January - February 2003

Communication office founder turns 90

The Rev. Everett C. Parker, Director Emeritus of the UCC's former Office of Communication, turned 90 on Jan. 17. Four years before the UCC came of age in 1957, Parker founded its communication office to make sure the truth was being told about this new united church. For 30 years, Parker held the office to a high professional standard, and was cited by the Associated Press for "bringing professional skills to church communications."

Although he retired in 1983, Parker still teaches courses in communications policy and ethics at Fordham University. He has been especially active as treasurer of the Emma L. Bowen Foundation, which helps place youth of color into jobs with major broadcasting and cable TV companies. Parker also continues to needle and wheedle communications industries and the FCC on behalf of women, persons of color, and the public interest in communications.

Justice leader Gibbons turns 100

The Rev. Ray Gibbons, former executive director of the UCC's Council for Christian Social Action, a predecessor body to Justice and Witness Ministries, will turn 100 on Feb. 10. In 1944, Gibbons became director of the Council for Social Action of the Congregational Christian Churches. With the formation of the UCC in 1957, he headed up the new council formed by the union of the social action agencies of the Congregational Christian Churches and Evangelical and Reformed Church. He retired Jan. 1, 1969, but continued for a time serving as a housing consultant.

A pioneer in developing social action by U.S. churches, Gibbons frequently was at the center of controversy as he sought to apply Christian principles to political, social and economic issues. Under his direction, the Council for Christian Social Action conducted programs for racial justice, opportunity for economically disadvantaged persons, world order and responsible political life.

Hargraves dies at 86

The Rev. J. Archie Hargraves, 86, pastor of Chicago's South Shore Community UCC, died Jan. 3. Known as a pioneer of nonviolence, civil rights and community organization, Hargraves served as president of Shaw University in North Carolina, vice-president of the Association of American Colleges, president of the Institute for International Development and consultant to the League of Arab States.

In 1972, President Nixon appointed him to the Fulbright Board of Foreign Scholarships, U.S. Department of State. President Ford re-appointed him to the position in 1978. He also received an appointment by North Carolina Gov. James Holshouser to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

A well-known author and lecturer, Hargraves also was co-founder of the East Harlem Protestant Parish, which has been referred to by some as "the most significant 20th-century experiment in American Protestantism."

First stewardship exec dies

The Rev. Sheldon E. Mackey, 89, of Blandon, Pa., died Friday, Nov. 22, 2002, at Phoebe Berks Health Center, Wernersville, Pa.

In 1957, Mackey served as a member of the Committee on Orderly Transition for the formation of the United Church of Christ following the union of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and Congregational Christian. He was elected co-Secretary of the UCC in 1957. He was chosen as the first executive secretary of the UCC's former Stewardship Council and served in that capacity from 1961 to 1979. Mackey also served as chair of the Commission on Stewardship and Benevolence, National Council of Churches.

Prior to the formation of the UCC, Mackey served in various capacities with the Evangelical and Reformed Church. He was called as administrative assistant to James E. Wagner, then president of the Evangelical and Reformed Church in 1953 and elected secretary of the Evangelical and Reformed Church in 1956. He also served as pastor of many local congregations. Mackey served on the Boards of Directors of Ursinus College, Lancaster Theological Seminary, and the Mercersburg Society. He was a member of First UCC in Reading, Pa.

Pastoral Changes

Bagley, Cynthia to First Congr. UCC, Dunbarton NH
Basile, Jonathan T. Macungie PA to Zion Coopersburg UCC, Chestnut Hill PA
Bickel, Robin L. Plymouth MA to Congr. UCC, Storrs CT
Blake, Alden Retirement to Int., Congr. UCC, Bath NH
Britt, Donald Gaylord MN to First Congr. UCC, Princeton MN
Carse, Hannah Waterloo IA to First Congr. UCC, Waterloo IA
Duecker, Valerie Redwood City CA to Chaplain, Mount Pleasant MT
Fell, Lori A. to South UCC, Waterbury CT
Gaffney, Susan Albuquerque NM to First Congr. UCC, Glenwood IL
Geslin, Daniel M. Chelan WA to Christ Congr. UCC, Pueblo CO
Haefner, Bridget to St. Matthew's UCC, Forest City/Peace UCC, Eden Valley MN
Harkins, Jill R. to Community UCC, Bainbridge OH
Harris, Judith C. Richmond IL to First Congr. UCC, DeKalb IL
Hart, Gary to Community UCC, Franconia NH
Heideneich, Lauren LeSueur MN to Ogallala, Brule NE
Hoxey, Larry Lavonia MI to Nativity UCC, Livonia MI
Jackson, Robert H. Marshfield MA to Federated Church UCC, Sturbridge MA
Kavich, Rebecca to First Congr. UCC, Malden MA
Kent, Laura L. to Area Minister, Worcester MA
Loudon, Meredith C. New Albany IN to Northeast UCC, Indianapolis IN
Nichols, Kenneth Allentown PA to Zion UCC, Lehighton PA
Roberts, John W. New Braunfels TX to First Congr. UCC, Escondido CA
Ryder, Diane G. Tucson AZ to Community Congr. UCC, Tehachapi CA
Smith, David W. Tucson AZ to UCC, Brookline NH
Snyder, David L. New Haven CT to First UCC, South Windsor CT
Temple, Sharon M. to Dille Parish UCC, Le Raysville PA
Watterson, Susan J. Red Lodge MT to First Congr. UCC, Boise ID


Ando, Bruce 52, 7/23/02 Served MO churches
Atchison, Glen 72, 9/19/02 Served WI churches
Blosser, Harold 90, 8/16/02 Served IL and WI churches
Cleeland, B. Ross 90, 6/29/02 Served HI churches
Creager, Alfred 91, 8/23/02 Served MD and PA churches
Duncan, Bert L. 88, 8/22/02 Served MI, NY and OH churches
Freudenberg, Clifton J. 79, 9/18/02 Served TX churches
Hall, W. Walter 86, 11/10/02 Served AL, MA, NC, PA, TN and VA churches
Hambrick, Edwin G. 85, 11/16/02 Served IN, MA and NY churches
Hoefer, Elmer 99, 8/23/02 Served IL, MO and NY churches
Hoffman, John M. 73, 8/19/02 Served IL, OH, MO and WI churches
Hoffman, Ralph 92, 7/31/02 Served NH, SD and WI churches
Stormer, Raymond 90, 7/12/02 Served OH churches

Pastoral changes and obituaries are reported by Local Church Ministries and run as space permits