Feast of William Hiram Foulkes (June 14)   1 comment

PCUSA 1937

Above:  Part of The Christian Century‘s Report on the 1937 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.

Photograph Dated December 31, 2013

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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WILLIAM HIRAM FOULKES (JUNE 16, 1877-DECEMBER 9, 1961)

U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer

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Science and religion no more contradict each other than light and electricity.

–William Hiram Foulkes

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William Hiram Foulkes, born in Qunicy, Michigan, in 1877, was a Presbyterian minister, a denominational statesman, and a writer of hymns.

The progress of our saint’s career was as follows:

  1. Foulkes graduated from the College of Emporia, Emporia, Kansas, in 1897.  Next he attended McCormick Theological Seminary, where he received the Bernardine Orme Smith Fellowship for general excellence.  He also studied on the graduate level at New College, Edinburgh, Scotland.
  2. Foulkes ministered at churches in Elmira, Illinois; Portland, Oregon; New York, New York; Cleveland, Ohio; and Newark, New Jersey; in that order.
  3. Foulkes served as the General Secretary of the Board of Ministerial Relief and Sustenation of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. from 1913 to 1918.
  4. Foulkes served as the Chairman of the New Era Movement (in full, the New Era Expansion Program) of the denomination.  The purpose of the New Era Movement (1919-1933) was to encourage cooperation among congregations, presbyteries, synods, and denominational boards and agencies to promote stewardship, ecumenism, and missionary education.
  5. Foulkes sat on the General Council of the denomination.
  6. Foulkes contributed to the 1935 Handbook to the 1933 Hymnal.
  7. Foulkes served as the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. in 1937-1938.
  8. Foulkes retired in 1941.
  9. Foulkes died at Smithtown, New York, in 1961.

Our saint wrote at least three books:

  1. Living Bread from the Fourth Gospel (1914), a devotional volume;
  2. Sunset by the Wayside (1917), a volume of poems; and
  3. Homespun:  Along Friendly Roads (1936), a volume of Christian essays.

He also wrote hymns, including “Take Thou Our Minds, Dear Lord” (1918), which I have added to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.  It is a hymn about consecration to God–having the mind of Christ, yielding to God, et cetera.  He wrote it as a devotional text for young people.  Dr. Calvin Weiss Laufer had asked Foulkes to compose words

that will challenge their hearts and minds.

–Quoted in William Chalmers Covert and Calvin Weiss Laufer, eds., Handbook to The Hymnal (Philadelphia, PA:  Presbyterian Board of Christian Education, 1935), page 266

Perhaps the best way to conclude my remarks is to affirm a simple prayer from that hymn:

Guide Thou our ordered lives as Thou dost please.

Amen.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 16, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE VICTIMS OF THE HAITI EARTHQUAKE

THE FEAST OF GEORGE AND LILLIAN WILLOUGHBY, QUAKER PEACE ACTIVISTS

THE FEAST OF SAINT PACHOMIUS, FATHER OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNAL MONASTIC LIFE

THE FEAST OF RICHARD MEUX BENSON, FOUNDER OF THE SOCIETY OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

We bless you for inspiring William Hiram Foulkes

and all who with words have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 728

One response to “Feast of William Hiram Foulkes (June 14)

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  1. Pingback: Take Thou Our Minds, Dear Lord | GATHERED PRAYERS

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