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Pfisterer, The Rev. Dr. Fred R.

Posted: Wed 2:09 PM, Dec 11, 2013
Funeral Home: Johnson-Vaughn-Phelps Funeral Home
The Rev. Dr. Fred R. Pfisterer, 96, passed away in his home in Bowling Green on Dec. 8, 2013.

An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church for 70 years, he was raised in Louisville. Fred’s call to ministry led to an undergraduate degree from Kentucky Wesleyan College (’43) and bachelor of divinity and master’s degrees from Duke Divinity School (’46). He received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Union College. Committed to theological education, Fred also studied at six other academic institutions.

While at KWC, Fred appeared in “Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities.” In the mid-1950s, he was appointed associate professor at the college and he later served as president of KWC’s Alumni Association.

Before joining the Louisville Annual Conference, Fred served Haw River UMC (N.C.). Returning to his home conference, he was appointed to Beaver Dam UMC. Its congregation moved into a new church building under his leadership. In ensuing years, he served First UMC, Hopkinsville; State Street UMC, Bowling Green; Fourth Avenue UMC and St. Matthews UMC, Louisville; and First UMC, Henderson. While at St. Matthews, he and a committed, ecumenical group established Saint Mam’s Area Ministries.

During Fred’s years at Fourth Avenue, the church opened its doors to children suffering from autism and created a home on Third Street for recovering alcoholics. Fred, ministers of other denominations and laypeople established the still-vital Neighborhood Development Corporation; he was its first president. Fred also served as president of Mayor Frank W. Burke’s Advisory Committee for the development of Louisville’s waterfront area. While district superintendent of the Bowling Green District, Fred was elected by his Annual Conference to lead its delegation to General Conference.

In 1984, after five years as senior pastor of Henderson First UMC and 40 years in appointment, the Rev. Dr. Pfisterer retired from active ministry. He continued to serve on Annual Conference committees and preached and mentored young ministers. He and his wife, Ann, have lived in Bowling Green for 30 years.

Fred was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Elizabeth Pfisterer; sisters Thelma Pfisterer, Anna Mae Pfisterer and Margaret Whitfield; and brother Joseph Pfisterer. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Ann Rader Pfisterer; daughters Pem Pfisterer Clark (Glenn L. Johnson) and Dr. Katheryn Pfisterer Darr (Dr. John A. Darr); and grandson, Joshua Pfisterer Darr; siblings William Pfisterer (Louisville) and Florence Smith (Rockdale, Texas); and nieces and nephews.

Visitation is from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at Johnson-Vaughn-Phelps Funeral Home. The funeral will be at State Street UMC in Bowling Green at 10 a.m. Friday, with burial at 2 p.m. EST Saturday at Resthaven Memorial Park, 4400 Bardstown Road, Louisville.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Churches United in Christ Help Ministries, c/o State Street UMC, 1101 State St., Bowling Green, KY 42102, or The Harrell F. Beck Chair of Hebrew Scripture, Boston University School of Theology, 745 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215.
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