Dr. Melvin Vilhauer '58

Lakeland Runs Deep

When I accepted what I understood to be God's call to the Christian Ministry, I inquired of a neighboring pastor about seminaries to attend. Rev. Robert Klaudt, a graduate of the class of 1918 at Mission House Seminary, recommended Mission House to me (which later become Mission House College, then Lakeland College).

To my surprise, the pastor who baptized and confirmed me at the Hosmer, SD Reformed Church--the Rev. Walter Grossman--had also attended Mission House Seminary.

My second year at Lakeland College, Donald G. Stannard was my roommate. His father, the Rev. Donald T. Stannard, was a Mission House graduate (class of 1930). While at Lakeland, I met Nancy Toltzmann and later asked her to be my wife. Her pastor at Wesley United Methodist Church in Manitowoc was the Rev. Donald T. Stannard.

Back in those days, the population of Lakeland was much smaller. We considered ourselves a family, a very close knit family. Dr. Arthur Krueger, then-President of Lakeland, offered the kindness of his counsel as we prepared to be married. Rev. Donald T. Stannard officiated at our wedding, with the Rev. Wilson Bixler (also a graduate of Mission House) assisting. Don G. Stannard '58 was the best man and John Bixler '59, another roommate, was the photographer.

While I was a resident in Jubilee Dorm, seminary students like Gene Krueger and Harvey Kandler extended many invitations for popcorn and conversation after studying hours. The seminary students lived on the first floor. With deep gratitude and appreciation, we shared in the family called Lakeland College. I spent seven years as a student--the first year at Mission House College, the next three at Lakeland and then another three at Mission House Seminary. I graduated from Lakeland in 1958 and Mission House in 1961.



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