Visiting a Dear Friend

If we don’t remember history, it is lost to oblivion. To prevent this, it is important from time to time to say a word, for example, about Rev. Dr. Wilbur Washington and his wife, Mrs. Marie Washington. Both are dear members of our church but are more or less homebound now.

Did you know that Rev. Washington was the first African-American professor of Central College? Central College is an institution of our denomination and located in Pella, Iowa. Wilbur also served as professor at New Brunswick Theological Seminary. From 1988 to 1989, he was the first African-American president of our General Synod. In between these high offices, Wilbur and Marie served several churches, most notably the Pembroke Congregation in St. Ann, Illinois, and First Reformed Church in Jamaica, Queens, New York.

DrWashingtonVisiting with Wilbur and Marie brings a breath of fresh air. It makes the particular challenges of the day appear small, allowing me to leave refreshed and encouraged. We live such sheltered lives! The presence of Wilbur and Marie in our midst reminds me how important it is to be involved, to lend our voice to those who are not heard, and, built on the presence of Christ in this world, to try to make a difference wherever our ministry may reach.

About Rev. Dr. Hartmut Kramer-Mills

Hartmut Kramer-Mills, a native of Jena, Germany, began his theological education at Heidelberg University. After the Middle Exam in 1986 he received a scholarship from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches for McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He graduated from McCormick with a Master of Divinity in 1988. He graduated from Marburg University in Germany with the Ecclesiastical Exam in 1990, and received a Dr. theol. from Greifswald University, Germany, in 1997. From 1990 to 1991 he was vicar at St. Wenzel in Naumburg, Germany. He was ordained minister of word and sacrament in 1993 through the Protestant Church of the Church Province of Saxony. From 1993 to 1998 he served as assistant pastor in Stoessen, Goerschen, and Rathewitz, Germany. At the same time he was lecturer for Church History at Erfurt College in Germany. From 1999 to 2000 he served the Spotswood Reformed Church in New Jersey as interim pastor. Since 2000 he and his wife serve the First Reformed Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey, as co-pastors.
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