Walter Frank Pack
Table Of Contents
Remembering And Celebrating
Pacific Church News Memorial Issue
Pacific Church Back Issues Link
Preachers of Today Dedication
Directions To The Pack Family Grave
Photos Of The Graves of the Pack Family
Committed to New Testament Christianity
A PROFILE OF FRANK PACK
In Who's Who in America for 1984-85, Dr. Frank Pack is quoted as saying: "From my youth I have been committed to New Testament Christianity. This faith I have shared with others. By Christ's standards I have endeavored to live and to serve:'
One of the most powerful influences in the background of Frank Pack occurred years before he was born. It was the day his mother, Mary Gibson, heard T B. Larimore preach the gospel of Christ near her home in northern Alabama. The impact of that sermon remained with her the rest of her life. After Mary had married Walter Pack and moved to Memphis, Tennessee, she looked for a church where the preaching would be like that of Larimore. She visited the Church of Christ that was meeting on Harbert Avenue, and when she heard John Allen Hudson preach, she knew she had found a home.
When the Harbert Avenue congregation moved into its spacious new building on Union Avenue in 1925, Walter and Mary Pack became more involved in the life of the church. N. B. Hardeman was called to preach in a gospel meeting at Union Avenue in the summer of 1926, and during the course of the meeting, Walter and Mary Pack were baptized into Christ.
The four years that John Allen Hudson preached in Memphis were pivotal for young Frank Pack, for it was during those years that the seed was planted. Several months after the baptism of his parents, during a gospel meeting preached by Horace Busby, to-year-old Frank was baptized into Christ. He already knew that he wanted to preach. In fact he had known it for some time.
Frank's keen intellect began to manifest itself in his early youth as he graduated from grammar school as valedictorian and from high school as salutatorian. During those years, he was nurtured by the preaching he heard at Union Avenue. John Allen Hudson was followed by C. A. Norred in 1926 and by G. C. Brewer in 1929. Among the preachers who frequently filled in at Union Avenue when Brewer was traveling were J. N. Armstrong, L. L. Brigance, A. G. Freed, and N. B. Hardeman. As Frank listened to Brewer and Hardeman, he was hearing two of the most powerful preachers in the church of that day. In the summer of 1932, Frank moved to his grandparents' home in Nashville as he made preparation to enter David Lipscomb College in the fall. He was eager to begin preaching, and the opportunity was not long in coming. He preached his first sermon before the Reid Avenue congregation in Nashville on July 10, 1932. He was just 16 years old. Twenty-five years later, he returned to Nashville to preach again at Reid Avenue on the silver anniversary of his first sermon.
In his three years at Lipscomb (1932-1935), Frank preached somewhere nearly every Sunday. He took courses in church history from the president, Batsell Baxter, and courses in philosophy from the dean, E. H. Ijams. Along with fellow students like Howard A. White, M. Norvel Young, Batsell Barrett Baxter, Willard Collins, and Jim Bill Mcinteer, he took courses in Old Testament from Dr. Hall L. Calhoun and coures in New Testament from R. C. Bell. The courses on preaching and the life and work of the minister were taught by H. Leo Boles and Charles R. Brewer. During these college years, Frank became a close friend of the young preacher for the Hillsboro Church of Christ in Nashville whose name was J. P. Sanders.
Perhaps the most powerful influence on Frank's development as a preacher was the time he spent listening to Dr. Hall L. Calhoun, his Old Testament professor and the preacher for the Central Church of in Nashville. Calhoun was an outstanding scholar who had studied under the legendary J. W. McGarvey at the College of the Bible an completed a Ph.D. in Old Testament at Harvard University. In addition to his work with the Central Church and his teaching responsibilities at Lipscomb, Calhoun preached daily over radio station WLAC in Nashville.
