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In Memoriam - Rev. Henry Metcalf






Henry Metcalf - beloved pastor, husband and father



The Gardner Family is deeply saddened by the passing of Reverend Henry Metcalf, - Pastor of the Midland, Michigan Nazarene Church, beloved husband of Ruth Amy Metcalf, and devoted father to Ruth Anne Metcalf, Richard Metcalf, and Geri Rosser.

Henry will always be remembered by the Family as an extremely warm, generous, creative and talented person who was fully committed to his faith, family, and friends. Please remember Henry's wife, Ruth, daughters Geri and Ruth Anne, and son Dick during their time of bereavement.

We hope they can be somewhat comforted by the fact that Henry's many artistic gifts of art, music and elocution will live on through his children and their families.

There was a service for Henry on December 27th at 10:30 AM at the Plymouth Congregational Church in East Charleston, Vermont.  Time was set aside for visitation, reflection, and reminiscing before the service began.




A Message from Ruth Anne Metcalf to

all the Gardner family and friends


Many of you who attended the funeral in Vermont asked for copies of some of the items that were read at the service. Below is:


·         E.M. Bounds on Prayer - read by Geri Metcalf Rosser

·         Words to Zion's Hill - sung by Gregory B. Rosser

·         Listing of songs played for service

·         "Dad's Song" -written by Geri Metcalf Rosser

·         Scripture from program








Prayer is no fitful, short-lived thing. It is no voice crying unheard and unheeded in the silence. It is a voice which goes into God's ear and it lives as long as God's ear is open to holy pleas, as long as God's heart is alive to holy things. God shapes the world by prayer. Prayers are deathless. The lips that utter them may be closed in death, the heart that felt them may have ceased to beat, but the prayers live before God, and God's heart is set on them. Prayers outlive the lives of those who uttered them; outlive a generation, outlive an age, outlive a world.


E.M. BOUNDS: (1835-1913) was a Methodist minister and devotional writer who served as a pastor in the American south and became a POW during the Civil War.






There waits for me a glad tomorrow,

Where gates of pearl swing open wide;

And when I've passed this vale of sorrow,

I'll dwell upon the other side.



Someday beyond the reach of mortal ken;

Someday-God only knows just where and when--

The wheels of mortal life shall all stand still,

And I shall go to dwell on Zion's hill.


Someday I'll hear the angels singing,

Beyond the shadows of the tomb;

And all the bells of heaven ringing,

While all the saints are singing, "Home Sweet Home."


Someday my labors will be ended,

And all my wand'rings will be o'er,

And all earth's broken ties be mended,

And I shall sigh and weep no more.


Someday the dark clouds will be rifted,

And all the night of gloom be past,

And all life's burdens will be lifted;

The day of rest shall dawn at last.






When They Ring Those Golden Bells

Savior Like A Shepherd

Leaning On The Everlasting Arms

Wonderful Words Of Life

God Leads Us Along

Joy To The World

Give Me Jesus

Saved By Grace

I Shall Know Him


Victory In Jesus

A Child Of The King






By:  Geraldine Metcalf Rosser


What more could I have asked for

Than a father who loved the Lord?

Seeking his way in ev'rything;

Striving to be in one accord

With his will,

Living in obedience

To the Word as it's revealed,

And through following His example,

I've been granted a life that's healed.


O, my father,

O, my father,

You've given me a greater gift

Than precious, glitt'ring gold.

O, my father,

O, my father,

You're always pointing up above

To help me find the source of love

In my Father.


Sometimes when the glory came

You'd let the teardrops fall.

You'd pull the truck right off the road

And let the engine stall.

Though we were not moving down the road,

I realized right then,

With your sights set on a heav'nward way,

You'd passed by many men.


O, my father,

O, my father,

You've given me a greater gift

Than precious, glitt'ring gold.

O, my father,

O, my father,

You're always pointing up above

To help me find the source of love

In my Father.





Nay, in all these things we are more than

conquerors through him that loved us


For I am persuaded, that neither

death, nor life, nor angels, nor

principalities, nor powers, nor things

present, nor things yet to come,


Nor height, nor depth, nor any other

creature, shall be able to separate us

from the love of God, which is in

Christ Jesus our Lord.


