Rev. James E. Andrews
The Rev. James E. Andrews, who served as stated clerk of the General Assembly for 23 years, was struck and killed by a car on March 7 while walking near his Decatur, Ga., home. He was 77.
Andrews was elected General Assembly stated clerk of the former Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS) in 1973. He served for one year as co-interim stated clerk with his Uni
ted Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) counterpart, in 1983. The next year, he was elected stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a position he held until his retirement in 1996.
“Jim was passionately dedicated to the church,” his widow, Elizabeth, told the Presbyterian News Service. “He”d probably say his crowning achievement was helping to bring about reunion.”
Andrews was born in Whittenburg, Texas, on Dec. 29, 1928. He graduated from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, where he paid his way through school by living in a funeral home and driving its ambulance. He earned his theology degree at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1956.
After seminary, Andrews served for two years as assistant pastor of St. Andrew”s Presbyterian Church in Houston, where he delighted in answering the phone, “St. Andrew”s Church, Andrews speaking!”
A dedicated ecumenist, Andrews then went to Geneva, where he served from 1958 to 1960 as secretary of information of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC). He then returned to the United States and joined the staff of Princeton Theological Seminary as assistant to the president.
In 1971, he was named assistant to the stated clerk of the PCUS; two years later, he was elected stated clerk.
In a prepared statement, his successor as stated clerk, the Rev. Clifton Kirkpatrick, said Andrews was “my mentor and dear friend.” Kirkpatrick said Andrews” chief characteristics were insight and vision.
“He was one of the primary architects for the 1983 reunion of our two former denominations,” Kirkpatrick said. “He expressed and lived out a passion for civil rights. He lifted up the importance of our involvement in ecumenism.”
In addition to his wife, Elizabeth, Andrews is survived by two children and four grandsons. His first wife, Patricia Bullock of Lockhart, died in 1959. Services will be held on Sunday, March 12 at Oakhurst Presbyterian Church in Decatur.
Memorial services will be in Louisville on April 5.
For further information, contact Pat and Patsy Kirksey.