Edler G. Hawkins collection
Edler G. Hawkins (b. 1908 d. 1977) was Pastor of St. Augustine Presbyterian Church in the Bronx, New York for over thirty years. Under his stewardship the congregation grew to over one thousand members. As Pastor, Rev. Hawkins was very active in the Bronx community and in responding to concerns in this increasingly diverse neighborhood. He demanded and worked for better housing and equal opportunities for minorities. His concern for the community led him to run for a New York State Assembly position in 1948, which he did not win. However, Rev. Hawkins was able to pursue his aims through leadership roles in the United Presbyterian Church (UPC). He served on many committees within the UPC including the Council on Race and Religion and the Presbyterian Economic Development Corporation. In 1958 he was elected the Moderator of the Presbytery of New York, where he served for two years. In 1960 he ran unsuccessfully for the national position of General Assembly Moderator, losing by only two votes. He was then named Vice Moderator in an act of fellowship by the newly elected Moderator. Rev. Hawkins was elected Moderator of the UPC in 1964. He was the first African American to hold all three Moderator positions. He traveled extensively in official UPC capacities, both nationally and internationally.
In 1971, Rev. Hawkins resigned as Pastor of St. Augustine Presbyterian Church, and began teaching at Princeton Theological Seminary. He was the first African American on the faculty of the Seminary. In addition to theology, he taught classes in African American literature and history.
The Edler G. Hawkins Collection documents much of his life’s work and spans from 1933 until his death in 1977. The majority of this collection is comprised of sermons, lectures, and other writings by Rev. Hawkins. The collection contains some documentation related to organizations he was active in and committees he served on, including his terms as Vice Moderator and Moderator of the UPC. Also, there are lecture notes of classes he taught at Princeton Theological Seminary, news articles about him, programs from events he attended and participated in, some correspondence, and a few photographs.
- Creation: 1933-1977
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1933 - 1977
- Hawkins, Edler Garnett (Person)
- 1908 June 13
- Edler Garnett Hawkins born to Albert and Annie (Lee) Hawkins in the Bronx, New York. He was one of seven children
- Graduated with a Bachelor or Arts degree, magna cum laude from Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, New Jersey
- Graduated with a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York, New York
- 1938 April
- Became pastor at St. Augustine Presbyterian Church in the Bronx, New York
- Appointed Chairman of the Bronx Citizens Committee for the Improvement of Domestic Workers
- 1944 January 30
- Married Thelma Burnett
- Ran unsuccessfully for a New York State Assembly seat
- Daughter Renee born
- Daughter Ellen born
- Elected Moderator of the Presbytery of New York City, served for two year
- Named Vice Moderator of the United Presbyterian Church after an unsuccessful run for Moderator
- Awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Divinity from Bloomfield College
- 1964 May 21
- Elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church
- 1964 July & August
- As Moderator of the UPC, traveled to Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. Meets with Pope Paul VI, Emperor Haile Sellassie and other religious and political figures.
- 1971 February
- Resigned as Reverend of St. Augustine Presbyterian Church
- 1971 September
- Began teaching at Princeton Theological Seminary as a Professor of Practical Theology. He was the first African American faculty member in the Seminary.
- 1977 December 18
- Died after an illness in Princeton, New Jersey. Buried at Fairlawn Cemetery in New Jersey
11 Linear feet
Language of Materials
The papers are arranged in nine series: 1. Personal Papers; 2. Writings about Hawkins; 3. Correspondence; 4. Writings by Hawkins; 5. Writings by Others; 6. Princeton Theological Seminary; 7. Organizational Affiliations; 8. Photographs; and 9. Fragile Items.
- Edler G. Hawkins collection
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