Church Reinstatement

Church reinstates man 160 years after expulsion for aiding slaves

Descendants of a man who was expelled from a Cincinnati-area church for helping runaway slaves in the 1840s gathered this weekend for his posthumous reinstatement into the religious community.

The Sharonville United Methodist Church welcomed the family of John Van Zandt, more than a century after he was kicked out for immoral and un-Christian conduct. His reinstatement yesterday restores his name as a lifelong member in church records.

Sixty-one-year-old John Van Sandt of Marshall says the service to restore his great-grandfather's name to the church rolls was awe-inspiring.