Dr. Jones was not the only shining light present in the room. Also present was the Reverend Dr. Donald Shriver, Jr., a member of New York City Presbytery. He was president of Union Theological Seminary in New York from 1975 to 1991. The University of Louisville recently named Dr. Shriver as the winner of the 2009 Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Religion, one of the most prestigious awards in religious academia. Shriver was honored for his 2005 book Honest Patriots: Loving a County Enough to Remember Its Misdeeds (Oxford University Press).
Dr. Donald Shiver, recipient of the 2009 Grawemeyer Award in Religion
Dr. Shiver and I both served small PC(USA) congregations in Gastonia, NC, though not during the same period. I first became aware of him while I was serving in Gastonia from 1986-1989 and learned of Spindles and Spires: A Re-Study of Religion and Social Change in Gastonia, which he co-authored with Dean D. Knudsen and John R. Earle in 1976. The “re-study” in the title is a reference to the fact that the book updates Liston Pope’s 1965 classic Millhands and Preachers: A Study of Gastonia.
Maybe some of those in attendance at the January 27, 2009 Stated Meeting of the Presbytery of New York City in some way compared. Time will tell. History will judge. Hallowed walls may indeed remember.
More of my photographs from the meeting can be viewed here.