January 5: Machen’s Funeral

News Coverage of the Machen Funeral

This is a bonus posting for this day, using news clippings drawn from the scrapbooks of the Rev. Henry G. Welbon.  We had noted that a number of people were reviewing last year’s post on this same topic, and so thought this additional material might be appreciated.

Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, 3 January 1937., page A9.

Rites Set for TuesdayDR. MACHEN’S RITES SET FOR TUESDAY.
High Presbyterian Officials to Attend Services for Fundamentalist Leader.

With high officials of the Presbyterian Church of America in attendance, funeral services for Dr. J. Gresham Machen, founder of the new fundamentalist denomination, will be held at 3 P.M. Tuesday in the Spruce Street Baptist Church, Spruce and 50th sts.

Dr. Machen, militant first moderator of the denomination who led his followers in a split from the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. in Philadelphia last June, died in Bismark, N.D., Friday night of pneumonia contracted on a speaking tour.

Notice of the funeral arrangements was received here yesterday from Rev. Dr. Edwin H. Rian, of Philadelphia, general secretary of the Church’s Extension and Home Mission Board, who arrived in Bismark yesterday.

Arrived Too Late.

Dr. Rian and Dr. Machen’s brother, Arthur Machen, of Baltimore, both of whom arrived too late to see Dr. Machen alive will accompany the body to Philadelphia.

The services will be conducted by Dr. Rian, long one of Dr. Machen’s close associates, and by Rev. Dr. R.B. Kuiper, professor of homiletics at Westminster Seminary, of which the late church leader was founder and moving spirit.

Burial will be in Baltimore, Dr. Machen’s birthplace.

A statement deploring the death of Dr. Machen as a loss to evangelical Christianity was issued yesterday by Rev. Dr. John Burton Thwing, moderator of the Presbytery of Philadelphia.

“In the death of Dr. J. Gresham Machen,” he declared, “the cause of evangelical Christianity has lost its most trenchant advocate. His books, lectures, sermons and radio talks were always lucid presentations of the old-fashioned faith based upon sound scholarship.

“Brave under fire in France, he was equally brave under persecution by his false brethren in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. God will reward them according to their works.”

Change Time for TuesdayBridgeton N.J. News:
CHANGE TIME FOR FUNERAL

Services for Rev. Dr. Machen to be Held Tomorrow Morning–Ministers Pay Tribute.
Funeral services for Dr. J. Gresham Machen, first scheduled for 3:30 p.m. will be held instead at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow in the Spruce Street Baptist Church, Spruce and Fiftieth streets, Philadelphia, it was announced yesterday by officials of the Presbyterian Church of America.

Members of the faculty of Westminster Theological Seminary will be honorary pallbearers for the founder of the new fundamentalist denomination, who died in Bismark, N. D., Friday. The service of Scripture reading, prayer and hymn singing, minus a sermon, will be directed by Rev. Edwin H. Rian, general secretary of the Home Mission and Church Extension Board, and Rev. Dr. R. B. Kuiper, professor of homiletics at the seminary.

Immediately after the ceremony the body will be sent to Baltimore for burial.

Pays Tribute

Some of the residents of Bridgeton heard Dr. Barnhouse, pastor of the Tenth Street Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, pay a tribute to Dr. Machen. He said that he had known Dr. Machen’s pastorate of 10 years in Newark and spoke of his warm personal friendship for the minister.

Dr. Barnhouse referred to his own experience in Europe and paid . . .


Buried after local ritesDR. MACHEN BURIED AFTER LOCAL RITES.
800 Attend Funeral of Fundamentalist at Spruce Street Baptist Church.

Dr. J. Gresham Machen, founder of the Presbyterian Church of America was buried yesterday in Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore, after impressive services in Spruce Street Baptist Church

Clergymen of all denominations, including several members of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, mother church from which Dr. Machen and his followers seceded, joined the more than 800 laymen who packed the flower-decked church during the ceremony.

Dr. Edwin Rian, professor at Westminster Seminary, 13th and Pine sts., which Dr. Machen helped found, presided. Dr. R. B. Kuiper, also a professor at the seminary, preached the sermon. Officers of the student body and the faculty of the seminary acted as pall-bearers and honorary pall-bearers. Dr. Machen’s brothers, Arthur, a Baltimore attorney, and Dr. Thomas Machen, attended the services.

Dr. Machen died in Bismark, N. D., of lobar pneumonia while on a speaking tour on behalf of his fundamentalist denomination.

 

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  1. Douglas Withington’s avatar

    I might be mistaken, but I thought I caught a subtle attempt to imply that Machen had some association with fundamentalism.

  2. archivist’s avatar

    Machen was indeed commonly lumped in with the fundamentalists, at least in the newspaper coverage that I’ve seen.
    He even spoke to this confusion on one occasion, but I don’t have that quote at hand.

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