Thursday, July 17, 2008

Old School: Rev. Don Frank Fenn

"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..."- No Country for Old Men

Reverend Fenn became Gethsemane's seventh rector on April 1, 1922, and immediately impressed the congregation with his tireless energy. Fenn oversaw the congregation's period of historic growth. Beginning the movement were an endowment and publicity committee, complete with advertising budget and a mission to attract strangers to the church. Enlarging the church's capacity for services of all kinds, the church added a five-story building, a social service secretary, and a parish house to serve as a social and religious center for the downtown area.

Yet Fenn did not only rely on Gethsemane's own facilities. The Curtis Hotel, MacPhail School of Music, and the Church of the Redeemer all opened their doors to host church functions. It was doubtless precisely this kind of partnership that over 600 children to the church, including the Camp Fire Girls, the Boy Scouts, and an active young people's group.

After overseeing nine years of such robust growth, Father Fenn resigned to take the rectory at St. Michael's and All Angel's Church in Baltimore on May 1, 1931.

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