The three student years that Frank spent in Nashville were the last three years of Calhoun's life, but they were also years in which Calhoun was at the peak of his powers. "His greatest work was done in the last years of his life: Frank remembers. Frank often visited in the home of the scholar-preacher, and the example of Calhoun would serve as a role model (or the young teenager for many years to come. In 1935, Frank returned to Memphis and remained for the entire summer. With G.C. Brewer traveling across the country conducting evangelistic meetings, the Union Avenue congregation asked their young college student to do all of the preaching. At the age of 19, he preached for three consecutive months for one of the largest and most influential churches in Tennessee.
The next chapter in Frank's life took him to Chattanooga where he preached for the St. Elmo Church of Christ and completed his B.A. degree at the University of Chattanooga. The church allowed him to spend much of 1938-39 in Nashville so that he could study toward his M.A. degree at Vanderbilt University, and that degree was conferred in June, 1939.
Later that summer, Frank Pack and J. P. Sanders finalized plans to travel to Scotland for a year of graduate work at the University of Edinburgh under teachers such as John Baillie. They had already booked passage on the Queen Mary when the storm clouds of war in Europe forced them to cancel their plans. Frank spent one more year with the St. Elmo church before accepting the offer of a position on the Bible faculty at David Lipscomb College.
When Frank arrived at Lipscomb in the fall of 1940, it marked the beginning of a remarkable teaching career which has now spanned forty-six years. The Grace Avenue Church of Christ called him to be their preacher, and for the next four wartime years, Frank divided his work between the college and the church. Neat the close of that time he began to make plans to return to school and enter a doctoral program. It was Batsell Baxter who urged Frank to consider the University of Southern California for his advanced studies.
For the last six months of 1944, Frank devoted his time to preaching in numerous gospel meetings across the country as he prepared to make the move to California. He arrived in Los Angeles in February, 1945, and enrolled immediately at USC. By September of that year, he was also teaching for George Pepperdine College and preaching for the Burbank Church of Christ.
It was in the pulpit at the Burbank Church one Sunday morning in August, 1946, that Della Carlton first saw Frank Pack. She was visiting at the invitation of the George Beal family, who were members of the congregation. Della was immediately impressed with the 29 year-old preacher, and he was certainly not oblivious to her presence. She stayed for the potluck dinner following worship, and afterwards Frank drove her home. They were constant companions in the next few months, and they announced their engagement in December.
Della was a Kansas native who had attended college in Oklahoma and had moved to California to complete her degree at USC. She was teaching school in San Marino and was a member of the Central Church of Christ in Los Angeles when she first met Frank. They were married on June 22,1947, at the Vermont Avenue Church of Christ adjacent to the Pepperdine campus in Los Angeles. Dr. W. B. West, Jr., chairman of the Bible department at Pepperdine, performed the ceremony.
Frank was awarded the Ph.D. in New Testament in 1948, and by 1949 Dr. Pack had accepted the invitation of President Don H. Morris to join the Bible faculty at Abilene Christian College in Abilene, Texas. Starting in 1952, Della was also a member of the ACC faculty, teaching courses in elementary education.
The move to Abilene was the beginning of a significant chapter in Frank's career in which he influenced hundreds of young preachers who came to ACC for their training. He continued to preach during these years, serving both the Northside and Graham Street congregations in Abilene for several years each.
One of the young men who studied under Dr. Pack in those Abilene years was John Gipson. In a recent letter to his former teacher John wrote:
There is no way I can repay the debt which I owe to you. I marvel at your knowledge and insight, the matchless manner in which you preach, and especially the goodness I find in your life. No young preacher could desire a better model or pattern. Your love of truth, your understanding of the human heart, your joy of living, your patience with immature students, your constant encouragement, your love of family, your sense of humor, live before me every day and shout Christ! You have seen, and are, one of the greatest blessings of my life.
There is simply no way to tell of the impact you have made for good on hundreds of us who endeavor to Preach. Over the years I have asked countless preachers the question, I was your favorite teacher in school?" Invariably the answer is "Frank Pack:' No One ever accused you of being "easy:' but they were ready to admit that you were the best!
