Rev. Elwood L. Ulmer Sr., Baptist minister who helped struggling churches and helped start new ones, dies – Baltimore Sun

The Rev. Elwood L. Ulmer Sr., a Marine Corps veteran, Mason and Baptist minister whose ministry spanned seven decades helped struggling churches and helped plant new churches, died Oct. 23 of kidney failure at Bonnie Blink Masonic Home, Maryland. in Hunt Valley. The former longtime Parkville resident was 95 years old.

“Elwood’s two passions were praying and sharing the gospel message,” she said. “He was so cute and every time I looked at him he reminded me of Burl Ives with a goatee. If any visitors came to the church, he would grab his walker and thank them for coming. He confirmed the visitors.

Marlin L. Mills is the grand master of the Masonic Lodge at Bonnie Blink and a friend for over three decades.

“Apart from just being a minister, he was a good man,” Mr Mills said. “He kept clothes, shoes, furniture in the shed and if he heard someone had lost everything in a fire, he would take them and make sure they got what they needed. He always tried to help people on the street. If there was a soup kitchen, he would have helped right there.”

Elwood Lawrence Ulmer Sr., son of DuPont Co. employee Frank Ulmer and housewife Louella Ulmer. He was born in Tuxedo Park, Delaware and raised on his family’s farm in Elkton.

He dropped out of high school and entered the Marine Corps, through which he trained as an underwater demolition specialist and served in Hawaii. He earned his GED while serving and was a Golden Gloves boxer.

“Marines are supposed to be tough, but he was as nice a guy as they come and just a good soul,” Mr Mills said.

After his discharge, Rev. Ulmer found his life’s work.

“He attended a Youth for Christ meeting and knew he wanted to spread the word and dedicate his life to the church,” said Rev. Klapka.

Rev. Ulmer earned a bachelor’s degree from what is now Wayland Baptist University in Plainview, Texas, and a master’s degree in theology from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He was ordained a Baptist minister in 1952 at Bethel Baptist Church in Plainview.

He pastored churches in Louisiana, and some of the congregations he led after returning to Maryland included Linthicum Baptist Church, Parkville Baptist Church, North East Baptist Church, Essex First Baptist Church, Loch Raven Baptist Church, Lee Street Baptist Church, and Temple Baptist. Church in Glen Burnie.

“He worked with struggling churches and helped start new churches, so we moved around a lot and lived in different places,” said daughter Emily Michelsen of Davidsonville.

He retired from Linthicum Baptist Church, where he returned as interim pastor in the 2000s.

In addition to his church work, Rev. Ulmer was director of the Curtis Bay Nutrition Ministry, worked in prison ministry, and was involved with the Baltimore Rescue Mission. He was a missionary in Africa and Nicaragua and helped build a church in Alaska.

Additionally, she was chaplain for the Maryland State Police Alumni, volunteered with Child Protective Services and the American Red Cross, and was the resident manager at Camp Wo-Me-To in Jarrettsville.

“His ministry was forever,” said his daughter.

Rev. Ulmer also ministered at the Delaware Raceway in Dover where he enjoyed clowning for local children.

“Dad served as ‘Bussie the Clown,’ always tying balloons while spreading love and joy in knowing Christ,” Ms. Michelsen said. “If he visited, you could never walk into the hospital without seeing an apple balloon. He made apple balls for each worker and recited Psalm 17:8, “Keep me as the apple of your eye; Hide me in the shadow of your wing.

In addition to clowning around the racetrack, he was also a regular at the Tall Cedars pancake breakfast in Lebanon, according to his daughter.

“In his 90s, he continued to teach Sunday school … until about a year ago, when he fell and broke his neck,” Rev. Klapka said. “He was always committed when it came to passing our pitches and I said we can force the young guys to do it because they have knee problems. He said, ‘I want to keep doing this until I can’t do it.’ He was just an incredible person.”

Reverend Klapka said he would call on his friend to lead a service now and again.

“He could lead the whole congregation and never have to use or look at her notes,” he said.

Reverend Ulmer was never without a gospel tract in his pocket, which he eagerly shared with others.

“He always had to turn them in,” said Reverend Klapka. “He would go around and ask people if they had one, and if not, he would give it to them. He wanted to share his word.”

Rev. Ulmer was a Freemason for over 54 years and attained the 33rd degree. He was an active member of Pythagorean Lodge 123, Grand Lodge of Maryland and other Masonic organizations.

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“He was our chaplain at the nursing home in Bonnie Blink,” Mr. Mills said. “He would go from room to room and even perform church services. He was a man who practiced what he preached.”

Rev. Ulmer and his wife, the former Margaret Emily Popp, whom he married in 1952, had been residents of Bonnie Blink since 2010.

In addition to hunting and fishing, Rev. Ulmer was an accomplished artist who worked with acrylics to create landscape paintings. According to his daughter, he was an avid reader who studied the Bible daily.

He was also an avid beekeeper who enjoyed traveling, taking cruises and playing board games.

His wife, who worked as a social worker for the state and later worked in administration, was a past president of the Maryland State Women’s Missionary Union and the United Baptist Women of Maryland. He died last year.

A memorial service will be held Nov. 26 at 1 p.m. at Chestnut Ridge Baptist Church, 1010 Saters Lane, Timonium, with Rev. Ulmer officiating.

In addition to his daughter, Rev. Ulmer is survived by two sons, Elwood L. Ulmer Jr. and Frank Ulmer, both of Jarrettsville, survive; two other daughters, Susan Copenhaver of Parkville and Victoria Mottram of Suffolk County, England; three brothers, Francis “Frannie” Ulmer of Elkton, Charles “Butch” Ulmer of Northeast, and Clarence “Suki” Ulmer of Aladdin, Wyoming; two sisters, Roberta “Bobbie” Stigile of Chestertown and Carol Rash of Elkton; 14 grandchildren; and 15 grandchildren.

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