Romans 8:37-39





A New Message from Geri Rosser to

all the Gardner family and friends




Dear Family and Friends:

Just wanted to let you all know that Mom, my sister, Greg and I have finished our work in Michigan. Last weekend we traveled up with our van and car and my sister's car, and managed to get the remaining items out of the parsonage.

We thought Mom would want to stay up there for the Sunday service to say her final goodbyes, but when she found out that's what we were thinking, she said, "I didn't know that's what I wanted to do!" She also said, "My time here is over." Wow! She's attending services and special senior functions at our church, and my sister has begun to get information about Westerville's nearby Senior Center. I believe she's well on her way to being well-adjusted with her living arrangements here in Columbus. Ruth Anne (my sister) is taking very good care of her!

Thanks for your continued prayers for us! I know there will be momentary jolts of remembrance, sweet and sour, sprinkled with bits of wonder and pain. I know because I've been cleaning up my e-mail tonight, and putting Dad's messages in a special file. There is a lot there that will help me grieve well.

I've asked before for your prayer requests . . . and I've been praying even though I haven't had much time to ask how things are going. But I'm sure that as life surges on your requests have changed. Please fill me in so that I will be able to join in lifting you up in prayer.

Blessings on your heads!










Another Message from Geri Rosser to all the

Gardner family and friends



I'd like to reply individually to all of your lovely notes . . . but it will probably be a while. More importantly, I want to thank you for your prayers for me and my family in the last several weeks. We have sensed them in every way possible, and have seen them at work in our minds, hearts, and pathways.

Mom is now living with my sister, Ruth Anne, at her home in Westerville. She is settling in very well. I know she's grieving, but it's in that different, New England sort of way that moves ahead in spite of the pain. And her faith carries her better than any sort of psychological mind-bending ever could. She knows, as all of us do, where Dad is. That is a comfort and a blessing.

All four of us, Mom, Ruth Anne, Greg and I, are heading to Michigan tomorrow to do more sorting and decision-making. Please pray with us as we travel and as we employ both heart and mind to discern what is best.

In both the memorial service (Michigan) and the funeral service (Vermont) people paid tribute to a man who loved them no matter who they were. That caring very often led individuals to Christ and a work of redemption in their hearts. Being a part of the family, sometimes we saw other sides of Dad, sides that expected us to be a little more perfect because we were family. But hearing the stories made me realize that his small and large ways of caring for parishioners and far-flung friends and relatives through well-placed words, e-mails, and deeds was a legacy that can be continued. I sensed a mantle being passed, and a daily, life-long calling of loving people in real ways being placed in my heart. Sometimes I have thought that God did not call me to anything in particular, because I've never had a "call." I've had lots of encounters with Him, lots of "moments of insight," but never sensed that urgent call to go to a particular place or do a particular thing. This call is better because it is where I live. With Saint Francis in the garden, when asked what he would do if he found out Jesus was coming tomorrow, I say, "I'd hoe another row." The tasks of the kingdom are greater than any earthly prestige or power, and usually are simpler than I would like them to be . . . give a cup of cold water; visit the widow.

Yesterday I wrote a poem for Dad. I hope you see less of the self-deprecation and more of the desire to be like both my Dads.

God bless you and thanks so much for your prayers! God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good!




It's utter chaos, crinkling down,
The ash of all my dreams;
A fallen sky of glass and steel
Erected to deceive.

When what I thought I wanted,
Achieved with no small ease,
Is put against eternity
It shrivels in the breeze.

The accolades ring empty,
And swiftly die away.
The praise is what I wanted;
And now it fades with day.

Your praise is what I wanted,
But now your lips are cold.
And with your death I clearly see
Eternity unfold.

For what you sought was better
Than what I have pursued.
You sought the praise of heaven;
A mind in Christ, renewed.

A life poured out for others,
With little thought for self,
That won the final, ageless prize
Of life with God in death.

And wins, down through the ages
The joy of being known
By all those whom his life has touched
In heaven, all come home.

