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John Claypool

Obituary Condolences

Family-Placed Death Notice

JOHN ROWAN CLAYPOOL, IV Well-known and much-beloved theologian, John Rowan Claypool IV, age 74, died of complications from treatment for multiple myeloma on Saturday, September 3, 2005 at The Dekalb Medical Center Decatur, Georgia. He was born in Franklin, Kentucky, and reared in Nashville, Tennessee, receiving his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. His theological education continued at Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, in Austin, Texas. Dr. Claypool earned a doctorate in theology and has received six honorary degrees, The Rev. Dr. Claypool was ordained to the ministry in 1953 and served as pastor of five Baptist churches in Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, and Mississippi. Ordained an Episcopal priest in 1986, he served as Rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Chuurch in Birmingham, Alabama, for nearly fourteen years. He retired from full-time parish ministry in 2000 and had since served as Professor of Preaching at McAfee School of Theology, Mercer University in Atlanta, Georgia. During that period, he served part-time as theologian-in-residence at Trinity Episcopal Church in New Orleans, Louisiana, from 2001 to 2003 and has been an associate priest at All Saints Episcopal Church in Atlanta since 2003. John Claypool, a prolific writer, was the author of eleven books and a sought after speaker, who was nationally respected. The Very Rev. Harry Pritchett remembered, "He was always changing-growing, open to new possibilities. Life was a journey to John and it was my great privilege to be his friend during this part of the trip." Kirby Godsey, President of Mercer University, said, "John Claypool touched our souls." Amidst our wounds and our triumphs, his voice became for us the voice of God. He embraced the McAfee School of Theology, his students and his colleagues with a special measure of grace and with unfettered gentleness. John's presence in ouur lives and our histories is more than mere death can ever take away. He will continue to walk among us, giving light to our steps, wisdom for our hearts, and hope to our souls. John Claypool's life and presence and teaching were profound and enduring gifts to the entire Mercer University community. John Rowan Claypool is survived by his wife, Ann Wilkinson Scheyd Claypool; a son, John Rowan Claypool, V; one grandson, John Rowan Claypool, VI; and two step children, Laura Crawford Williams and Charles Tarleton Williams, III. Memorial gifts to honor the life of John Claypool may be sent to McAfee School of Theology, 3001 Mercer University Drive, Atlanta, GA 30341-4115; St. Luke's Episcopal Church, 3736 Montrose Road, Birmingham, AL 35213; or All Saints' Episcopal Church, 635 West Peachtree Street, Atlanta, GA. 30308-1925. Visitation will be at St. Lukes Episcopal Church in Birmingham, AL on Thursday, September 8, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The funeral will be held at St. Lukes Episcopal Church at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 9.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Sept. 5, 2005
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