired missionaries and ministers and I had the Sunday afternoon message and I told this story about Helen Pricilla and after the service one of the ministers who was retired came to me and said, “I worshipped with her this morning in the Tabernacle Presbyterian Church.” But the point I want to leave with you is this, that when Dr. Charles Ernest Scott heard that his daughter and son-in-law had been executed, this is what he wrote, “Even for the dead I will not bind my soul to grief. Death can not long divide. Is it not as though the rose that climbed my garden wall has now blossomed on the other side? Death doth hide but not divide. Thou art with Christ, Christ is with me and in Him united still are we.” And when we worship God today we say I believe in the resurrection of the body, I believe in the communion of saints, I believe in the life everlasting and this is a wonderful, wonderful tribute to the living hope that we have through the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.