After fourteen years of faithful service to the students of Abilene Christian College, Frank and Della answered the urgent call of President M. Norvel Young to return to Pepperdine College in Los Angeles. For four months in the fall of 1963, they were privileged to travel around the world. At the beginning of January, 1964, they were back home in the city of their marriage.
For the past twenty-two years, Frank has preached for the Culver Palms Church of Christ in Los Angeles and has served on the faculty Of Pepperdine University. In addition to teaching, he was chairman of the Bible department from 1964 to 1972, and again from 1980 to 1983. He also served as Dean of the Graduate School from 1967 until 1978. Dr. Pack was promoted to Distinguished Professor of Religion in 1978. Della was a member of the Pepperdine faculty from 1964 to 1977. Frank Pack has now been preaching for nearly fifty-four years. His teaching career at three Christian colleges spans forty-six years. During these same years he has preached in more than 300 gospel meetings and has been a featured speaker in college lectureships throughout the nation. Not content to confine his efforts to the pulpit and the classroom, Frank has also been a prolific writer. He has published nine books and more than 300 articles in his productive career.
This commemorative volume is timed to coincide with two significant events in Dr. Pack's career: his seventieth birthday on March 27, 1986, and his retirement from full-time teaching at the close of the summer session in 1986.
When the idea for this book occurred to me in the summer of 1985, I asked Dr. Pack at lunch one day if he knew how many of his former students were still faithfully at work preaching the gospel. Although he couldn’t give me a number at that time, he indicated that he would look back through all his class roll books and provide me with a list or names. Several weeks went by, and then one day, Dr. Pack presented me which a typed list of more than 500 names of his former students who were currently preaching or teaching Bible in a Christian college. I think we were both surprised at how many names were on the list. All the sermons in this book were preached to the glory of God. They were contributors to this special anniversary volume, still to the glory of God, who gave us Frank Pack. Each of the contributors has devoted much of his life to preaching the gospel of Christ, and each is a former student of Frank Pack. Following is a brief word about each man:
Dan Anders preaches for the University Church of Christ in Malibu, California.
Michael Armour was president of Columbia Christian College in Portland, Oregon, from 1982 to 1986. He now preaches for the Skillman Avenue Church of Christ in Dallas, Texas.
Tony Ash is a professor of Bible at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas, and he preaches for the 11th & Willis Church of Christ in Abilene.
Joe Barnett preached for the Broadway Church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas, from 1968 to 1980, and is now president of Pathway Evangelism, a nonprofit organization focusing on media ministries. Bob Barnhill preaches for the Harpeth Hills Church of Christ in Nashville, Tennessee.
Gayle Crowe preaches for the Chatham Church of Christ in Chatham, New Jersey.
Ken Dye preaches for the Broadway Church of Christ in Lubbock Texas, Geoffrey Ellis preaches for the Waterloo Church of Christ in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.
Paul Faulkner is a professor of Bible and director of the Marriage and Family Institute at Abilene Christian University. He preaches frequently throughout the country.
John Gipson preaches for the 6th & Izard Church of Christ in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Lanny Henninger preaches for the University Avenue Church of Christ in Austin, Texas.
Charles Hodge preaches for the Duncanville Church of Christ in Duncanville, Texas.
Jimmy Jividen preached for the Alameda Church of Christ Norman, Oklahoma, from 1981 to 1985 and has taken Christ In to write two books.
Steven Lemley is president of Lubbock Christian College in Lubbock, Texas, and he preaches frequently throughout the Southwest.
Bill Love preaches for the Bering Drive Church of Christ in Houston, Texas.
Avon Malone is an associate professor of Bible at Oklahoma Christian College in Oklahoma City and he preach frequently throughout the Southwest.
Dick Marcear preaches for the Central Church of Christ in Amarillo, Texas.
Randy Mayeux preaches for the 37th & Atlantic Church of Christ in Long Beach, California.
