|Born on September 22, 1891, in Gypsum, Kansas, Nathaniel Melbert was the second to the youngest of nine children of Casper and Catherine Melbert. He was a graduate of the University of Kansas and the Y.M.C.A. Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. His ministry began in 1917 in Houston, Texas, with fifty hymnals and a tent.
He married Ethel May Perkins in 1918, and two children were born of this union, Shirley Melbert Roper and James S. Melbert.
Brother Melbert was a member of the Texas Conference at the beginning of his ministry, was sent to University Church in Berkeley, California, and then to various churches in Texas. He was the District Superintendent of the Marlin District, Marlin, Texas. He came to First United Methodist Church in New Orleans in 1941 and was minister of that church until his retirement in 1960. Under his leadership the merger of the original First Methodist and the Canal Street Methodist Churches of New Orleans was successfully accomplished. First Church, New Orleans, was his only Louisiana assignment.
Following his retirement, he and his wife moved to San Antonio, Texas where he joined the Travis Park Methodist Church as an associate pastor for several years. He began a Sunday School class whose membership amounted to 100, with regular attendance of approximately 75 persons every Sunday. That class is still going strong with approximately 45 to 50 persons attending every Sunday. Brother Melbert taught up until his 91st birthday. He died December 26, 1984.
His Sunday School class at Travis Park United Methodist Church has established a scholarship fund in his honor and memory, the proceeds of which will be used to help young preachers.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1985, p. 254 By William C. Blakely|