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Frank H Nelson Of Cincinnati by Warren C. Herrick


How does one life affect another?

I have tried to remember what Frank Nelson directly asked me to do. He asked me to teach in the Sunday School, and I did it. Gradually I found myself studying out an intellectual foundation for faith in God. He never said anything to me about that, except from the pulpit. He wrote me asking that I act as captain in the Nation-wide Campaign, and I answered that I could not. But the next thing I remember was being a visitor in the Nation-wide Campaign, and I was always in it after that. He asked me to serve on the Vestry, and somehow made me feel that nothing except being really sick was an excuse for not being there.

Certainly he never exhorted people to be civic patriots or reformers, and save the city. He just gave you such a human picture of the teeming life of a great city that it made a tear come to your eye to think of what the city could be at its best, and it made you love it and the people in it. Your own actions in civic affairs just naturally followed.

He wasn't an exhorter of virtue, but he made of clean living and noble service such a fascinating objective that people went to work on their own problems with fresh faith.

The only time I recall he was really annoyed with me was when I had an emergency operation for appendicitis in the middle of the night, and didn't let him know until the next day. He was my minister, and that meant minister. After that, when I had a major choice to make, I felt I was risking his disappointment unless I went down to talk to him about it.

He didn't want me to go to a great school as headmaster. |The city is the place that needs service and talents,| said he. To that he had given his life, in the personal contact with his parish. His life stands as a symbol of the way a true love of home and community is tied to a love of all God's children everywhere.


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