Each year, during the annual Alum Association Reunion and the Festival of Theology, LPTS honors selected graduates with the Distinguished Alum Awards for their vision, accomplishments and leadership in their respective callings. The awards were established in 1986. Over the years, the Seminary has recognized
80 alums in a variety of fields including pastoral, seminary and denominational leadership, publishing, social and ethical activism, and teaching.
The 2006 recipients include: Dr. Frank E. Bean Jr. (BD ‘62; ThM ‘65; DMin ‘93); Dr. George Edwards (BD ‘51); The Rev. James D. Howie (BD ‘59); Dr. Thomas L. Jones (MDiv ‘55; ThM ‘59; DMin ‘77); Dr. William McAtee (BD ‘59; ThM ‘65); The Rev. H. William Peterson (BD ‘61) posthumously; and Dr. L. C. Rudolph (BD ‘51). Their stories are shared as inspiration for many who seek to contribute to the ongoing ministry of Jesus Christ in the world.
Dr. Frank E. Bean Jr.
(MDiv ’62; ThM ’65; DMin ’93) has followed a life calling in which his ministerial gifts have served the church, education, business and industry, and intercultural programs.
Bean is a self-described “Mountain William,” a person from the hills of Tennessee who had a chance to get a little “book learnin’.” He said, “In the process of trying to get a little education at Florida State University, I lost my Student ID card. A “bright eyed” young girl named Miki Kendall found and returned the card. Three years later we were married, in 1954, and have been together ever since.”
After graduating from Florida State with a Bachelor of Science degree in baking science and management, Bean began a career in the food industry, where he honed his skills in teaching and training others. Sensing a call to ministry, he earned an MDiv (1962), ThM (1965), and DMin (1993) from Louisville Seminary, distinguishing him as one of only 13 graduates since 1917 to have earned three or more degrees from the school.
His calling led him to Indiana, where he served four churches until his retirement in 1998 from Christ Presbyterian Church of McCordsville, Ind. Throughout his ministry, Bean chaired numerous Presbytery committees and served as the Presbytery’s moderator. For two consecutive terms, he was moderator of Immanuel Presbyterian Church, an African American congregation in Indianapolis that was in pastoral transition at the time. He also served the church as a commissioner at two General Assembly gatherings and as a representative for the Theological Education Fund (TEF).
Bean has demonstrated a hunger for lifelong learning. He has specialized in communications, human relations, experiential learning, and training, which has resulted in many teaching, consulting, and training opportunities for the church, Indiana University, Indiana Vocational Technical College, and several
______________________________________________________ Dr. George Riley Edwards
(BD ’51), retired in 1985 after
serving 27 years as Professor of New Testament Studies at Louisville Seminary. As a Patterson scholar during his studies at LPTS, and as an instructor in New Testament Greek while earning a doctorate at Duke University, Edwards prepared himself to meet the challenge of teaching theological students. He said, “I did not consider my academic vocation to be something apart from ecclesiastical and social responsibilities.”
He was ordained in 1951 in North Carolina and served churches in rural areas, blue-collar communities, and in small towns. He has ministered to Tlinget Indians in Alaska and helped to establish a predominantly black congregation in Louisville at the request of the Presbytery.
Yet it is Edwards’ teaching and mentoring that have become a legacy of encouragement and inspiration to his students, who still tell stories about his provocative lessons and the way he challenged them to get involved.
Edwards says his commitment to peace and justice was first expressed during his senior year in college when took a stand for peace and registered as a conscientious objector in World War II. His assignments took him to the Blue Ridge Mountains, to the state mental hospital at Williamsburg, Va., and to a malaria experiment at a New York hospital. After the war he participated in relief work in Italy, sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee.
Throughout 60 years of ministry, Edwards has walked the talk for peace and justice. He is a founding member of and active participant in the Louisville Chapter of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, begun in 1975. He has taught at his home congregation of Central Presbyterian Church in Louisville for 25 years. He is the author of numerous books on theological ethics and issues of violence, militarism, and oppression of humanity. His tireless efforts against the death penalty have moved persons and institutions to help release from prison wrongly accused individuals. And many LPTS graduates have moved their own congregations to similar activism as a result of Edwards’ example.
Upon his retirement, LPTS established The Edwards Peacemaking Lectureship to honor George and his spouse, Jean, for faithful leadership in Christian efforts for peace and social justice by augmenting the Seminary’s curriculum in areas related to peacemaking and Christian ethics.
