From Gene Rooks.
Frank Schell Ballentine was surely one of the most colorful members in the memory of our family. He graduated from the Universtiy of Pennsylvania in 1882. (Aunt Isabel reports he walked 10 miles each way to attend.) He obtained post-graduate degrees there and the University of Boston. He held a B.A., M.A., B.D., D.D., and P. An Episcopalian, he served as rector at the Church of the Good Shepherd, and Christ Church in Scranton during the years his family grew up. His last church (1906-1913) was at historic St. James Church, Perkiomen, now Evansburg, PA. Problems he had with his bishop and congregation finally caused him to resign from St. James Church, even though he was strongly supported by ex-Gov. Samuel Pennypacker, one of his vestry-men, at a heated church business meeting. Eventually legal action was taken, with the court siding with the Bishop. The underlying reason is not clear, but two comments survive. "The minister did not always wear ministerial clothing when away from the church, whic was almost unheard of in those days." We have a picture of him styled "The Chester Carpenter" in denim bib overalls. He apparently was in demand as a speaker, and this was one of his personna. "His religious doctrine changed after he met Maria Muir." It is certain his doctrine did differ from orthodox Episcopalian views, as can be gathered from his writings, which were far earlier than his meeting with her.
He was a prolific writer, and published his own translations of the gospels and other books of the bible. He styled it "The American Bible - The Books of the Bible in Modern English for American Readers". His price sheet in 1902 states, "This is not a revision. It is not a paraphrase. It is a genuaine modern translation from the original Greek into fresh and original English, and is most distinctively American." It must be noted that his publications were privately done, and according to a copy of a bulletin of the Historical Society of Montgomery County, not well received by his ecclesiastical peers. He also issued many smaller works, some titles are "Thinking Good is Thanking God", "Work and a Woman's Way", "God-health's Birth and TWice-Born Men", "Our God and God-health Our Healer". He used the pen name of Craig MacCameline for his smaller works. During World War I he enlised as a chaplain at the Naval Home and Hospital in Philadelphia, and also served at several American Legion posts. When I was born in 1932, he sent addressed to me, Miss Gene Alison Balentine, Orlando, Florida, a letter of welcome, two small pamphlets of his entitled, "The Spirit Itself", and "An Idea of God and Life", and a gift of money. With no more adress than that and a 2-cent stame, it was deliverd. His stationery read Macameline Hall, Skippack Hills, Collegeville, Pa.
I communicated several tiems with Merrill A. Bean, who was both Church Historian for St. James, and President of the Historical Society of Montgomery County. He provided much information on Rev. Ballentine, and also the Weber and Casselberry families, who were closely connected with that church. He wrote that one man remembered from his boyhood that he was a stately man with a beard who enjoyed physical exercis, particularly walking. He said he had a brillian mind, and was an excellent conversationalist.