Friday, June 27, 2008

Old School: John Jacob Faude

"And in the dream I knew that he was goin' on ahead. And he was fixin' to make a fire somewhere out there in all that dark and all that cold, and I knew that whenever I got there, he would be there..."

The Reverend John Jacob Faude became Gethsemane's third rector on January 1, 1890, the very day that the former rector attained the Bishopric. He oversaw further remodeling of the church. This included seats added in the south aisle, the installation of the "Gethsemane" chancel window, and a memorial pulpit. Faude also oversaw measures to protect the building proper, including wire screens to protect the stained glass, a storm porch over the Fourth Avenue entrance, and an iron fence to guard the front grass.

Not that Faude's ministry was purely material. The church also gained a permanent kindergarten school in this period, the Women's Guild and Women's Auxiliary, and a men's parish club. Other organizations formed under Faude's hand included a chapter of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew (an organization incorporated by Congress), the Daughters of the King and the younger Daughters of St. Agnes, and a Girl's Guide that made clothing for the hospital and orphanage Gethsemane had previously begun. Further, Faude established the St. Thomas mission for black people by 1894 and began the long-running "Parish Visitor," the
newsletter that kept the parish informed.

In 1895, Gethsemane hosted the first General Convention of the church held west of the Mississippi, to overwhelming success- a moment that marked Gethsemane's tradition of hospitality. This was further carried out by renting the church for various functions, the funds from which helped pay for the long-delayed parish house- and the rector's back salary.

On April 2, 1901, the Reverend died of typhoid fever and appendicitis. The Alter Guild dedicated the new altar to him, in remembrance of his leadership and ecclesiastical, canonical, and parliamentary knowledge. He guided the church through difficult economic times, and his determination to organize and order the parish doubtless led to his most noted contributions.

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