Forty years ago in April 1978, the first organizational meeting was held for the Greencastle-Antrim Women's Fellowship.
The group, now known as the Greencastle-Antrim Christian Women's Fellowship, continues to meet monthly from September to May. The meetings are held from 9:30 to 11 a.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month in Evangelical Lutheran Church and feature a speaker, devotions, prayer and music.
The fellowship, along with the Greencastle-Antrim Ministerium, also organizes the National Day of Prayer observance, which will be held this year on Thursday, May 3.
About the fellowship
The fellowship traces its roots to "Vi" Hickey, wife of the Presbyterian minister, and Barbara Risser of Shady Maple Farm, who met over a pile of sweet corn at the Williamsport Pike farm, according to information provided by Jean Zimmerman, one of the original members who remains active in the fellowship.
Hickey and Risser talked about the need for a group in the area to meet the spiritual needs of women. They reached out to Zimmerman and soon the word got out that the fellowship was forming. Regular meetings began in September 1978.
The fellowship's purpose was and remains to lift up Jesus Christ in the community, to provide settings for fellowship and inspiration, to be alert to existing needs in the community and to encourage prayer for those in need.
National Day of Prayer
On National Day of Prayer, there will be a service at 11 a.m. in the Family Life Center of First United Methodist Church, 45 N. Washington St., followed by a half-hour outdoor observance in front of borough hall, located across the street from the church, beginning at 12:15 p.m. with the Rev. Floyd Myers, pastor of Greencastle Church of God, in charge. If it rains, the outdoor observance will be held under the portico of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
A variety of topics, music and Scriptures will be included in the one-hour service in the church. The theme is “Pray for America – UNITY," based on Ephesians 4:3 which says "Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
Greeters will include Janice Bartles, Gladys Fritz, Dorcas Gearhart, Annabelle Henry, Lorraine Hess, Doris Oberholzer and Esther Walck.
Participants include: pianist Dorthalee Wilson; presentation of flags and Pledge of Allegiance, America Heritage Girls, Otterbein United Brethren Church; welcome and opening prayer, Rev. David Rawley, pastor of Otterbein United Brethren Church; announcements, Dotti Zimmerman; music, Eileen Flenner; and interpreter (sign language) for hymns, Kelsey Marshall.
Prayers will be offered for the following categories:
Government – State Rep. Paul Schemel, 90th Legislative District
Business – Denise Hutchison, co-owner of Blue Heron Event Center
Churches – Ryan Whisel, family ministry director, First United Methodist Church
Families – Marcie Zimmerman, mother of three and grandmother of one
Education – Angie Petersheim, administrator, Shalom Christian Academy
Military – Harold South, U.S. Army veteran
Over the past 40 years, the following leaders and co-leaders have served the fellowship:
1978-80 — Naomi Martin
1980-82 — Jean Zimmerman
1982-85 — Janice Bartles
1985-87 — Mary Davis
1987-88 — Karen Martin
1988-89 — Saundra Wingert
1989-90 — Linda Diehl
1990-91 — Phyllis Meyers
1991-93 — Barbara Risser and Jean Zimmerman
1993-95 — Helen Hill Hilda Eshleman
1995-96 — Hilda Eshleman and Ann Becker
1996-97 — Ann Becker
1997-2000 — Helen Gearhart and Jean Zimmerman
2000-02 — Marlene Roadcap and Evangeline Myers
2002-04 — Evangeline Myers and Lovina Baer
2004 -08 — Janice Bartles and Gloria Stahl
2008-10 — Marie Musselman and Dorcas Gearhart
2010-17 — Janice Bartles and Gloria Stahl
2017-18 — Dotti Zimmerman and Jenn Robertson