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Dr. John Mangram

Mangram, Dr. John D. John Dee Mangram was the first of six children born to Ruther and Viola Reed Mangram. The family worshiped at the Springhill Baptist Church in the Faker Community located outside Pittsburg, TX. At the age of twelve, John Dee was the teacher of the adult Sunday school class. He attended Garfield Elementary School and Fredrick Douglass High School in Pittsburg, TX, graduating valedictorian of the eighth grade and senior high school. He was awarded a football scholarship to Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, TX in 1941. Following graduation from Jarvis Christian College with a Bachelor of Arts degree, he received the Bachelor of Divinity degree from Howard University School of Divinity; the Master of Sacred Theology degree, Yale University and the Doctor of Theology degree at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. Around 1950 John Dee married Bobbye Durham. When they moved to Dallas in 1968, they united with the Munger Avenue Baptist Church. John faithfully served in the pulpit and taught the Joshua-Garth Church School class until his death. Dr. Mangram served as the Assistant Director of the Labor Education and Cooperative Extension Service, Pendle Hill School in Wallingford, PA; University Minister and Instructor of Religion, Lincoln University, Oxford, PA; Chaplain and Assistant Professor of Religion, Tougaloo College, Tougaloo, MS; Minister First Congressional Christian Church, Meridian, MS; Minister, The Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples, San Francisco, CA. In 1967, he was appointed Chairman of the Division of Religion and Philosophy and Professor of Religion, Bishop College, Dallas, TX, as well as a five-year term as Dean of the Chapel and Director of the Lacy Kirk Williams Ministers' Institute. In 1988, Dr. Mangram began serving as Coordinator of the Area of Religion in the Division of Arts and Science, Jarvis Christian College. In 2007, he became Professor Emeritus and designated writer of the history of Jarvis. He has contributed to publications in the areas of religion and education and participated in a Festchrift celebrating the seventy-fifth birthday of the late Howard Thurman. Dr. Mangram was granted the Distinguished Alumni Award from Jarvis Christian College and Howard University, "Man of the Year" Award from Tougaloo College, and the Minnie Stevens Piper Prize for Outstanding College Teaching in 1992. He was also a Fulbright Fellow, studying and traveling in Korea in 1994. In 1995, he was inducted into the Jarvis Christian College Pioneer Hall of Fame. He received an Honorary Doctorate from Georgetown College in Kentucky in 2009. He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, brothers Ruther Jr., James and Bennie West; sister Noretta; nephew Michael Ray Mangram and nieces Koleta W. Manning and Sandra S. Woods. John Dee is survived by a loving sister, Marlene Mangram Woods of Pittsburg, TX; sisters-in-law Audrey Mangram of Lancaster, TX, Evangeline Mangram of Pittsburg, TX and Gloria Mangram of Dallas, TX. He will be fondly remembered by special niece, Patricia Woods. Others left to cherish his memory are nieces, Cynthia W. Smith, Rosalyn W. Smith, Gwen W. Criss, Martha Woods, Janice M. Kemp and Carolyn M. McCray; nephews, Mickey Woods, Kenneth Earl Mangram, Steven Mangram and Randy Woods and other loving relatives and friends. Devoted friend, Patsy C. Smith and the members of Munger Avenue Baptist Church will treasure and fondly recall the life of John Dee Mangram. The wake service is Thursday, March 13, 2014, 6-8 pm at Munger Avenue Baptist Church, 3919 Munger Ave., Dallas, TX. Funeral service is Friday, March 14, 2014, 11am at Friendship West Baptist Church, Wheatland Road, Dallas, TX. In lieu of flowers, by request of the family, please send donations to: Dr. John D. Mangram Scholarship Jarvis Christian College P. O. Box 1470 Hawkins, TX 75765

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Published in Dallas Morning News from Mar. 13 to Mar. 14, 2014
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