The Sherman Family
Welford and Irwin Sherman
Welford Ashton Sherman, Jr. was the son of Welford Ashton Sherman, Sr. and Anna Ward Craun Sherman. Welford, Jr. (also known as "W.A.") married Marjorie Irwin Moomaw. They had three children: Rebecca, David and Nancy Gray. W.A. served during WWII, earning a Bronze Star and two. He was discharged with the rank of major.
When he returned home, W. A. Sherman, Jr. supported the Orange community through many organizations. In 1951, he was elected a member of the General Building Committee for the new Sunday School Building. He was elected as a Deacon in 1952.
Mrs. Irwin Sherman joined the Women of the Church. She was soon selected to a committee to paint and redecorate the sanctuary with left over money from the treasury. Irwin Sherman also lead the children’s choir. Not only did she direct them, she made all their robes.
W.A. Sherman Co.
W. A. Sherman Co. was an Orange heating, electrical, and plumbing firm started by Welford Ashton Sherman, senior in 1919. By the 1950s, ownership had passed to W.A. Sherman, Jr. and his brother Frederick ("Fred") Wise Sherman. Through the company, these men were responsible for the HVAC and electrical systems of the church buildings.
Fred and Lulu Sherman
Fred Sherman married Lula ("Lulu") Herndon. They had four children: Rick, Susan, Page, and Benjamin. In 1964, Fred was elected as a Deacon. He oversaw repairs to the church, the Sunday School building and the Manse.
Fred Sherman was part of the Personnel Committee, monitoring church staff, and a member of the Finance Committee. In 1968 he joined the Property Committee. Fred was also part of the Plant Study Committee to research the condition of the older buildings. Fred moved to the Session in 1972.
On Sunday mornings, Fred Sherman went to the church early to unlock the doors, turn on the lights, and either the heat or air conditioning. Many Sundays, you would find “Freddie” Sherman in the back of the sanctuary monitoring the sound system so everyone could hear.
“Lulu” Sherman joined the Women of the Church and organized many meals to be served in the Fellowship Hall. She also served as President of the Women of the Church (WOC). Lulu was involved in the WOC’s Service Project. The project raised money for the Building Fund. Lulu helped by making pies and pecan tarts to sell.
Lulu Sherman was the first woman to serve as a Deacon. Freddie and Lulu took charge of setting up communion on the appropriate Sundays and continued it for many years. Lulu also has been vigilant helping the Property Committee keep the grounds trimmed and neat.
Two of their children continued to be a part of OPC. Susan Southard was Office Administrator for awhile and now serves on the Board of the OPC Weekday School. Rick Sherman followed his father’s footsteps. He's president of W.A. Sherman Co., and quietly takes care of the church's heating, cooling and electrical needs.
Mary Anna Sherman and Courtney Lawler
Fred and W.A.'s sister, Mary Anna Sherman, married Courtney Franklin Lawler. They had two sons, Ashton and Stuart.
Mary Anna served with the WOC. She participated in the building fund Service Project by making salads, rolls and cakes to sell.
On January 1964, Courtney Lawler was elected a Deacon member and served as Chairman of the Board of Deacons in 1966. He later went on the Session.
Mr. Lawler was Principal of Orange Elementary School for many years. Mary Anna was also involved with education. She taught 2nd grade at Grymes Memorial School for over 35 years.
Orange Presbyterian Church has been blessed by this family and all they have given.
- Jennie Hill Robinson
OPC History Team
Anna Ward Craun Sherman
Anna Ward Craun married Welford A. Sherman, Sr. and they had six children: Welford Ashton Sherman, Jr., Mary Anna Sherman (Lawler), Frederick Wise Sherman, Sarah Sherman (Cowherd), Jane Sherman (Harmon), and Alice Sherman (Bovee). Anna and Welford raised their children in the Orange Presbyterian Church.
Anna Ward Sherman was active in the Women’s Auxiliary. She helped with mission work. and raising funds for the church debt and repairs needed to the Manse. On top of that, in 1936, Mrs. Sherman volunteered to be custodian of all church linens…laundering and keeping them in place.
Three of their children remained faithful members of OPC after marriage and raised their children to do the same. Welford, Jr. and Irwin Sherman, Courtney and Mary Anna Lawler, and Freddie and Lulu Sherman were all mainstays of the congregation.
Anna passed away in in September, 1956. On September 1, 1957, new air conditioning and a set of communion vessels were dedicated in her memory.
Today, OPC is fortunate in many ways from the faithfulness of some of the grandchildren who still attend.
- Jennie Hill Robinson
OPC History Team