Risch to celebrate 50 years in service

The Rev. H. Eugene Risch, a Priest in the Anglican Episcopal Church, will celebrate 50 years in the Christian Ministry (and still going).

There will be a celebration Mass on Saturday, June 14, at 10:30 a.m. at Faith Lutheran Church, 2021 Fir St., Cottonwood.

The celebrant will be the Rt. Rev. George W. Conner, the bishop of this jurisdiction of the Anglican Episcopal Church.

Rev. Risch will participate and preach the sermon. All baptized Christians are welcome to receive the Holy Sacrament.

Rev. Risch was baptized and confirmed and was very active in his home church, Mt. Airy United Brethren Church in Cincinnati. At the age of 14 he became organist of the Church.

He taught Sunday School and served in many offices. Sunday after Sunday during the sermon he (out of the view of the congregation) chose the music for the next week. Then he began to listen to the sermon and felt that the pastor was speaking directly to him. He did not realize then that he was receiving the call of Christ to Pastoral Ministry.

He had begun his university education majoring in Spanish and Biology intending to work for the government of Mexico in water pollution -- until he met Glad, with whom he fell in love at first sight and quickly decided she was more important than water pollution. They were married and had two children before he accepted the call of Christ to active ministry.

Rev. Risch has an A.B. from the University of Cincinnati with a major in Ancient and Medieval History, an MDiv. (cum laude) with majors in Church History and Pastoral Counselling from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

He was invited to do a Doctoral Program at the University of Chicago Theological Seminary, but thought that 20 years of schooling was enough.

He began his Ministry on June 13, 1958, as pastor of Willey Memorial E.U.B Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. He served Christ in churches in Ohio, Colorado, and Wyoming

(two of which had more than 700 members). He retired (the first time) in 1992. He and his wife moved to Cottonwood in 1995. Shortly thereafter he served as Organist (about 4 years) and as interim pastor for a brief period at Haven United Methodist Church in Jerome.

He founded the Holy Trinity Anglican Church of the Verde Valley in 2004 and he and his wife worked very hard for two full years when he "had" to retire again because of some surgery that required five months off his feet. He has now recovered from that and he and his wife have started a House Church in their living room (114 Lampliter Village, Clarkdale) where he celebrates Mass (using the 1928 Book of Common Prayer) the second and fourth Sundays at 10 a.m. It has now been suspended until fall because of persons travelling, etc.

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