Remembrances of the Rev. John Sayre
During my years at Eureka College and involvement with the Campus Ministry program, I felt a calling to minister to and with college students. To help me with this decision, during 1954-55, my senior year, I applied to be an intern in the Campus Ministry program at the Christian Student Center at Okla. State University, Stillwater, Okla. I was fortunate to be accepted, along with Dick Galusha, as the two interns to work under the leadership of the Rev. John Sayre.
John was leading the premier Disciples Campus Ministry program of the country, ministering in a variety of ways to around 500 students from the University. We interns had a great number of experiences throughout that year under John's detailed leadership and planning. An additional blessing of this year was the meeting of one of the campus ministry student leaders, Patsy Ann Moss, who later became my wife.
In the middle of that year, John evaluated my work and felt I would be a good candidate for the Campus Ministry. From the seminaries to which I applied and was accepted, John felt his alma mater, Yale Divinity School, had the best program for Campus Ministry. In the fall of 1956, after a wonderful year of experience under the ministry of John Sayre, I entered YDS. I am eternally grateful for his wonderful Christian spirit and leadership that he shared so generously with me.
John and Herwanna have remained dear friends throughout these ensuing 59 years.
Rev. Bob Regenold
Associate Minister, Ret.
First Christian Church
Memorial to John Sayre
Roberta Hamburger's musings
John Sayre offered me a job as cataloger at the Seminary Library in Enid, Ok, before I had completed my degree. We had met at a library conference where the offer was made. I was scared to death to say yes, so I said no. For a couple years I worked in a multicounty library system, when I heard the job in Enid was open again. My interest was primarily in technical services and I was now interested in the position. I applied and was delighted to be hired. It was the position I dreamed of. John was my mentor. He taught me everything I needed to know about administering a theological library, teaching a class of seminary students about resource material in theology. He also helped me learn about the intricacies of budgeting and staffing a library.
I could not have had a better boss. After we had worked together a few years, John had the bright idea that we should put together a guide to the theological reference material he taught the students. John did the legal work to make the publishing a manual possible and he did the creative work to put it together. I did the details, computer input and accounting. For several years we sold these manuals, not only to our students but also to seminaries all over the U.S. and Canada. Then the Internet came into being and took away the need for a printed resource. It was great while it lasted.
When John retired, I was so grateful that I had learned enough to feel able to assume the directorship of the Seminary Library. I certainly could not fill his shoes. He was one of the best, and most knowledgeable librarians I ever knew in the field of theological resources. His match will never be met.
My wife Shirley Mason Marsh and I Rob Marsh first met John at the DSF college Student Center in Stillwater, Ok the first year that I attended Okla A &M the summer of 1953 We remember the great programs and trips John planned for us at the Student Center.
Several years later we met them in Enid and joined many of their fabulous world wide tours. What an impact both John and Herwana made on our lives and on all who met them!
Dear Friend Herwanna,
Patricia and I are saddened to learn of Johns passing, but we rejoice to know that he is at peace with our Lord. It is hard to accept the loss of one of the really good guys. As you know our friendship goes back to 1958 or so. John came to University Christian Church in Austin, Texas to be interviewed for the Youth Minister position at our church. He was the first to fill that position and he filled it wonderfully well for 5 or 6 years. His program became a model for the other churches around the UT campus. I was Director of the Student Activity Center(Texas Union) at UT Austin. We worked together on many projects. A little social group coalesced around you and John, all of us with young children. Naturally, whoever was John's partner at bridge usually won high score.
Later, at Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma he kept the library going for both the Seminary and the College. Again, both students and faculty benefitted greatly from his administrative skills and his service to the broader church. More recently the residents of Foxwood Springs benefitted from his administrative skills as he provided wonderful trips and other enriching activities that most Senior Living places only hope for. Fortunately, Patricia and I have benefitted from your visits to Colorado and our visits to Missouri.
A life fully lived—organizing, administering and always benefitting others. What a friend—and we will miss the pleasure of his company.
I have the fondest memories of John Sayre at the Univ of Texas at Austin. I met John in late summer 1970 when we both were working on our doctorates in the Graduate School of Library Science. I liked him immediately for his energetic spirit, sense of humor,and gracious manner.Soon I would admire his work ethic and productivity. He was already Director of Libraries at Phillips University and somehow managed to keep work,family, publishing, and doctoral study all going well.
When John came to Austin he pulled the family travel trailer behind and installed it in a trailer park not too far from the university. The trailer was home whenever John was in Austin. That's where we got to meet his wife Herwanna at a reception at the trailer during her next visit from Enid. Six or eight of us huddled in the little trailer, had snacks and drinks and a great fun time
In the months ahead John and I were to team teach two sections of the library school's reference class. write an article together for publishing, and compile a collection of readings (on self-paced instruction) which managed to sell ok and which, much to our good humor. sold well in Australia for some reason.
I'm grateful for John and feel blessed to have known him as a colleague and friend.