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Rev. Jeff Lowrance papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS0390

Scope and Contents

The Reverend Jeff Lowrance collection contains over 1200 sermons that he wrote over the course of his thirty-two year career as a Presbyterian minister; and two other series in the collection contain additional materials pertinent to Presbyterianism (a small quantity of church records and several files on subject matter). Such a collection as this contains a wealth of information about Presbyterian theology and should be valuable to scholars of religion and also to ministers. Even in the age of typewriters, computers and word processing, Reverend Lowrance always wrote his sermons long-hand and his files contain a nearly complete accumulation of his written work. Though he originally kept each sermon in its own folder, his labeling scheme changed over time, and he did not always include a sermon title on the folders, and he almost never wrote the title, date or scriptural reference on his sermons. It seems that while he served the congregation at the Tazewell Presbyterian Church, a secretary made typed transcriptions of his sermons and the transcriptions typically contained titles, dates and scriptural references. Lowrance usually retained copies of the church bulletins to accompany the sermons; and the bulletins usually provide these data elements. The sermons whose dates could not be determined had to be arranged either according to a scriptural reference (some of the original folders had this information), or according to topic. Another series in this collection contains a small quantity of records of the churches where he served. These include a small quantity of church bulletins (arranged chronologically), a few items of correspondence, a few things from the Presbyterian General Assembly and a few records from the Hopewell, Prospect and Tazewell Presbyterian churches. The last series contains files on a wide range of subject matter concerning issues that the Presbyterian clergy had to deal with in the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries.

Dates

  • 1975 - 2007

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Jeff Lowrance was born in Mooresville, North Carolina on January 20, 1951 to William and Betty Jo Lowrance, and he spent most of his life in the Tar Heel State. He attended public schools in Mooresville and matriculated through Davidson College from 1969 to 1973—graduating cum laude. From there, he went on to the Union Theological Seminary from 1973 through 1977. While a seminarian from 1975 to 1977, he served at the First Presbyterian Church in Carthage, and the First Presbyterian Church in Salisbury, North Carolina. After his ordination on June 26, 1977, he served a three church yoked field in Ashe County, North Carolina (Lansing Presbyterian Church, Gillespie Chapel, and Foster Memorial Chapel) from June 1977 to November of 1980. From there, he moved to Lenoir, North Carolina and served the First Presbyterian Church of Lenoir from 1980 to 1986. In September of 1986 he and his family moved to the Tazewell Presbyterian Church in Tazewell, Virginia—remaining there until July of 1993. It was then that he moved to his last congregation—the Hopewell Presbyterian Church near Charlotte, North Carolina, where he remained until his death. In mid October of 2004, Reverend Lowrance was diagnosed with colon cancer. He preached his last sermon on Easter Sunday, April 8, 2007 and died on May 28, about six weeks later. During his many years in Christian service, he served on a number of committees and ministries, including the Committee on Women, the Outdoor Christian Ministry, the Committee on Ministry, the Committee on the Preparation for Ministry, the Special Committee for Elderly Housing, the Committee for Clergy Education; and he also served as a delegate to the General Assembly in 1985 and in 1993. He married Anne Doll, a certified Director of Christian Education, on June 18, 1978, and with her had two daughters—Claire Noelle and Erin Anna Lowrance. Among his hobbies and interests were literature, music, film, ACC basketball and history. In addition to his committee service, he also served on the boards of Latta Plantation, Historic Rural Hill Farm, the Hugh Torrance House & Store, and was instrumental in adding the Hopewell Presbyterian Church to the National Register of Historic Places. He helped locate and preserve a number of slave cemeteries in the Hopewell area and also served as chaplain of the Loch Norman Highland Games for ten years. HISTORICAL NOTE: The Hopewell Presbyterian Church (the last church where Rev. Lowrance served) can trace its origins to Reverend Alexander Craighead, who moved to North Carolina from Virginia in 1758 to preach at the Rocky River Presbyterian Church. Craighead is known as the ‘father of the seven colonial churches’ in the Charlotte area (the others being Hopewell, Sugaw Creek, Center, Providence, Poplar Tent, and Steel Creek Presbyterian churches). The Hopewell church recognizes the year 1762 as the year of its founding, and the first meeting house was a log structure, built around 1765. Since then, the members have had a number of building projects and expansions. In 1830, the congregation built a large sanctuary, which is still in use today. In 1860, a vestibule was built on the south side of the building; in the 1920s they built an education building; in 1953, a fellowship hall; and in 1964 they built a recreation building. As the area surrounding the Hopewell church experienced rapid growth in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, the HPC experienced a corresponding growth in membership.

Extent

7 Linear Feet

Overview

Collection 390 contains the papers of Reverend Jeff Lowrance (1951-2007), a Presbyterian minister, who served six different congregations from 1975 to 2007. During his thirty-two year career he wrote over 1200 sermons, which make up the majority of this collection. In addition, this collection also includes notes on a variety of subject matter related to Christian and ministerial matters. Rev. Lowrance died of colon cancer on May 30, 2007.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired from Mrs. Anne D. Lowrance, in 2008.

Related Materials

Hopewell Presbyterian Church records, mss 245 ; Sharon Presbyterian Church records, mss 385 ; Pharr-Walker family papers, mss 197.

Processing Information

Processed by Robert A. McInnes
Title
Rev. Jeff Lowrance papers
Status
Completed
Author
Robert A. McInnes
Date
2008
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Contact:
Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte 28223 United Stated