REV. WILLIAM A. GRING, A. B.
April 1863 August 1865
The interim between the pastorates of Dr. Koplin was filled in part by the pastorate of Rev. W. A. Gring. While Mr. Gring was a man of good education and of considerable ability, he failed to impress his people as did his predecessor, Dr. Koplin. Perhaps his work was over-shadowed by the activities of the man who had won the hearts of the Wilhelms. The records of the church are silent concerning his work, and we are led to believe that it was largely of a routine nature, a matter of holding the fort until the return of Dr. Koplin.
Rev. William A. Gring, son of Rev. Daniel and Catharine Gring, was born at Paradise, Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, January 12, 1838. When he was about fifteen years old, he removed with his parents to Shrewsbury, York County, where he was confirmed, May 6, 1854. He received his preparatory training at McEwensville and Franklin and Marshall Academies. In 1856, he entered the Freshman class of Franklin and Marshall College and was graduated with his class in 1860.
Two years later, he completed the theological course at Mercersburg, and in October of the same year was licensed to preach by the Synod in session at Chambersburg. In 1863, he was commended by the Board of Visitors of the Theological Seminary and elected by the Synod as travelling fellow in accordance with the provision of the theological tutorship scheme. This honor he declined. He was ordained June 8, 1863.
The first Charge in which he labored was the Paradise Charge, known then as the Grantsville Charge, and his pastorate covered a period of two years and four months beginning in April 1863. From the Paradise Charge, he went to Harrisburg, where he had charge of a mission for over two years. We next find him located at Danville, where he was assistant to Rev. J. W. Steinmetz. Subsequently he served the Mount Moriah, Maryland, Charge for seven years, beginning in October 1869; the Sulphur Springs Mission in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, for five years; the Emmitsburg, Maryland, Charge from July 1881 for one year.
His health failing, he removed to Somerset County, October 1, 1882, and engaged as agent for the White Bronze Statuary and Monumental Works for two years. It was while thus employed that Rev. C. U. Heilman met him one day and inquired if he were not going to attend a certain meeting at Somerset, at which all the ministers of the Classis were expected to be present. Mr. Gring replied that he was going after other business, adding: "My work has not been acceptable unto the Lord, for he has silenced my voice".
The monumental business being distasteful to him, he returned to Maryland in October 1884 and located on a small farm about a mile from Frederick, where he died of consumption, February 8, 1889. He lies buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Frederick.
Rev. Mr. Gring was married, November 20, 1873, to Miss Emma A. Stonebraker, and was the Father of two Daughters.