Howard Norton preached for the College Church of Christ in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, from 1983 to 1986, and he will become chairman of the Bible department at Oklahoma Christian College in the summer of 1986.
Harvey Porter preaches for the Montgomery Boulevard Church of Christ in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Joe Schubert preached for the Bammel Road Church of Christ in Houston, Texas, from 1973 to 1983, and he is now president of the Center for Church Growth in Houston.
Silas Shotwell preaches for the South Painter Avenue Church of Christ in Whittier, California.
David Tarbet preaches for the Danbury Church of Christ in Danbury, Connecticut.
Will Ed Warren is an associate professor of Bible at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, and he preaches for the Sheridan Church of Christ in Sheridan, Arkansas.
William Young preaches for the Alta Mesa Church of Christ in Fort Worth, Texas.
Each of the men who contributed to this volume feels a sense of great indebtedness to Frank Pack. Bill Love spoke for all twenty-five when he wrote in a recent letter to Dr. Pack:
It's hard for me to believe it has been twenty-five years since I sat with others in your "Revelation" class in the new south wing of the Ad building! Professors seldom know how profoundly they affect their students. That study of Revelation has been a strong anchor for my developing faith and theology ever since. I hope the sermon enclosed will be a respectable benchmark of that continuing quest and will, in some small way, bring much-deserved honor to you. God has blessed, and will richly bless, so many of us through your ministry!
The welcome news is that Dr. Pack has agreed to continue teaching on a part-time basis at Pepperdine University. As he enters his eighth decade, he still serves the Culver-Palms Church on a regular basis. New books and articles are in preparation. The indefatigable ministry of the scholar-preacher continues. This brief volume is our way of expressing gratitude for the first seventy years of the one who said: "From my youth I have been committed to New Testament Christianity. This faith I have shared with others. By Christ's standards I have endeavored to live and to serve:'
March 27, 1986
Frank Pack's 70th Birthday
-Committed to New Testament Christianity: A Profile Of Frank Pack, page IX-XVII
Remembering and Celebrating the Life of Frank Pack
In Who's Who in America for 1984-85, Dr. Frank Pack was quoted as saying: "From my youth I have been committed to New Testament Christianity.
This faith I have shared with others. By Christ's standards I have endeavored to live and to serve." At the end of his life, we can say with confidence, Frank Pack finished the course God chose for him and, with dignity and integrity, he lived by Christ's standards.
The eldest of three sons, Frank was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on March 27,1916, to Walter and Mary Pack. His keen intellect manifested itself in early youth as he graduated from grammar school as valedictorian. The years John Allen Hudson preached in Memphis were pivotal for young Frank, for the seed was planted that would flower into a noble life. At age ten, Frank was baptized into Christ by Horace Busby. He already knew he wanted to be a preacher.
He graduated from high school as salutatorian. And during those years, he was nurtured at Union Avenue Church of Christ by the preaching of G. C. Brewer, J. N. Armstrong, A. G. Freed, N. B. Hardeman and other powerful preachers. Frank preached his first sermon before the Reid Avenue congregation in Nashville on July 10, 1932. He was just 16 years old.
He attended David Lipscomb College for three years with fellow students Howard A. White, M. Norvel Young, Batsell Barrett Baxter, and Willard Collins. Frank took courses from legendary professors such as E. H. Ijams, R. C. Bell, and H. Leo Boles. He became close friends with the young preacher for the Hillsboro Church in Nashville, J. P. Sanders.
