Rev. O. H. Deever. One of the strongest churches of the United Brethren faith in Kansas is at Concordia. The pastor is Rev. Mr. Deever, who though a young man had had considerable experience in various pastorates, and is regarded as one of the most efficient leaders and most talented preachers in his church in the state.
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A brief reference to the early history of the church at Concordia should be given. The church was organized in 1887 with twenty-one charter members. The Rev. Joseph Bayz was the first pastor and one of the charter members. The other members who constituted the church were: Mr. and Mrs. J. T. Rogers, Mr. and Mrs. Noah Rogers, Mr. and Mrs. Kulp, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver, Mr. and Mrs. Thacken and two children, Mrs. Spencer, Mrs. Walshel, Mr. and Mrs. Ross, Mr. and Mrs. Bogue, Mr. and Mrs. Easter and Mrs. Isgreig.
In the past thirty years this church had maintained a steady and prosperous growth, and it now had a membership of 240. The substantial church edifice was erected in 1911, and the church had property at Concordia valued at $15,000. With Rev. Mr. Deever as its pastor the church is now growing in strength and efficieney as a factor in the moral and spiritual life of the city.
Reverend Deever is bound closely to Kansas not only by the ties that connect him with this church at Concordia, but because Kansas is his native state and his forefathers endured and sacrificed in the territorial and early statehood period of this commonwealth.
His patarnal grandparents, Jesse and Mary Deever, migrated from Wisconsin to Kansas in 1859. Jeese Deever took up a homestead and from that time forward was one of the staunch and steady makers of early history in this frontier region. When the Civil war broke out he was one of the first to yolunteer his services in defense of the free institutions of the Union. Jesse Deever’s son William was also a soldier in the Civil war and lost his life on one of the great battlefields of that struggle. Rev. Mr. Deever’s paternal grandfather was Mr. Ethrington, who was likewise a Kansas pioneer. He brought his family to Kansas Territory in 1856, settling on a homestead twenty-five miles south and east of Topeka in Douglas County.
It is not strange, therefore, that Rev. Mr. Deever should have special affections for the commonwealth in which he was born and nurtured. Mr. Deever was born in Kansas in 1883, a son of J. B. and Jennie B. Deever, his father a native of Wisconsin and his mother of Pennsylvanis. His father was three years of age when brought to Kansas in 1859. Rev. Mr. Deever was reared and educated largely in the City of Topeka, graduating from the high school there in 1903. He then entered Campbell College, where be was graduated in the literary course in 1909. His studies preparing him for the ministry were pursued in McCormick Theological Seminary at Chicago, from which he was graduated in 1911. On the 26th of September of that year he was ordained to the ministry, and since then he had devoted all his energies and talents to the work of the church and on a rising scale of success. He served the churches of Pawnee, Illinois, Collinsville, Oklahoma, and Frankfort, Kansas, before coming to Concordia in 1915. He is a forceful preacher and had the gift of making his discourses interesting as well as instructive and thus he wields a large influence over the audiences which attend his church every Sunday.
In June, 1911, Rev. Mr. Deever married Miss Dora C. Van Dyke. They are the parents of three children: Harold, Hazel and Merwin.