Biographical Sketch

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clark1945Gordon Haddon Clark was born on August 31, 1902, the only son of the Rev. David Scott Clark and Elizabeth Haddon Clark. Gordon’s father had graduated in 1887 from Princeton Theological Seminary and after pastoring two other Philadelphia area churches, was now pastor of Bethel Presbyterian Church at the time of Gordon’s birth. The Rev. D.S. Clark remained as the pastor of Bethel until the time of his death in 1939 and so Gordon was truly “brought up in the shadow of the Bethel Presbyterian Church.”

Gordon Clark profited immensely both from the Christian home in which he was raised and also from the superior educational system of his day. At home, he was taught the Westminster Shorter Catechism by his father and he took full advantage of access to his father’s library, familiarizing himself with the writiings of Calvin, Warfield and Hodge. At school, though only enrolled in a vocational high school, he was given an extensive education which included both Latin and French.

He went on to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania in 1924 with a Bachelor’s degree, and again graduated from the same institution in 1929 with a Ph.D. in philosophy. In March of 1929 he married Ruth Schmidt, his wife of 48 years and to this marriage two children were born, Lois Antoinette and Nancy Elizabeth. Upon graduation, Dr. Clark took a position as Instructor of Philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania from 1929 to 1936. Additional study at the Sorbonne in Paris took place during these same years. From 1936 to 1944 he served as Professor of Philosophy at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL. 

On August 9, 1944 Dr. Clark was ordained into the ministry of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church by the Presbytery of Philadelphia. He served as Stated Supply at the Trinity OPC Church of Cincinnati, OH while also working as Professor of Philosophy at Butler University. While remaining in his post at Butler until 1973, he left the OPC and was received on October 14, 1948 by the Presbytery of Indiana of the United Presbyterian Church of North America (UPCNA). From 1958 to 1965 he pastored the First UPCNA Church of Indianapolis, IN, which church soon moved with him to affiliate with the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America, General Synod, Dr. Clark having been received by the Western Presbytery of the RPCNA, GS on October 29, 1957.

The RPCNA,GS was a very small denomination, but Dr. Clark was one of several men responsible for significant growth in the denomination during the 1950’s. He later supported the move to merge the RPCNA,GS with the Bible Presbyterian Church, Columbus Synod. This latter group was the larger wing of the 1956 division of the Bible Presbyterian Church, originally formed in 1937 in division from the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. In 1961 the Columbus Synod renamed itself the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, holding this name from 1961 until the 1965 union with the RPCNA,GS. The resulting denomination was now know as the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod (RPCES).

[Later, when the RPCES merged in 1982 with the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), Clark choose not to join the PCA, but instead transferred his ministerial credentials into the unaffiliated Covenant Presbytery. That transfer occurred on 14 May 1983, and his ministerial affiliation remained there until his death.]

clark01During all of this ecclesiastical activity, Dr. Clark continued in his position as Professor of Philosophy at Butler University, working there until 1973. It was during his tenure at Butler that some of his best works were written and published. Thales to Dewey [1957] remains an important college-level introduction to philosophy. Other titles written during this same period include A Christian View of Men and Things [1952]; Religion, Reason and Revelation [1961]; Karl Barth’s Theological Method [1963]; What Do Presbyterians Believe? [1965] and Biblical Predestination [1969].

In 1974 Dr. Clark finally left Indianapolis and Butler University, having served there as Chairman of the Department of Philosophy from 1945 until his retirement in 1973. With the start of the 1974 academic year, he begin teaching at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA. He remained there for ten years, while also teaching during the summers at the Sangre de Cristo Seminary in Westcliffe, CO and intermittently at the Reformed Episcopal Seminary in Philadelphia, PA.

The Rev. Dr. Gordon Haddon Clark died on April 9, 1985, after a brief serious illness. Dr. Clark’s wife, Ruth, had died in 1977, preceding Dr. Clark by some 9 years. At the time of his death, Dr. Clark was survived by his two daughters and their husbands, 12 grandchildren and one great grand-daughter. Funeral services for Dr. Clark were held on April 11, 1985 at the Sangre de Cristo Church in Westcliffe, CO.

Dr. Clark was the author of over 33 books and numerous articles and had been a founder of the Evangelical Theological Society. When discussion began in 1980 towards the union of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod (RPCES) and the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), Dr. Clark found himself an opponent of that merger, perhaps in part because the plan also entailed the simultaneous union of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. While the OPC did not come into the merger, the 1982 joining and receiving of the RPCES into the PCA left Dr. Clark with the decision to be dismissed by the Tennessee Valley Presbytery of the PCA on September 11, 1982. He was received by the unaffiliated Covenant Presbytery in May, 1983.

