Rev. Caleb Hauser was born of American missionary parents in Bisrampur, India. He spent his childhood among the Winnebago Indians near Black River Falls, WI, later attending schools in Rising Sun, IN and Archbold, OH.
Responding to God’s call to the ministry, he enrolled at Mission House College in Franklin, WI, graduating in 1897. Three years later he graduated from the Mission House seminary, serving Reformed churches in Ohio, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Between times of service in the pulpit, Hauser also worked as a backwoodsman, clearing and cultivating land. He also served as Stated Clerk of the Sheboygan Classis of the Reformed Church in the U.S.
His wife’s grandnephew, Rev. Paul Treick, currently serves as Stated Clerk of the Synod of the RCUS, and remembers that Uncle Caleb “used to walk at least 10 miles a day, even in his eighties. His wife, Aunt Lydia, was a nurse and a real character.”
Another interesting parallel is that Paul Treick serves as Editor of the Reformed Herald, while Uncle Caleb was editor-in-chief of the German-language Reformierte Lehre und Wehre. A prolific writer and poet, Caleb Hauser also authored a large number of poems, sonnets, and hymns-which brings us to the present day.
At the 2004 Synod held in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, a copy of one of Rev. Hauser’s books of poems was donated by the family to City Seminary’s library. Browsing through the volume on the trip, seminary board member Wayne Johnson was struck by a particularly beautiful Easter poem. Thinking the poem would be a beautiful hymn, he jotted down a melody and, upon his return to Sacramento, shared it with Barry Sindlinger, an accomplished pianist and member of the Sacramento RCUS congregation.
In Wayne’s words, “Barry turned a simple melody into a truly majestic hymn that those of us in the RCUS may well find a fitting addition to our unique Reformed hymnology.” Readers will note that the musical score has been entitled “Newton,” a name taken from the small town near the present-day site of the Manitowoc RCUS congregation (and reputed to be the home of the world’s finest bratwurst).
Plans are underway for the hymn to first be sung in public worship on Resurrection Sunday at the RCUS church in Manitowoc.