George Adams Hangs 'em up After Almost 40 Years

Aug 19, 2003 04:21 PM EDT

PHILADELPHIA - After nearly 40 years of distinguished Presbyterian ministry - and rabid support of the Cincinnati Reds - the Rev. George T. Adams hung up his ecclesiastical spikes Aug. 1. He and his wife, Diane, plans to remain in Bensalem, PA, near Philadelphia. They have two grown children and twin grandsons.

As a pastor, presbytery stated clerk and for the last 15 years as vice-president and corporate secretary for the denomination's Board of Pensions (BOP), Adams distinguished himself as an astute observer of the church, a blunt-speaking advocate for justice, an effective administrator and a fiercely loyal Presbyterian who gave his all for the church he loved.

The Rev. Dan Clark, a member of the BOP board of directors who was mentored by Adams early in his career, said, "George Adams was a teacher of and about the reality of the church... The one he loved and taught was the one that could be capricious and difficult. In many ways, he saw it as a personality that one had to get to know and learn to live with.... Basically, George lived the principle that the church was as only as good as you are willing to make it."

Born in Fostoria, OH, and raised in Bellefontaine, OH, Adams earned a B.S. in Business Administration at the Miami University in Oxford, OH. He graduated from Chicago Theological Seminary and was ordained by Columbus (OH) Presbytery in 1965.

Adams pastored to congregations in Groveport and Franklin, OH and found his call to the governing body life of the PC(USA) early on. He helped merge two presbyteries into the Presbytery of Scioto Valley and became its first stated clerk. He was elected to the General Assembly Permanent Judicial Commission in the mid seventies and later served as stated clerk/treasurer for the Presbytery of Blackhawk in Illinois.

Adams joined the Board of Pensions in 1988 and was instrumental in developing the BOP's "relief of conscience" provisions for sessions and plan members conscientiously opposed to abortion, as well as the streamlining of the board's post-retirement service rules and total quality management program.