Biography of Paul Schmidlin
Paul made his Via de Cristo weekend in 1987 on the Good News! Via de Cristo #2 in Ottawa Lake, Michigan where he sat at the table of "Peter". His Rector that weekend was Luther Peil and the lead Spiritual Director was Pastor Norman Witchen. Both Luther and Norm have garnered a deep respect within the Via de Cristo community for their work and had a powerful impact on Paul’s appreciation for, and commitment to the Via de Cristo method. He has seen Via de Cristo impact countless lives for the good, and, more significantly to him, carry the gospel to those "araway" from the kingdom of God.
Paul worked very closely with Luther Peil and Pastor Carroll Lang from 1994 through 1997 to create the first version of the Via de Cristo Essentials Manual. He has made significant contributions through the years by being part of the Publications Committee, by chairing the Authentic 3-Day Weekend Committee, and serving as a speaker and worship leader at national meetings. On the local level he has served on over 30 weekends, and worked closely with the Good News! Secretariat serving as a spiritual director and a clergy representative to the national meetings.
Paul, along with his services for Via de Cristo, continues as a worker-priest at King of Glory Lutheran Church in Sylvania, Ohio; a position he has held since 1986. He is a 1976 graduate of The Evangelical Lutheran Theological Seminary of Columbus, Ohio, and in 1979 he built from scratch a successful insurance agency in Perrysburg, Ohio. After retiring from insurance in 2004, he has focused his many talents on 'not-for-profit' efforts and family activities.
Paul considers himself especially blessed by having been a defensive lineman for the 1968 National Champion Ohio State Buckeyes. He was able to start every game in his Ohio State football career, he lettered three years in wrestling, and played two years in the Canadian Football League.
Paul and his wife Tracy are very proud of their combined 7 children and 15 grandchildren.