This is the first in a periodic feature highlighting members of the Historical Society board. We asked them to answer the question, “Why does history matter to you?” and to tell us a little about themselves.
Karin Bisbee: “I’ve always loved a good story. My parents often found me tucked away with my nose in a book, preferring novels to television shows. As I got older, I applied my love of language to writing. Although I studied English literature at Messiah College, I loved history and political science classes too. History often gets a bad rap as boring memorization of dates and places, but it’s so much more! History captures the stories of real people across the ages. Since I was not born into the Brethren in Christ Church, I am an Anabaptist by choice. Over the last 10 years I have especially enjoyed digging into the roots of this faith tradition. Working at Messiah Lifeways at Messiah Village for over a decade has introduced me to many retired missionaries and pastors whose stories have left an indelible mark. It’s an honor to serve on the board of the Historical Society as we seek to preserve our heritage and engage younger generations with the convictions and precious stories that continue to shape our beliefs.”
Karin and her husband Dan have been married for 19 years and have two children, Noah, age 12, and Sarah, age 7. They live in Mechanicsburg, PA and attend Grantham Church. She works at Messiah Lifeways as a strategic communications specialist.
John Dietz: “History matters to me because I grew up in the home of a man who loved history and talked a lot about it. So it was nurture as well as nature. I grew up appreciating the faith and practices of my elders and am enjoying seeing that same faith in the Lord now being passed down to my grandchildren. I am a member of the Lancaster district of the Old Order River Brethren and serve as one of the nine song leaders. I live close to where the Old Order River Brethren started in York County and not far from the historic home of Jacob Engle, one of the founders of the River Brethren, which became the Brethren in Christ.”
John and his wife Janet (Funk) have been married for 39 years and have one daughter, six sons, and 13 grandchildren. He is employed as a therapeutic staff support worker by Wellspan Philhaven and is also a certified organic crop farmer.