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Roy C. Clark

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Roy C. Clark

Nashville, TN

Roy Clyde Clark, 93, retired United Methodist Bishop, died Tuesday, May 27, 2014. Visitation is 12:30 pm June 4 at West End United Methodist Church; the memorial service follows at 2 pm in the sanctuary.

Bishop Clark was born in Mobile, AL July 24, 1920 to Clyde Columbus Clark and Lelia B Cochran Clark. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Hardy Cochran Clark, wife of 45 years Esther Maddox Clark, daughter Susan McEwen Clark and wife of 18 years Marion Salisbury Clark. He is survived by his daughter Lynn Blanton Clark of Jackson MS, grandchildren Michael McEwen Taylor (Nicole), Andrew Clark Taylor (Jordan) and Meghan Jones Doyle (Wes) and great-grandchildren McEwen Taylor, Gaines Taylor and Olivia Doyle, all of Memphis. Other survivors include his sisters Sarah Bowman of Birmingham and Valda Ratcliffe (Charles) of Spanish Fort, AL and a number of nieces, nephews, cousins and many treasured friends. His family is grateful to caregiver Barbara McGrady for her kindness and friendship over the last several years.

A graduate of Millsaps College and Yale University Divinity School, Clark received honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Millsaps and Columbia (SC) colleges. His first appointment was on the MS Gulf Coast and he served several other pastorates before becoming senior minister of Capitol Street Methodist Church in Jackson in 1953. Ten years later he assumed the senior minister position at St John's UMC in Memphis. In 1967 he became senior minister at West End UMC in Nashville, where he served until his election as a bishop of the United Methodist Church in 1980. He was assigned to the Columbia SC area, from which he retired in 1988. A wonderful article appears online at

Bishop Clark served in a variety of church and community organizations, including the General Board of Global Ministries and United Methodist Committee on Relief, of which he was president. He was twice a delegate to the church's General and Jurisdictional Conferences. In the 1970s and again in the 1990s, he was a Lecturer in Methodist Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School; he served in the same capacity at Memphis Theological School. He was Chair of the founding Board of Directors of the Interfaith Dental Clinic in Nashville and Bishop in Residence at West End UMC.

Roy Clark was a gentle, learned man who led a remarkable life of service, devotion, caring, sharing. He was deeply committed to the Church and fully engaged with the flocks he tended. He was tender and compassionate with people from every walk of life. His wise counsel, steady presence and tender mercies sustained friends and colleagues. Most of all, he loved and cherished his family - and they, him.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to West End United Methodist Church, Interfaith Dental Clinic, UMCOR or the .

Published in Clarion Ledger on June 1, 2014
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