In her casket were two bottles of Old Milwaukee beer and a cigarette.

We certainly were surprised as we viewed the body of the mother of one of our Awana leaders. We heard that she had told her family that she wanted to be buried with her beer and her cigarettes and the family honored her wish.

I imagine that her son was probably embarrassed by this family decision and it made me realize how difficult it must be to be the only Christian in your family. As we drove home from the viewing my mind was directed to Psalm 16:6 that proclaims, “Yea, I have a goodly heritage.”

Yes, I am so very fortunate to have a goodly, Godly heritage, and so are you. Please don’t ever forget it and never take it for granted.

Your heritage begins with your parents. Your dad and your uncles, Craig, Ken and Tim, all came to know the Lord as children. The Lord allowed all three to marry wives who knew the Lord as Savior. All have tried to raise you and their families to honor the Lord.

Grammy and I also asked the Lord to be our Savior while we were young children. We have tried to live lives that please Him. On our honeymoon the Lord led us to Psalm 92:13, “Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.” We have tried to follow this promise all of our married lives. Elsewhere in this book you will find the principles that we have tried to model and pass on as our legacy.

Your parents also had uncles and aunts who loved the Lord and were active in many areas of service and ministry. Uncle Terry, Aunt Kendy and Aunt Sue also accepted Jesus as their Savior when they were children. Uncle Leon served as a pastor in several churches after completing Bible school.

The goodly heritage also includes your great grandparents. Grammy’s parents – Gramps and Muz Bickle - both loved the Lord. They made Him central in their family life after Gramps accepted the Lord as his Savior later in his life. They loved to entertain visiting preachers and missionaries. Muz taught Sunday School. Gramps (Glenn Bickle) had a special gift of evangelism and was responsible for leading many people to the Lord. Sharing the Gospel with others was his greatest joy. He was very active in Gideons, taught Sunday School and led prayer meeting. He and Muz were very faithful in their prayer life and they prayed daily for their children, their grandchildren, and their great grandchildren.

Muz (Mary) was a Deitrich and was the youngest of six children – Ray, Bob, Ethel and Hattie and Ida who died as a child. In the latter years of his life, Grandpa Deitrich lived with Gramps and Muz until he died. His father was a preacher. Gramps had two sisters, Ruth Lewis and Miriam Hubler and one brother, Floyd, who died when he was young. Your dads might remember Mom Bickle who came to know the Lord in her later years.

My parents, Grandma and Grandpa Kauffman, were charter members of our church, Faith Bible Fellowship Church, in Lancaster. They were very instrumental in getting the church started in 1950. Grandma taught Sunday School, was active in Womens Missionary Society and Awana and had a CEF club for children in our home. They took us to almost every church service, all of our lives, even when it meant going by train or bus or driving 40 miles to get there. For well over 50 years Grandpa (Horace Abraham) taught Sunday School, was an elder, served as church delegate, handled the church financial records, and served as financial secretary for the Bible Fellowship denomination and worked in Awana. He also served on the boards of Berean Bible School, Lancaster Christian School, and Calvary Homes. His life was devoted to serving the Lord and setting an example for his family.

Grandma (Aletha or Dolly) Kauffman was a Wise and grew up in the Herndon area before moving to Sunbury. She was one of seven children born to Mammy (Alice) and Pappy (Lloyd) Wise – Sis Neidig, Anna Mahlon, Phyllis Gaugler, Bud, Sam and Richard Wise.

Your great great grandfather, Grandpa Kauffman’s real father, Horace Abraham Kauffman, died during the flu epidemic of 1919 when Grandpa was just two years old. He had one real sister, Ellen Derck. Grandma was then encouraged to marry a friend of his, Norman Wolf, and they had two daughters, Beatrice Derck and Thelma Smock. Thelma married Bob who became a pastor for over 50 years in our denomination. Ellen and Beatrice married brothers – John and Marlin. All the family loved and served the Lord and they were all very instrumental in my Christian growth.

Norman Wolf became a real father to Grandpa Kauffman and a special grandfather to me. He served as a pastor for over 65 years. He performed our wedding ceremony and was our pastor for several years while we were in Sunbury. He was a real pastor with a heart for his congregation. He was a man of prayer. He was the most Godly person I have ever known and was a great influence on my life.

Grandma (Esther) Wolf also came from a family of believers. Her brother, Timothy Gehret, was a pastor and a presiding elder in our denomination for many years. Another brother, Myron was an elder in our Bethlehem church. His wife, Lizzie, was a brother to Grandpa Kauffman’s real father. Grandma Wolf’s father, A.B. Gehret, was also a pastor. I remember her mother, Grandma Ettinger, who died in 1944.

Your great great great grandfather was Charles L. Kauffman (1861-1942). In 1896 he was appointed postmaster of Zion Hill. He too loved the Lord and several times took Grandpa Kauffman to services at Holiness Camp Meetings. Part of his farm was used for the Zionsville Bible Fellowship Church where the Wolfs are buried. His father – your great great great great grandfather Abraham Kauffman (1840-1889) was the last secretary of the church to write the minutes in German. His father was Samuel (1840 – 1889) and his father, your great great great great great great grandfather, Abraham (1780 – 1860) was one of three brothers who came here from Germany. He settled in the Lehigh Valley.

There are so many more stories that could be told, but I hope that you see that you indeed do have a goodly, Godly heritage. However, such a heritage means nothing when it comes to your personal salvation. It is your responsibility as an individual to accept the Lord’s free gift of salvation and experience the forgiveness, which he gives. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. It is my prayer and my deepest hope that you will make this vital decision and someday when the Lord returns you will be with the Lord and all of us who have gone before you.