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NH minister celebrates 60 years of service

Special to the Union Leader
May 08. 2013 11:10PM

Rev. Raymond D. Hahn was recognized for 60 years of ministry at a dinner following the morning worship service at the Congregational-Christian Church of Franklin on April 21.

Rev. Hahn began his ministry on the third Sunday of April, 1953 in a little country church in west-central Illinois, near the Mississippi River. He received his divinity degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and was ordained as a minister on Oct. 16, 1955.

Since then, he has been a pastor, associate pastor, minister of education, youth minister, missionary, administrator, interim minister, supply preacher, speaker and leader of worship.

In his six decades of ministry, Hahn has served more than 200 churches and organizations of 21 denominations in 14 states, from Los Angeles to Lubec, Maine, as well as in the Canadian province of Newfoundland.

He likes to say that when someone asks him "what are you?" his answer is "whatever is needed."

Since "retiring" to New Hampshire in 1987, Hahn and his wife, Irene, have served 50 churches and organizations in the Granite State, ranging from Berlin in the North Country to Nashua near the southernmost border.

He also has performed many weddings and conducted funerals.

Since 2003, he has been pastor of the Chapel of St. John of the Mountains in Ellsworth, a nondenominational seasonal church with guest preachers and musicians from different denominations each Sunday in the summer.

Also, for the past 11 years, the Hahns been going to Forestview Manor in Meredith to conduct worship for the residents.

Hahn's longest ministry was as superintendent of the Maine Sea Coast Missionary Society.

The headquarters is in Bar Harbor, with the area of service being the many small islands and little coastal towns of Maine.

The principal instrument was a 65-foot motor vessel named Sunbeam, which had a minister and crew of three that regularly visited the islands to offer worship and pastoral care. The mission also had 10 ministers resident on the islands and in the little towns of "Downeast" Maine.

For the past 19 months, the Hahns have been supplying the Congregational-Christian Church of Franklin while the church has been looking for a pastor.

In addition to his career as a minister, Hahn was a teacher for 14 years. He has a bachelor of science degree from Southern Illinois University and a master's from the University of Illinois.

He has taught on all levels: elementary, junior high, senior high, college (Prince of Wales College in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada), and university (University of Illinois and State University of New York).

He also served as an education specialist in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

The Hahns will celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary on June 18.

Rev. Hahn said of his wife, "She is absolutely indispensable to my ministry. I am legally blind, so she does all the driving and all the Scripture readings during worship."

He added, "Both of us come from long-lived families. So, after we complete our ministry in Franklin, we will be available to other churches which need a supply."

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