From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ABCUSA: Culbert Rutenber, Educator and Denominational Leader, Dies

From "SCHRAMM, Richard" <>
Date Thu, 7 Aug 2003 14:36:32 -0400

American Baptist News Service (Valley Forge, Pa. 8/7/03)--The Rev. Dr.
Culbert G. Rutenber, past president of American Baptist Churches USA and a
well-known educator, author and pastor, died yesterday in Austin, Tex.	He
was 94.

Ruthenber was president of the (then) American Baptist Convention in
1968-1969.  In other denominational responsibilities he was chair of the
Council on Christian Social Progress and member of the Advisory Committee
for Theological Education, among many positions.

Rutenber was active in several ecumenical organizations, including the
Baptist World Alliance and the Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs.
He was an outspoken advocate for Christian social activism and for dialog
and action in the pursuit of peace.

A world traveler, he preached in Europe, Asia, South America and Canada as
well as throughout the U.S.   

He also was a popular speaker and lecturer, appearing at more than 50
college and university campuses and at numerous seminaries and theological
schools.  He was the author of many articles and several books, including
The Dagger and the Cross, The Price and the Prize, The Reconciling Gospel
and The Doctrine of the imitation of God in Plato.

At Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa., Ruthenber served
as professor of the philosophy of religion and professor of social ethics
from 1939 to 1958 and again from 1974 to his retirement in 1979.  The
school's Culbert G. Rutenber Lectureship was established in 1992 in his

Ruthenber also was a faculty member at Andover Newton Theological School in
Newton Centre, Mass., and at the American Baptist Seminary of the West in
Covina, Calif.

Ordained in 1933, he was pastor of Linden Baptist Church in Camden, N.J.,
from 1931 to 1939.

American Baptist Churches USA the Rev. A. Roy Medley hailed Rutenber as "one
of the greatly respected voices in American Baptist life over many decades."

"'Cubby' Rutenber was foremost an educator, but he brought to teaching a
truly relevant perspective that unconditionally connected the classroom to
the needs and challenges of society," Medley said.  "As president of the
denomination, as a popular author, and as an extraordinary lecturer and
preacher he was an eloquent spokesperson for the social Gospel, and for a
Christ committed to transforming institutions as well as individuals.  We
are thankful for this great American Baptist leader, and for the special
Christ-centered ministries he shared with us."

Condolences may be sent to his wife, Duron, at 5906 Blythewood Dr., Austin,
TX 78745.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 9, at First
Baptist Church, 901 Trinity St., Austin, Tex.  Memorial gifts in his name
may be sent to the American Bible Society, 1865 Broadway, New York, NY


American Baptist News Service: Office of Communication, American Baptist
Churches USA, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851; (800)ABC-3USA x2077
/ (610)768-2077; fax: (610)768-2320;;

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