In memory of Pastor David Wilson

Posted on February 18, 2013

David Wilson was Pastor at here for many years.  His memorial services was this past weekend.  As we look back at the first 100 years of the Hartville Church of the Brethren, we are constantly reminded of his influence and guidance.  We have included his obituary here as a small tribute to a man with a large heart.


Obituary for David Wilson
David C. Wilson, 327 Community Circle, Palmyra, PA, passed peacefully from this life on February 1st, 2013.

Born April 13th, 1931, he is survived by his wife of 59 years, Sara Grossnickel Wilson, four children: Dean (Wanda), Diane (Joe Wren), Donna (Rob Stevens), and Doug (Bená); grandchildren Kyle, Colin Wren, Andrew Wren, and Abby Stevens; step-grandchildren Todd Russ and Dan Stevens and sister. Lois Anderson.

The youngest of six children born to Esco and Olive Wilson in Three Springs, PA, David was a lifelong member of the Church of the Brethren. He answered a divine calling early on to become a minister in his faith. While serving in the church’s Brethren Volunteer Service, in Castanar, Puerto Rico, he met Sara while they were both on assignment at this location. After they married in1953, David graduated from Elizabethtown College, and Bethany Theological Seminary, Chicago, IL prior to serving as pastor of 5 Brethren churches as well as several interim assignments throughout OH, VA, and PA spanning 40+ years. He served his church on a national level as a member of the COB Pension Board from 1985-88, and as a frequent delegate over the years to the church’s national conference/governing body, providing input for the church’s growth. David was well-respected, had a fierce sense of humor which was often instrumental in turning church members into friends as he strived to strengthen the personal journeys of faith in all those whose life he touched.

While their grandchildren were young, they visited often at grandpa Dave and grandma Sara’s home where they were welcomed for overnight visits. Their lives were strengthened in tangible ways, leaving memories that will never fade, enabling them to grow strongly into their true selves – much in the same way as with Dave and Sara’s children experienced before them.

David was loved, and leaves a legacy as big as his heart – with a clear message of caring for one’s neighbor as oneself.
Two memorial services are planned to celebrate David’s life:

For the members of his immediate community on Feb 16th, 10:30am, at Lebanon Valley Brethren Home, 1200 Grubb St., Palmyra, PA, in the Community Room/Chapel.

A service will also be held for family and friends on Feb 17th, 2:30pm, at the Mechanicsburg Church of the Brethren, 301 Gale Street, Mechanicsburg, PA 17055.

In lieu of flowers or gifts to the family, please consider making a donation to those organizations David believed strongly in: Central PA Food Bank,, 717-564-1700

Good Samaritan Fund, Lebanon Valley Brethren Home, 1200 Grubb Rd., Palmyra, PA 17078

Hoffman-Roth Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc., 219 North Hanover Street, Carlisle is in charge of the funeral arrangements.

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