Notes about people

May 4, 2009

LOUISVILLE

The Rev. Marian McClure Taylor, former director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Worldwide Ministries Division in Louisville, has been named executive director of the Kentucky Council of Churches. She succeeds the Rev. Nancy Jo Kemper, who served as the council’s executive director from 1991-2008.     

The Kentucky Council of Churches is the largest state-wide religious association in Kentucky and was founded in 1947. It brings together a wide range of Christian churches in the quest for Christian unity in the state and works with state and local governments, as well as other humanitarian organizations, on a range of issues of concern to member churches, such as gambling, prison reform, public education and immigration.   

Taylor is currently serving as associate director and North American representative of “Edinburgh 2010: Witnessing to Christ Today,” the centenary celebration of a pivotal world mission conference held in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1910, that challenged Christians to greater ecumenical and evangelistic collaboration. From 1997–2006, she was director of the Worldwide Ministries Division of the PC(USA), where she oversaw as staff of more than 400 world mission and overseas mission staff and coordinated 165 interdenominational mission partnerships on behalf of the denomination. 

Taylor has a bachelor’s degree from the University of the South, in Sewanee, TN; an M.Div. from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary; and a Ph.D. in political science from Harvard University. Prior to working for the PC(USA), she served as a Ford Foundation officer in Mexico City.

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The Presbyterian Media Mission (PMM) in Pittsuburgh has won a Golden Remi Award at the prestigious 42nd annual WorldFest of the Houston Film/Video Festival.

PMM’s video short — “Faith Questions and Expressions” — was chosen from among more than 4,300 entries for the award. The 10-minute video captures stories and scenes from the 10th anniversary of the Summer Youth Institute held at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. In it, young people raise deep questions related to God, life, and faith within a visual tapestry of sights and sounds from the conference.

PMM has previously won three Remi Awards — all in the radio category. This is its first  Remi for video production.  In its 25 years, PMM has won 19 major awards.

PMM Director Gregg Hartung said, “This is another tribute to the development of PMM through many fine people who have contributed in so many ways through the years to this ministry of media. I want to especially pay tribute with this award to long-time colleague and friend Dennis Benson (West Olive, MI), Jon Clark (Denver, CO), and musician David M. Bailey, troubadour extraordinaire, for lending us his talents on occasion and the many supporters, churches and governing bodies that make this mission possible.”

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The Rev. William R. McSwegin, a long-time pastor and presbytery executive in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) died April 18 after a long battle with mesothelioma. The Synod of the Trinity expresses sadness on receiving the news of the death of the Rev. William R. McSwegin on April 18, 2009 after a long battle with Mesothelioma.

Ordained by what is now Salem Presbytery in North Carolina, McSwegin began his career as associate pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Reidsville, NC. He later served for 17 years as pastor of Kuhn Memorial Presbyterian Church in Barboursville, WV.

At the presbytery level, he served as interim executive presbyter for the Presbytery of West Virginia from 1997-1998 and as executive presbyter for Lackawanna Presbytery from 1999-2007. Upon his retirement in Lackawanna, he was named executive presbyter emeritus. 

A memorial service was held at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Dallas, PA, and McSwegin was buried in Reidsville, NC.

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Jack Kemp, the national political figure who died May 2 at age 73, was a Presbyterian. According to the Associated Press, Kemp – who was born into a Christian Scientist family – became Presbyterian when he married his college sweetheart, Joanne Main.

Kemp, a former pro quarterback with the Buffalo Bills, turned fame on the gridiron into a career in national politics and a crusade for lower taxes. A champion of “supply-side economics,” he served western New York in Congress for 18 years, leaving the House for an unsuccessful presidential bid in 1988.

Eight years later, after serving a term as President George H.W. Bush's housing secretary, he made it onto the national ticket as Bob Dole's running-mate. They lost to Bill Clinton and Al Gore.

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