Perhaps the most powerful influence on Frank's development was Dr. Hall L. Calhoun, his Old Testament professor and the preacher for the Central Church in Nashville. Calhoun was an outstanding scholar, and the years that Frank spent in Nashville were the last three years of Calhoun's life. Frank often visited in Calhoun's home and the scholar-preacher served as Frank's lifelong role model. Frank preached in Chattanooga while completing his B.A. at the University of Chattanooga and his M.A. at Vanderbilt. In 1940 he joined the Bible faculty at David Lipscomb College. It was the beginning of a remarkable teaching career. In Nashville, the Grace Avenue Church called Frank to preach, and for the next four years, he divided his work between the college and the church. Batsell Baxter, Sr. urged him to consider USC for his doctorate, and Frank moved to Los Angeles in 1945, enrolling immediately. By September, he was also teaching for Pepperdine College and preaching for the Burbank Church of Christ. In August 1946 Delia Carlton visited the Burbank Church and was immediately impressed with the 29-year-old preacher. They met and soon became constant companions. They were married June 22, 1947.
In 1949 Dr. Pack joined the Bible faculty at Abilene Christian College in Texas. Thus began a significant chapter in his career of influencing hundreds of young preachers in their training. He also served the Northside and Graham Street congregations in Abilene. In 1958, he began preaching for the Graham Street church in Abilene and was there until 1961.
After 14 years at Abilene Christian, Frank and Delia answered the call of President M. Norvel Young to return to Pepperdine in Los Angeles. In early 1964, they were back home in the city of their marriage. From 1964 to 1991, Frank preached for the Culver-Palms Church of Christ in Los Angeles and served on the faculty of Pepperdine University. In addition to teaching, he chaired the Bible department from 1964 to 1972, and again from 1980 to 1983. He also served as dean of the Graduate School from 1967 to 1978. He was promoted to Distinguished Professor of Religion in 1978. Delia was a member of the Pepperdine faculty from 1964 to 1977.
Frank Pack preached for nearly 60 years. During that time he preached in more than 300 gospel meetings and was a featured speaker in college lecture programs throughout the nation. His teaching career at three Christian colleges spanned more than a half century. Dr. Pack was also a prolific writer, publishing nine books and more than 300 articles in his productive career.
-Edited with some facts added to an article written by Jerry Rushford, Pacific Church News, Winter, 1999, pages 7-9
Pacific Church News Memorial Issue
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Preachers Of Today Volume IV
Dedicated To Frank Pack
Directions To The Grave of Frank Pack
Walter Frank and Della Pack are buried in the Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, California. From downtown Los Angeles head south on I-10 to Exit 133, east on the Pomona Fwy. (Hwy. 60). Go about 10 miles on the Pomona Fwy. and just before the I-605 take the Durfee Ave. Exit. Turn left and back to the right on Peck Rd. Peck Road will cross under the I-605. Continue on Peck Road. The road will become Workman Mill Rd. Drive a short distance and you will see the Rose Hill Cemetery on the left. This is a huge complex that controls a large cemetery. Go into the office and request a map if you have time. However, if you have no time for that then download the map below and use it to get to the grave. Otherwise, enter the cemetery from the office at the main entrance. Begin counting turns to the left. Take the seventh left turn. CARNATION LAWN will be on the left and GATEWAY TERRACE will be on the right. Head to the end (North edge of cem) and turn right. Take the second turn to the right and stop the car. The GARDEN OF GRATITUDE will be on the left. The Pack plot will be close to the corner of the section. Look for the closest tree to the corner, and head in a straight line up to the second tree, and the Packs will be close to the second tree. See photos below to assist in locating.
View Larger Map
The view from the Pack Family Plot is from the east looking toward Los Angeles
Photos Taken June 25, 2012
Page produced November 15, 2012
Courtesy of Scott Harp
Special Thanks: To Jerry Rushford. I was able to visit in the home of Jerry and Lori Rushford in late June, 2012. I was just returning from a mission trip to the Fiji Islands, and had about a 30 hour layover in Los Angeles. The Rushfords were wonderful hosts, and Jerry was a great resource in assisting me in the finding of the grave of Frank Pack. If visiting in the Los Angeles area, be sure to visit Pepperdine University in Malibu. Besides having a beautiful campus, be sure to visit the Church of Christ Historical Room, upstairs in the university library. Jerry Rushford has put much work through the years into preserving the history of the churches of Christ on the western coast of the United States of America.