Seminary Recognizes Veteran Church Leaders During SLT
By Jim Bishop
Three veteran church leaders were honored Wednesday, Jan. 21, by Eastern Mennonite Seminary for more than 50 years of ministry.
Pictured to the right are (l to r) Glendon L. Blosser, Harrisonburg; Pauline and Edward Godshall, Newton, N.C., and Dorothy M. Harnish, Landisville, Pa..
Blosser, Godshell and Harnish received plaques and letters of commendation during a church leadership banquet held Wednesday evening, Jan. 21, during the annual School for Leadership Training (SLT).
Ordained by lot in 1959, Blosser was pastor of Zion Hill Mennonite Church, Singers Glen, Va., 1959-69. He was ordained in 1969 as bishop for the Central District of Virginia Mennonite Conference and served in that role until 2003. Church planting initiatives included helping to start the Christiansburg (VA) Mennonite Fellowship and Charlieville Mennonite Church in Trinidad.
Blosser served Virginia Mennonite Conference as secretary-treasurer, 1965-74; conference moderator, 1974-81; director of home missions with Virginia Mennonite Board of Missions, 1984-90; and chair of the historical committee, 2004 to the present.
His church-wide involvements have included moderator of Mennonite Church General Assembly, 1981; Mennonite Church General Board chair, 1979-81; and chair of the revision committee for Mennonite Church bylaws, 1983.
Blosser graduated from EMU in 1966 and earned an MA degree from Eastern Mennonite Seminary in 1990. He was an EMU trustee, 1988-96, chair of the seminary committee, 1989-96 and chair of the seminary construction committee, 1993-94.
He is a long-time Sunday school teacher at his home congregation, Weavers Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg.
Godshall was pastor of Mountain View Mennonite Church, Hickory, N.C., 1957-2002. He was ordained in 1958 and served as bishop of the Tennessee-Carolina- Kentucky District of Virginia Mennonite Conference, 1970-1984. He was overseer of the same district, 1989-2007.
Godshall studied at the seminary, August 1974 - May 1975.
Harnish was the first woman to receive a master of divinity degree from Eastern Mennonite Seminary in 1973. She went on to earn a master of religious education degree from Presbyterian School of Christian Education and later received certification from the Center for Loss and Life Transition at Fort Collins, Colo.
She taught Bible courses at Eastern Mennonite High School, 1973-83, did curriculum development and promotion of the Foundation Series and Jubilee Christian education curricula for the Mennonite Church and General Conference Mennonite Church, 1983-1994 and was director of adult education and Board of Congregational Resources of Lancaster Mennonite Conference, 1984-94. She has taught Sunday school since she was in her teens.
Harnish served as an adjunct faculty member at Messiah College and Eastern Mennonite Seminary and was co-founder and director of Kairos School of Spiritual Formation, 1992-2000. She was a consultant for the Parish Resource Center, Lancaster, 1994-2000. From 2004 to the present, she has been chaplain of AseraCare Hospice, Lancaster.
Blosser's spouse, the late Dorothy Blosser, and Pauline Godshall were also cited for their "significant supportive roles" over the years.