______________________________________________________ The Rev. James D. Howie
(BD ’59) was born in Randolph County, Ill., to a family rich with Scotch-Irish Presbyterian heritage dating from the Second Reformation in Scotland. From his birth,
Howie was called to serve the Presbyterian Church.
As a student at Millikin University, where he majored in history and political science, Howie was assistant to the head of the history department and taught beginning Greek class his senior year. During this time, he also served as pulpit supply in churches of the Larger Parish of the Open Door in the Illinois Alton Presbytery.
Following college graduation in 1956, Howie enrolled at Louisville Seminary. He continued to supply the same churches in the Parish, driving 321 miles each way, each week. He never missed a Sunday service, and he missed classes only once to return for a funeral. Upon his graduation in 1959, he was recognized with a field-work award and scholarship.
Howie was ordained by Alton Presbytery and installed as pastor of the yoked Butler, Donnellson, Reno-Bethel, Sorento, and Waveland Churches, a pastoral relationship beginning
47 years ago and continuing to the present.
Throughout his ministry he has served the Presbyterian Church on many committees at the presbytery and synod levels, working with mission, youth, and in continuing education. He served as moderator of the Presbytery of Southern Illinois and helped to prepare by-laws for the new presbytery in 1972. Currently, he is moderator of the Permanent Judicial Commission, member of the Committee on Ministry, Presbytery historian, and mentor for two commissioned lay pastors and one temporary supply pastor.
Howie’s lifelong ministry has extended into the community through adjunct teaching in field education for Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and supervising students preparing for ordination and ministry.
______________________________________________________ Dr. Thomas Laird (Tom) Jones
(MDiv ’55; ThM ’59; DMin ’77), vice president for Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI), has served as managing director of the Washington, DC, office since 1991. The nonprofit, ecumenical housing movement
seeks to eliminate substandard housing from the world and build houses in partnership with those who would otherwise be unable to afford their own home. In addition to the 1,687 domestic affiliates, HFHI has projects in 99 other countries on six continents. In his work, Jones seeks to maintain a high profile and presence of HFHI among the national and international Habitat partners, including governments, professional organizations, labor unions, church bodies, and corporations.
Prior to his current ministry with HFHI, Jones served as pastor, professor, seminary administrator, and denominational staff person.
He was the organizing pastor of Meadowview Presbyterian Church and senior pastor at Harvey Browne Memorial Presbyterian Church, both in Louisville, Ky. He served congregations in Florida, including the bi-racial, bi-lingual New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Miami as the organizing pastor in 1965. For 12 years he served as senior pastor of the 1,600-member Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC.
In the academic world, Jones served Louisville Seminary as vice president, adjunct professor of church and ministry, and as a member of the faculty from 1977 to 1980. In 1961, he was president of the Alum Association. While serving in Washington, DC, he taught at Wesley Theological Seminary.
Jones earned degrees from Maryville College (BA), LPTS (MDiv; ThM; DMin), and Southwestern (now Rhodes) at Memphis (DDiv), and he has continued his education on the topics of management, church planning, politics and religion, fundraising, and more from other prominent institutions. He is the author of When Leisure Is the Lord’s (CLC Press) and a speaker of national reputation, including appearances on television and radio, such as the Protestant Radio Hour preacher and NBC National Radio Pulpit preacher.
______________________________________________________ Dr. William G. McAtee
(BD ’59; ThM ’65) grew up in Mississippi. He graduated from Southwestern (now Rhodes) at
Memphis, and earned the Master of Divinity degree from LPTS in 1959. Following ordination, McAtee returned to his home state and served as pastor of two congregations in Mississippi. He completed the Master of Theology degree at LPTS and accepted a call from the Board of Christian Education (PCUS) in Richmond, Va., where he served four years with the Children’s Work and Communication staff.
In 1971, McAtee became Associate Executive and then Executive Presbyter of Transylvania Presbytery in Lexington, Ky., where he served until his retirement in 1997. During his service to the Presbytery, McAtee completed the Doctor of Ministry at McCormick Theological Seminary (1977) and was a commissioner to the General Assembly (PCUS, 1977). He has served as adjunct faculty for three seminaries including Lexington, McCormick and LPTS, where he co-teaches the popular Small Church Ministry course. McAtee has served on the LPTS Board of Trustees since 1997 and on the Executive Committee since 2000.
In retirement, McAtee has led four delegations to Cuba as part of Transylvania Presbytery’s partnership with the Villa Clara-Sancti Spiritus Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church in Cuba. For five years he was a commissioned volunteer missionary to Cuba. In 2002, he helped to initiate the First Call Seminar, a program for new pastors in the Synod of Living Waters.