May my life turn the corner
To see the world as Christ;
To love with all the ardor
With which He gave His life;


To use the path God's given
To glorify His name,
And somehow through His mercy
His blessing to attain,

So I may be united
Again with you in heav'n,
Where we will sing, "All glory to
The Maker of all men."



Geri Rosser
January 13, 2004





A Message from Don Griffes to all the

Gardner family and friends


Dear Family and Friends:

 Wednesday morning December 17th , Henry e-mailed Nita and told her, " I hope you are doing what I do every day... listening for the trumpet ... watching for the angels ... wont it be great? ... any moment". Nita said that Henry was referring to the "Rapture" of the Christians which begins with a "Trumpet" sound. Henry believed, as we do, that if the "Rapture" didn’t happen before it was our time to go that, the angels would come for us. In just four days, after he said this, I’m sure that he saw the angels come to take him to Heaven to be with Jesus, his mom and dad, Lyndol, Will and Olive and a host of others who have already made the trip.

 The passing of Henry was a shock to us all. Beulah and I were so privileged to be with him just four days earlier, in his home, at his regular mid week prayer meeting and at Ruth’s birthday celebration. We were with them less than five hours that Wednesday evening. Our schedule was tight as we were expected back in Vermont Friday. What a great privilege it was to be with the Metcalf family on this joyous occasion. I want to share several highlights.

 Arriving at their parsonage/home a little after five PM, on the 17th, we had a great time visiting and taking a few pictures and then off to the prayer meeting and the party. As there was to be Ruth’s birthday party in the fellowship hall following, we were limited on time for the prayer time. Henry made a few comments and asked if there were any requests for prayer and there were a number of them. Several prayed and then Henry concluded with prayer and we then went down stairs to Ruth’s party.

 Ruth Ann, Geri and Greg did a great job with everything. There were more pictures, music, stories and of course a big Birthday cake and the "fixins." Henry was to sing a special, a favorite of Ruthie’s, but said he was not up to doing it. When the party was over and we were leaving Henry asked Beulah for a hug before she left. I believe that he had an idea of what was ahead.

 We arrived back in Vermont about noon on Friday. That Sunday morning I felt heavy. I couldn’t get Henry and Ruth off my mind. Thinking back to our time with Henry a few days earlier, I remembered that he was very tired and somewhat pale. In discussing his health, he had told me that his heart was pumping only a fraction of what it should be. Thinking on these things, I made a special request for prayer for him in that morning’s church service. Little did we know that he already had made the trip. Henry is OK now but we need to continue to pray for Ruth and her family as they make this major transition.

 Henry’s funeral, the Saturday after Christmas, was in East Charleston. There will be an internment in the Spring, here in the cemetery where Dad and Mom Gardner are buried. I hope we can have another time of celebration of Henry’s life then, for that is what his funeral was, a celebration of a very successful life. There were at least nine ministers in attendance and most spoke along with many others who also told of how Henry had blessed their lives. He truly was a servant of our Lord.

 I told of how Henry and Ruth ended up in Michigan and working for us for a while and of his many talents. I knew of no one as talented as Henry was. He could fix a car or truck or TV, paint a picture or design and paint a sign, build a beautiful church or boost some hurting person’s spirit. Henry knew the Bible and could preach and teach its truths to all ages. He could tune a piano, play a saw, as well as many other instruments and he had a great singing voice.

 Uncle Henry, as the kids all called him, used slight-of-hand demonstrations in his children’s sermons. (he didn’t like to call them "magic tricks") The kids were captivated by his illustrated children’s sermons. When my six year old granddaughter heard that Uncle Henry had died she ask her dad, "Do you know how Uncle Henry did those tricks?" to which he said, "No I don’t. She was quiet for a short time while she thought about it, and then said, "I guess then we will never know, will we?". She was only three when she attended a Bible School conducted by Uncle Henry.

 One prominent minister in the area commented to me that he had never attended a funeral that was such a celebration as this was. The time of food and fellowship following the funeral was a great time for family and friends to share. I hope we can all be together again in the Spring and celebrate Henry’s life.

