Today we are pleased to present a guest post submitted by Kathy Stegall, daughter of the Rev. D. Howard Elliott.
D. Howard Elliott: June 8, 1915 – January 1, 2001
Delber Howard Elliott was born on June 8, 1915 in Winchester, Kansas where his father, Delber Harvey Elliott, was the pastor of the local congregation of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. As his father was called to various ministries, Howard spent his growing-up years in Topeka, KS and Pittsburgh, PA. After graduation from Geneva College it became apparent that he felt a strong call to the gospel ministry and thus went on to the Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary, graduating in 1940. Soon after he married Winifred Coleman and together they took up his first pastorate back in Winchester, Kansas, the congregation of his baptism.
Pictured at right, Howard and Winifred in Winchester, in 1940.
Elliott pastored RPCNA congregations in Winchester, Beaver Falls, PA, and Topeka, KS. In addition to pastoral and denominational duties, Elliott volunteered as a lobbyist for the Christian Amendment Movement, was the RPCNA representative to the National Association of Evangelicals, and served on the Geneva College Board of Trustees. Elliott was clerk of the RPCNA Synod for many years and elected as moderator in 1972. After his retirement in 1980 he returned to Winchester again to serve in a new way as a layperson. Elliott died at their Winchester home on January 1, 2001.
These brief facts and even the awards and recognitions he received along the way do not begin to tell the story of Dr. Elliott’s greatest contribution to Christ’s Kingdom—his exemplary pastor’s heart. He always served with hard work and discipline, yet with the greatest tenderness and kindness towards all. Along with faithfully preaching and teaching God’s Word twice each week on Sundays along with many other presentations and meetings, he endeared himself to his communities by loving his women, his wife and four daughters, hanging out with the guys at the neighborhood gas station, making thousands of visits to the homes of his church families, driving the church Sabbath School Bus, on call as a police chaplain, or playing endless games of softball during annual Daily Vacation Bible Schools and Sabbath School picnics, always undergirded by faithful family and personal Bible study and prayer. His attentiveness to his flock was intense as he noted each week who was absent from worship, who was sick, who needed encouragement or counsel, who had a significant family or work event; and a relevant response always followed. Organization, planning, consistent hard work and methodical devotion characterized his pastoral mission. He led with the intelligence and creativity of a CEO, yet with the humility and compassion of a shepherd. As a result those in his congregations trusted and loved him in return. Each congregation viewed his leaving for the next step in his life with disappointment yet confident in God’s sovereign goodness, just as they had been faithfully taught.
Pictured above, Howard and Winifred, in 1995.
Words to Live By:
In 1980 Dr. Elliott chose 1 Thess. 4:11-12 as his theme for retirement “…make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” Soon after he accomplished a life-long dream by building with his own hands a home for Winifred and himself in which he lived out his days.
Some further record of Rev. Elliott’s life and ministry can be found in Covenanter Ministers, 1930-1963, by Alvin W. Smith, pp. 71-72.