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Making History Today: Cumberland Connections

Presbyterian Historical Society of the Southwest

James S. Currie, Executive Secretary

At last count we had 42 multi-generational Presbyterian minister families (32 in PCUS/PC(USA) and 10 in Cumberland Presbyterian Church) who had/have served in the four-state area of Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. See the list at the end of this column. If there are others, please let me know.

For this column I have asked permission from former PHSSW board member and Cumberland Presbyterian Church historian Rose Mary Magrill to print her account of Cumberland families Campbell and Estes. It follows:

Samuel Russell Estes, Sr. (1888-1996) appears to have spent his entire career as a pastor in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and West Texas. He had two sons who became CP ministers: Samuel Russell Estes, Jr., and Loyce Stander Estes.

Sam, Jr. was ordained by Louisiana Presbytery in 1942. He had moved to Shreveport to live with an aunt and uncle (CP pastor in Shreveport—more about him later) in order to finish high school. While he was a probationer, he sometimes had to ride a horse in order to get to his rural preaching appointments. Sam was a great help to me when I was writing Legacy of Grace in the early 2000s because he was one of the few around who remembered earlier days in Louisiana Presbytery. Most of Sam’s career was spent as pastor of the 1st CPC in Lubbock where he died a few years ago (I watched the livestream of his funeral, so I think it was sometime during the pandemic).

Loyce Estes (1920-2010) was one of the younger boys in the Estes family. He spent many years as pastor of the 1st CPC in Austin. In later life he served here in Marshall (in the 1980s). After retiring from Marshall, he also served several years in Jefferson before giving up the active ministry because of his health. He died in Marshall. He was moderator of the General Assembly in 1968.

One of the daughters of Sam, Sr. married Thomas Hardestry Campbell (1907-1989). Thomas Campbell, a native of Abilene, served several small churches in East Texas and Arkansas, and was the organizing pastor of a CP church in Shreveport. For much of his career he was the dean of Memphis Theological Seminary. He wrote History of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Texas in 1936 for the Texas Centennial. He was also one of the authors of A People Called Cumberland Presbyterians (1972). He was moderator of the General Assembly in 1973.

Thomas D. “Tom” Campbell, son of Thomas H. Campbell, served at least one pastorate in the Fort Worth area and finished his pastoral career at a church in northwestern Arkansas. Before that, he was the director of the Program of Alternate Studies at MTS until 2010. He wrote One Family Under God (1962), a history of the connections between Black and white Cumberland Presbyterians. (He now lives in Powell, Tennessee in retirement.) He was moderator of the General Assembly in 1990.

George Russell Estes (b. 1945) is a son of Sam, Jr. He also served as the pastor of the 1st CPC in Lubbock and had earlier served in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. In more recent years he worked at the denominational center in Memphis and is now retired and living in Memphis.

Many thanks to Rose Mary for this.

Here’s a list of family surnames received so far.

PCUS/PC(USA): Armendariz, Branson, Bullock, Crofoot, Crofton, Currie, Dickey, Edington, Freeman, Junkin, Lang, Long, McCutcheon, Miller, Minter, Murray, Newton, O’Neal, Parse, Purcell, Robertson, Shepperson, Smith, Stitt, Sydnor, Thompson, Travis, Wharton, Wilbanks, Wilkins, Williams, Williams (different from first Williams).

Cumberland: Brown, Brown (different from first Brown), Campbell, Estes, Hall, Knight, Rustenhaven, Scrudder, Shelton, Thomas.

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