Dr. Ernst G. Schmidt - Founder & Chief Executive Officer Emeritus, Gloria Dei Communities Corporation
Dr. Ernst G. Schmidt, a retired pastor of a Lutheran Church in Montgomery County, PA, is a creative man who has brought untiring dedication to his ministry. Dr. Schmidt's powerful philosophies have been a source of rich inspiration to thousands of people who have been motivated by his uncomplicated approach to successful living. His "opportunity attitude" and dynamic style have made him a popular speaker and broadcast media guest. Dr. Schmidt's 42 years of dynamic leadership brought in a membership that exceeded 4,000.
In 1970, Dr. Schmidt told a story to his congregation about their family butcher who had retired and had no place to go. Dr. Schmidt felt that this problem should become a part of his ministry. He set out on a mission to do just that, provide affordable housing for seniors. With the help of his congregation and the office of HUD, The Towers in Huntingdon Valley, PA was built and dedicated in 1974. This was followed by The Manor in 1978, also in Huntingdon Valley. The Plaza, located in Bucks County, was dedicated in 1982. The Farms, a complex that houses The Farms, an independent living facility, and Personal Care at the Park, a personal care facility, was dedicated in 1991 in Hatboro, PA. The Manor Court Cottages which are part of The Manor in Huntingdon Valley, were dedicated in 1995. The Estates in Philadelphia was dedicated in 1999. This mission provided six independent living facilities and one personal care facility by 1999. As one of the foremost authorities on retirement living, Dr. Schmidt directed that this non-profit organization provide affordable, independent living facilities for seniors, regardless of gender, familial status, race, creed, color or religion.
Frank Johnson, President of the Board of Directors (Retired)
Frank Johnson had a commitment to this mission of Ernie Schmidt's in its early days. Soon after joining the Board of Directors, he became the president and continued to volunteer in this position for more than 30 years. He led many talented volunteers on the Board to complete the facilities of Gloria Dei Communities.
"For all of us the satisfaction came from observing the vibrant, caring and loving ambiance that the residents brought to the bricks and mortar that we provided.