Howard Smelky Retires!


The last church in the United States to issue communion tokens is about to undergo a huge change. First Presbyterian Church of Ida is seeing their longtime token dispenser Howard Smelky retire. There is talk that an automated token dispenser might be placed in the narthex when Howard is gone. There is still no comment from First’s session.

Communion tokens were first suggested by John Calvin to assure that no unworthy souls participated in communion. Reformed and Presbyterian churches across the United States used communion tokens until recent history. First has always contended that this practice should be maintained and that it has actually made communion a deeper experience.

Howard has been the ubiquitous symbol of First, standing in front of the the communion table once a month. As members come forward for intinction he collects their tokens.

Howard plans to spend more time with his family on Sundays. Attending his granddaughter’s soccer matches and reading the newspaper online are in his future for many Sunday’s to come. Howard we salute you!


2 Responses to “Howard Smelky Retires!”

  1. ryan Says:

    I am gonna miss Howard! His smile was almost as sweet as sweet jesus.

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