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Grants & Programs

Kessler Emergency Assistance Fund

The Kessler Emergency Assistance Fund

Dr. Silas G. Kessler, D.D (1911-2011) served his first Presbyterian Church in Nebraska in 1937.  In 1940 he received the call to serve as Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Hastings, which he continued to serve for the next 36 years, until his retirement in 1976.

In 1963, Dr. Kessler was elected to the office of Moderator of the 175th General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church of the United States of America. When the denomination decided to realign the boundaries of its synods and presbyteries to become more efficient and effective in ministry in 1973, Dr. Kessler served as the chairman of the committee of those presbyteries which came to constitute the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. He was elected to serve as its first Moderator. He has served as moderator at every level of the denomination: moderator of Session, Presbytery, Synod, and General Assembly. 

Following retirement from his pastorate in Hastings, Dr. Kessler engaged in fifteen years of Interim Ministry, and along with his wife, Ruth, served congregations in New Mexico, Wyoming, South Dakota, Missouri, Iowa, and Nebraska.  Dr. Kessler also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Hastings College (for 59 years), the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary Board, the Omaha Seminary Foundation Board, and the Board of Clark Jeary Retirement Community.

To honor the memory of Dr. Kessler and his gift of ministry and leadership, the Nebraska Presbyterian Foundation established the Kessler Emergency Assistance Fund in 2018 from a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Clark Jeary Retirement Community. Grants from this fund are for the benefit of PCUSA pastors (Installed or Commissioned Pastor) currently serving or retired from a Nebraska congregation within Central Nebraska, Homestead, or Missouri River Valley Presbyteries and currently residing in Nebraska.

For questions or to apply for the Kessler Fund, click here

Rev. Dr. Silas and Ruth Kessler
(photo courtesy of Susie Wilson, granddaughter of Silas & Ruth Kessler)