The Rev. John H. Giesler, 87, of Winston-Salem, passed into our Lord’s more immediate presence on June 7, 2018, at the Salemtowne Retirement Community in Winston-Salem. He was born in Green Bay, Wis. on April 3, 1931, to the late Laura Louise (Dickey) and Carl Giesler. John was educated at Milwaukee State Teacher’s College, Moravian College, and received a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Moravian Theological Seminary in June 1958. He married Barbara L. Gordon Aug. 17, 1957.
John was ordained a deacon in 1958, by Bishop Mewaldt, and consecrated a presbyter in 1965, at Bilwaskarma, Nicaragua, by Bishop Hedley Wilson. After 11 years of missionary service in Nicaragua, the Giesler’s returned to United States, where John was pastor of the Friedberg, King, and Bethabara congregations in North Carolina, and the New Hope congregation, Miami, Fla. After his retirement in 1996, he served the Willow Hill congregation in Cana, Va.
John had a great passion for serving the Moravian Church with a deep interest in its history and musical expression. In addition to his pastoral work, he was a president of the Board of Trustees of the Moravian Music Foundation, member of the Moramus Chorale, participant in many Moravian Music Festivals, president of the Hymn Society of America, and a member of the committee that published the 1995 Moravian Book of Worship. He and Barbara enjoyed taking hundreds of interested Moravians on tours to historical Moravian sites all over the United States and Europe.
John was preceded in death by five siblings, and a daughter, Becky Morgan. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Barbara; two daughters, Debby Pyatt and Cindy Meier; a son, the Rt. Rev. Chris Giesler; a son-in-law Derrick Morgan; eight grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren; and, one sister, Ann LaFortune. A memorial singstunde was held Saturday, June 16, at Fairview Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, with the Rev. Scott Venable officiating. Burial followed in God’s Acre, Salem.