Our Community Leaders: Rev. Robert Millspaugh

| June 24, 2015

MillspaughCOSHOCTON – Reverend Robert Millspaugh found his way to Coshocton County from his home near from New York City on Sept. 1, 1972. He and his wife, Grace, moved here so that he could be minister at the First Presbyterian Church of Coshocton. They have a son, Mark Millspaugh and two grandsons, all of whom live in Newark. “This is home now, since I’m an only child. All the family I have is here now.” Robert has been ‘officially’ retired from the ministry for a little over a year, although he still occasionally fills a pulpit as a substitute. “My work is my desire, so I didn’t have much time for outside interests.”

In the past, he has been involved with the Kiwanis and Rotary Clubs, but has not been active for a while. Currently, Robert is a Hospice volunteer and sits on the Salvation Army Advisory Board. “These are two wonderful organizations of which to be a party. Leadership Coshocton County showed me that I could put my time and talent to good use.”

Robert decided to go through Leadership Coshocton County (LCC) because he thought that it was a tremendous program. He had known about the program almost from its inception because Bob Thomas, who was heavily involved from the beginning, was a member of his church. Robert had been in the community for a while and thought that perhaps he would have something to offer to the class as well learning from the program. “It was a fascinating year and well put together.”

When asked about the highlight of the class for him, Robert said that it was hard to pin down just one thing. “I learned much and was very interested in what’s going on in the community.” He said that he got to know a lot of the leaders in manufacturing and learned a lot from them. He enjoyed the sessions on government, too, as politics also interested him. Robert says that LCC created a deeper awareness of what is going on in Coshocton. His class’ project was the Skate Park.

While LCC opens up new opportunities for some of its graduates, Robert felt that his life was full and he was not really searching for new things. However, he formed several new and enhanced some previous friendships with some of his classmates. “Several friendships deepened. I had known John Lepla, but we became much more buddies through the program. I also got to know Janet Mosier well and we have enjoyed each other’s company since the class.”

When compared with how the community was when he first moved here, Reverend Millspaugh sees the community as struggling. He is anxious to see what happens with Kraft and hopes that it will the beginning of a comeback. “Certainly, as Christians, we view the future with hope.” Of great concern to him is the drug issue. “It is a terribly confusing situation affecting the job force. We should not be down-playing it, but we should be seeking solutions.”

One of the community programs that Robert feels is helping in this arena is the Circles program. This local arm of the national program is focused on helping low-income families out of poverty with an 18-month program. “People in our community need more than material help, they need guidance. Slowly, but surely, we are seeing positive changes.”

Reverend Millspaugh says, “I would definitely recommend LCC for others. I finished it up with very positive feelings and I would like to pass it on to those who would benefit from it.”

The Class of 2016 is currently being formed. LCC graduates can continue the experience by helping on the Alumni Council. The LCC Alumni Council meets regularly to plan opportunities for all past graduates. Any LCC graduate is welcome to attend the meetings or the programs. Information about LCC classes and the Alumni meeting times can be found at http://www.coshoctonfoundation.org/leadership/ or by calling 622-0010.

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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