Bio: Babler, Rev. James H. (Golden Anniversary - 2018)
Transcriber: Robert Lipprandt
Surnames: Babler, Warmuth, Zank
----Source: The Star News (Medford, WI) 7/12/2018
Rev. James H. Babler of Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church in Stetsonville will observe 50 years in the ministry during the 9:30 a.m. music festival service on July 15.
Babler attended Grace Christian Day School in Oshkosh. In his freshman year, he entered Winnebago Lutheran Academy in fond du Lac, graduating in 1960. He attended Northwestern Lutheran College in Watertown graduating from there in 1964 and went on to attend Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in Mequon graduating in 1968. During his seminary years, Babler was a part-time vicar at St. Paul’s Church in Cudahy, where he helped with making hospital visits, catechism classes, and preaching once a month. He also coached the boys’ basketball team at St. Paul’s Lutheran School.
After finishing his first year at the seminary, he married his wife of 53 years Donna in 1965. In 1966, he vicared at Trinity Lutheran Church in Marshfield for one year before returning to the seminary for his senior year, graduating in 1968.
Babler received his first Bachelor of Divinity call to two parishes in rural Minnesota, St. Paul’s in Seaforth and St. John’s in Belview. In 1970 he received a divine call to Good Shepherd Lutheran Church n Sioux Falls, SD where he also served as the WELS pastor at the South Dakota State Prison. In 1972 he received a divine call to Salem Lutheran Church in Lowell where he served for 12 years. In 1984 he received the divine call to Zion Lutheran Church in Stetsonville where he has served faithfully for 34 years. In 2017 Zion Lutheran Church extended a semi-retirement call to Rev. Babler to continue to serve Zion’s congregation in an outreach capacity conducting weekly worship serviced in area nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Medford, Abbotsford, Dorchester and the Clark County center in Owen. He along with the late Rev. Marvin Zank started the Monday morning worship services at the hospital nursing home in 1989.
Babler said the highlight of his years was being able to have the services with the nursing home residents and assisted living people. Another special highlight was being able to have the Christmas and Easter services broadcast on WSAU TV, Wausau and WEAU TV, Eau Claire.
In August Babler will finish up his work at Zion performing his last wedding there. The Bablers have two daughters, Elizabeth of Sheboygan and Erica Warmuth and her husband Ben and their three children of Silver Lake.
Babler said if health remains he will still be available when needed to fill in where needed. During his semi-retirement he served vacancies at Rib Lake and Christie/Globe rural Neillsville and is presently helping at Merrill.
Pastor Babler will be celebrating his 50 years in the ministry and 34 years at Zion Lutheran. He will be preaching his farewell sermon during the July 15 music festival service at Zion Lutheran Church. The service will begin at 9:30 a.m. and will be followed by a barbecue chicken dinner at the church. The music and celebration will continue at the Centennial Community Center from 1 to 4 p.m. Everyone is invited to attend.
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