October 18, 1954: St. John's Lutheran Church Pastor David Longacre Commits Suicide
By Margaret Leidy Harner from her book One Day at a Time: A Social History of Boyertown, PA
October 18, 1954: Rev. David F. Longacre, Pastor of St. John’s Lutheran Church, did not show up for dinner this evening and his wife was concerned. Their son David went over to the church to get him. After checking all the usual places without finding him, David went into the church steeple, where his father was hanging from the rafters.
News of the suicide shocked the entire community and the accolades poured in. Rev. Longacre was praised for a full and fruitful life of service to the church and town for 28 years, shepherding the church through the difficult times of the Depression and World War II, supervising major additions to the building, writing a comprehensive history of St. John’s, and advancing the church into the 20th Century with the installation of a telephone and indoor plumbing.
His good work extended into the community as well; he was the Chaplain of Boyertown American Legion Post, a President of the Rotary Club and the YMCA, a director of the local American Red cross chapter, an advisor to the Leidy Rhoads Foundation, and an organizer of the Boyertown Midget Baseball League.
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