Harry Maclin Jr.

Harry Tracy Maclin, Jr. (H.T.) was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma but he grew up in Fort Worth, Texas. During his sophomore year of college he received his army summons from Uncle Sam, but a campus Navy officer advised him how much better his life would be in the U.S. Navy. Following this advice, H.T. joined the Navy, a decision that would profoundly influence his life. While in boot camp, H.T. was hospitalized with mumps and missed his deployment to the USS Bismarck Sea. The USS Bismark Sea was later destroyed during the battle of Iwo Jima with great loss of life. H.T.'s ship, the "baby flat top" aircraft carrier USS Anzio, was in the battles for the Philippines, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. However, it was Typhoon Cobra, not a battle with the Japanese, where most lives were lost. After the seas calmed, H.T. met John, a sailor who ran the officer's mess and who had first attracted H.T.'s attention by carrying a bible to read to men in the sick bay. Through John's witness and calm during Typhoon Cobra, H.T. began his journey with Jesus Christ as his Master. After his naval service, he met the love of his life, Alice Marie Nystrom and they married on August 30, 1947. H.T. completed studies at Southern Methodist University and was ordained a pastor at the end of his studies at the Perkins School of Theology. He and Alice felt called to become missionaries in Africa and prepared for service in the Belgian Congo by spending 15 months studying French in Brussels, Belgium. During the next ten years in the Belgian Congo, the Maclins were first at Lodja where H.T. worked with the assistant to the new Congolese district superintendent and he was the director of several Congolese schools. Later, at Mulungwishi, H.T served as an instructor in the new seminary. Shortly following Congolese independence, the Maclins escaped an uprising led by Patrice Lumumba, whose army took over the Kinshasha airport twenty minutes after the Maclins' flight left. For the next two years the family lived in Pompano Beach, Florida while H.T. traveled promoting mission giving. The family then moved to Nairobi, Kenya where H.T. traveled the continent training students in radio broadcasting and audio-visual aids in Christian education. H.T. also founded and developed a radio and television training center in Nairobi that served all of Africa and still exists today. Returning to the United States in 1972, H.T. worked with the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the Methodist Church in producing a weekly radio program and promoting mission giving. With interested pastors and lay people, H.T. joined with others in forming an alternative sending mission, The Mission Society, which continues to flourish. Until his retirement, H.T continued in the role of President and CEO of The Mission Society. H.T. was awarded an honorary doctorate by Asbury University. Having visited over 170 countries around the world, he was a member of the Traveler's Century Club "the passport to peace through understanding." He was an active member of the World War II Round Table and the Retired Methodist Ministers. He is survived by his wife, Alice, and his children Susie (John Whitmire), Cathie (Don Boyles) and Greg (Marilyn Williams). His youngest daughter Ruth (Frank Golley) is deceased. H.T. was the proud grandfather of Jason, Kevin, Amanda, Rebecca, Stuart and Peter and the great-grandfather of Brittany and Chandler. Visitation will be at 1:00 pm in the Parlor of Grace United Methodist Church in Midtown. A memorial service will begin at 2:00 pm on Thursday, April 24, 2014 followed by a private internment. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the H.T and Alice Maclin Training Institute at The Mission Society (themissionsociety.org).

Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Apr. 18, 2014