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Biographical Sketch:
Leroy Tate Newman [1885-1969]LeRoy Tate Newland was born in Galva, Iowa on 7 March 1885 to James Tate Newland and his wife, Fanny Rosalia Maria (Miller) Newland. He was educated at Davidson College, attending from 1904-1908 and graduating with the B.A. degree, before attending the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in preparation for ministry, 1908-1911.

Following closely on the heels of graduation, he married Sarah Louise Andrews of Charlotte, North Carolina on 5 May 1911, and then pursued his examinations under the Presbytery of Wilmington. He was licensed to preach on 11 May and ordained to the ministry on 12 June of 1911. The young couple then took up a foreign missions post in Korea, where Rev. Newland served from 1911 until 1940.

His term of service in Korea was broken into basically three phases, serving in Kwangju from 1911-1914, then moving to Mokpo from 1914-1918 before returning to Kwangju and remaining there from 1918 until the end of his missions work in 1940. In 1926, perhaps while on home missions assignment, Rev. Newland earned the Th.M. degree from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA. It was during those years on the mission field that the Newland family grew to include seven children.

With war looming, Rev. Newland and his family children returned to the United States, and he answered a call to serve a group of smaller churches in and near Union Point, Georgia, from 1941 until 1954. Rev. Newland then took a call to serve as the pastor of the Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church in Blowing Rock, North Carolina, laboring there from 1954-1957 before being entered on the rolls as honorably retired in 1957. In retirement, Dr. Newland was active in working with the Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship, a ministry headed up by the Rev. William E. Hill, Jr.. His reward at hand, LeRoy Tate Newland entered glory on 16 July 1969.

Among his distinctions and honors, Davidson College conferred the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1933. Dr. Newland also authored at least two published works during his lifetime, both of which are noted by Harold B. Prince in A Presbyterian Bibliography: #2482 (p. 240), So Rich a Crown: Poems of Faith (Atlanta, GA: Gate City Printing Co., 1963), 85 p. and #2483 (p. 241), Illth or Wealth?: A Series of Four Bible Studies for the Men of the Presbyterian Church, U.S. (Chattanooga, TN: General Assembly’s Stewardship Committee, Presbyterian Church in the U.S., 1924), 48 p. Davidson College holds one copy of the former title and the Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA holds a copy of the second work.

Memorial Tribute by Sarah Bolton Lunceford, one of Rev. Newland’s daughters:
LeRoy Tate Newland, missionary to Korea, father of seven, man of many gifts, was born in Galva, Iowa, on March 7, 1885. His family moved back to North Carolina, to Chadbourne, where his father had a strawberry farm. James Newland made an unusual offer to each of his sons: a part of the farm or higher education. Roy Newland made his choice, and went on to graduate from Davidson, from Louisville Seminary, and to get his master’s from Princeton Seminary. His honorary doctorate was bestowed by Davidson.

In 1911, he married Sarah Louise Andrews of Charlotte, and the two went out as missionaries to Korea. She was 20, the youngest missionary in the field. He, as an evangelist, worked under the itinerating system: long journeys, lasting several weeks, exploring the Korean countryside out from Kwangju, their home station, establishing small house churches, to be visited again and nurtured. Eventually, he had set up over a hundred and twenty.

Because of his unassuming competence and dependability he became treasurer and secretary for the mission — the Southern Presbyterian compounds and work in South Korea. His sermons were admired for their content and his presentation of them. His commentary on Leviticus was used for years in the seminary at Seoul.

His children delighted in his company because of his simple, direct love and his pleasure in good humor and bad puns. Among their most cherished memories are summer days in the mountain cabin when he would read aloud Slappey and Glencannon stories from The Saturday Evening Post, with his reading getting ahead of his voice so that he was too convulsed with laughter to share the passage with his imploring audience. Then there were the long walks when he would name the plants and answer all the questions asked by seven lively children. There were the rousing family hymn-sings which he led with such enthusiasm even if not necessarily on key. And the “Dear Family” letters he so faithfully wrote over the years, sharing the news and his tender love, extracting a promise that letters would continue to bind the family even after he was gone.

One of Roy Newland’s gifts was a love for and facility with poetry. He wrote hundreds of poems —an original one for every birthday of every child and the wife he adored; one for her every morning that he made her breakfast and carried it in to her on a tray; frequently, in later years. He wrote about his struggles, about the work, about his unworthiness and Christ’s great love that had redeemed him. A collection of his poems was published, but it barely sampled the outpouring.

True to his background, he loved to garden, to hike, and to hunt, the latter a special pleasure in a country where weapons were forbidden so that game multiplied unchecked. (His permit came from Tokyo itself and was the occasion of frequent visits from suspicious Japanese inspectors.) He also loved to read, to learn, to explore the frontiers of knowledge. His probing mind wanted to know how the world worked, in all its fascinating aspects.

Gifted in mind, intellect, and soul, LeRoy Tate Newland was a man of parts. He was, truly, in the words of an English friend, “a lovely man.”

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