Recently, he completed a lifetime dream to preserve the extensive history of the Union Presbytery Movement, which resulted in capturing 98 unrehearsed oral histories. The bound transcripts totaled nine volumes, and he donated a copy of them to the Ernest Miller White Library at LPTS. In a forthcoming book based on his research McAtee credits the Union Presbytery Movement for initial efforts toward Reunion of the northern and southern branches of the Presbyterian Church in 1983. In her review of the manuscript, Presbyterian Voice editor Jane Hines said, “It’s hard to stop reading this book, once you get started. It rings so true and so very real. It may be one of the most important contributions to the history of our denomination, written in our time, by a man who was there.”
______________________________________________________ The Rev. H. William (Bill) Peterson
(BD ’61), 1936-2005, is received the Distinguished Alum Award posthumously. His friend and colleague, Rev. William G. McAtee, wrote the following tribute for Mosaic magazine (Fall 2005).
H. William “Bill” Peterson and I have been friends for over 46 years, through which we have traveled a long winding road together, and God was faithful to us.
Our journey began at 109 East Broadway, took us away from Kentucky and back again to this moment at 1044 Alta Vista Road. This place and those we connected with at Louisville Seminary played a formative role in our lives.
Bill Peterson graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky., and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary (BD ’61). A retired Presbyterian minister at the time of his death, Bill served as a pastor in Springfield, Ky.; as executive presbyter for the Presbytery of Western Kentucky; and as the executive director of Montreat Conference Center in North Carolina for ten years. He also served on the national staff of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. in Richmond, Ky., during the 1960s, and on the national staff of the Presbyterian Church (USA) after moving back to Louisville in the mid-1990s.
One theme that bound us together was “discovery learning,” a way of approaching life with our eyes wide open. Our lives were filled with insatiable curiosity, education, and ecstasy. We were not just satisfied with theoretical constructs; we were obsessed with application to life.
Bill was a wonderful LPTS alum who served this Seminary well, including a stint as Interim Director of Continuing and Lay Education and service on the Alum Association Board. He was instrumental in helping to develop the collaboration between the Synod of Living Waters and the Seminary that led to the creation of the Entry into Ministry Program. And last spring he received a letter notifying him that he’d been selected as “distinguished alum” for 2006.
Elizabeth Barrett Browning said in her poem, “Aurora Leigh”:
Earth’s crammed with heaven and every common bush afire with God,
but only he who sees takes off his shoes; the rest sit round and pick blackberries.
Something special took place in our common journey with Bill Peterson and it wasn’t just picking blackberries.
So Bill we salute you and hold you close in our hearts. Thanks for inviting us to be part of your life.
______________________________________________________ Dr. L. C. Rudolph
(BD ’51), library director emeritus at Indiana University, has ministered to others through his love of history, especially church history and the history of religion in Indiana.
After serving in the United States Air Force during World War II, Rudolph embarked upon his life calling to research and teach history. His journey began as a Rector Scholar at DePauw University in 1946. Following graduation he studied church history at LPTS (BD) and earned a doctorate in the same discipline from Yale University in 1958. Later, Rudolph studied Reformation history at the University of Zurich.
In 1954, Rudolph was called as an instructor at Louisville Seminary, where he became a professor and taught for 15 years, serving as a mentor to several generations of Presbyterian and Methodist student preachers. During his tenure, he also served as Assistant to the President and Executive Associate and helped to raise funds for the construction of the new campus at 1044 Alta Vista Road.
After serving as the rare book bibliographer (1969-70) for the Van Pelt Library of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Rudolph accepted the position as Head of Technical Services (rare books and special collections) at the Lilly Library on the campus of Indiana University, where his reputation among library professionals and scholars reached international audiences. He retired from the University in 1987.
Rudolph is best known for his extensive research on religion in Indiana. His first book, Hoosier Zion: The Presbyterians in Early Indiana (1963, Yale Press), was the impetus for a number of commissions requested by other religious groups, including a biography of Francis Asbury for the Methodists and church histories for young people requested by the Moravians and Presbyterians. Indiana University published Religion in Indiana: A Guide to Historical Resources (1986) and Hoosier Faiths: A History of Indiana’s Churches and Religious Groups, which Rudolph completed in 1996.
For more information on previous Distinguished Alums or to nominate an alum for the award, visit the Distinguished Alum Awards