 This one more thing: Henry was a man of prayer and he knew that prayer made the difference in the outcome of any situation. Ruth and her family have a lot of adjusting and work to do. The most important thing to do is to pray for them. Also let them know that you are by keeping in touch often. We all have benefited immensely over the years from the prayers of the Gardner Clan. Let us all keep it going for the generations to come or until we hear that trumpet or make our trip with the angels.









A Message from Geri Rosser to all the

Gardner family and friends

I'm sure that most of you have heard already that Dad went to his final reward last Sunday, December 21st, shortly after 8:00 a.m. He passed peacefully, with his "boots still on," getting ready for Sunday morning services at Bethel Church of the Nazarene, where he was still pastoring at 80+ years of age!

Mom, "Ruthie," is doing well . . . she's a trooper at 90.

We had calling hours here in Michigan at the funeral home last Tuesday, the 23rd, and a memorial service at Midland Bethel on Wednesday. Then Mom, Ruth Anne, Greg and I traveled to Vermont for the funeral service this past Saturday. The outpouring of love and gifts from family and friends has been overwhelming. We continue to covet your prayers as we make arrangements for Mom to live with Ruth Anne in Columbus, and to go through the many, many items Dad used in ministry and for his several avocations.

Mom and Ruth Anne will be in Midland until the end of the week, and can be reached at, or at their home phone of 989-589-7550. After that you can send messages to Mom at 353 Macintosh Way, Westerville, OH 43081. I can be reached at

Thanks for your ministry to Dad over the years! He loved and appreciated each of you!


Geri Rosser





A Message from Art Metcalf  to the

Metcalf Family

(sent via Greta's Interactive Page - December 24, 2003)

 First thing, I just wanted to send my condolences. I was shocked and saddened to hear of my grandfather's passing. Unfortunately, there's no way for me to make it to Midland or Vermont this week. Second, I should probably change my address for the newsletter. Here it is: Art (and Suzanne Metcalf) 1910 13th Street Silvis, IL 61282






A Message from Dick Metcalf to all the

Gardner family


           (sent via Greta's Interactive Page - December 23, 2003)

I want to THANK everyone here for the speedy response to my dad's passage! Mom, Ruth Ann, Geri & I were all (quite) shocked and saddened by his departure, but (understandably) glad that it was quick for him... as most of you know, it would have devastated him to have had a long and lingering passage. No matter what anyone may think about Henry, what "sticks to the ribs" in my memories of him is that he was TOTALLY dedicated and principled. That commitment, as well as his love for all of us, stood by me (personally) in the times when I most needed it. Once again, I am deeply appreciative for the Gardner family's efforts and love on our behalf in our time of bereavement.... THANKS!




A Message from Nita Ames to all the

Gardner family and friends


December 23, 2003

Dear Family and Friends,

    The final arrangements have been made for Henry's funeral on Saturday.  It will be held at the Plymouth Congregational Church in East Charleston, Vermont at 10:30 AM.  A time of viewing and visitation will be held from 9:00 AM to 10:30 AM for anyone who wants to come.

    A get-together will be held in the church with some of the family and friends getting the meal together.  If you can help, please call Irene Ames at 802-895-4275 or call Pastor Rick Smith of the East Charleston Nazarene Church at 802-723-4824.

    Gregg and Geri, Ruth and Ruth Anne will be leaving Michigan on Wednesday afternoon after the memorial service and travel to Vermont.  They will be arriving Thursday afternoon or evening.  Dick is flying out Friday and arriving Friday evening at around 11:00 to 12:00 PM.

    Ruth and Ruth Anne will be staying with me and the rest with Rod and Irene.

    In lieu of flowers, perhaps money and a card would be better with all of the expenses that are involved for the trip, funeral, and other costs.  We will be sure to have some flowers there as well.

    The family seems to be doing ok and Ruth is ok.  After the viewing in Michigan tonight and the memorial tomorrow, it will probably hit her that Henry is gone.  I am sure she knows that he is with the Lord and singing with all of the angels in Heaven.  Perhaps he's playing the trumpet.

    Pray for all of the family as this has to be hard physically and in other ways as well.

Love, Nita


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