The Rev. Dr. Arthur R. Hall
The Rev. Dr. Arthur R. Hall, 88, Pastor Emeritus of Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, MD died in his home in Gaithersburg on January 29, 2011 from complications related to PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy).
Arthur Hall was born on Easter Sunday, April 16, 1922 to the late Arthur R. Hall, Sr., and Ada (Wheeler) Hall in Danville, IL. He graduated from Danville High School in 1940. He attended the University of Illinois where he was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He earned an AB in History in 1946 and an MA in Philosophy in 1948. He then went on to earn an MDiv (cum laude) from Union Theological Seminary (NYC) in 1951. He received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Hanover College (IN) in 1964. During World War II he served in the U. S. Navy (LTJG) in the Pacific Theater (1943-46).
Dr. Hall was ordained to the ministry in 1951 and was a pastor in the Presbyterian Church, USA, serving First Presbyterian Church, Monmouth, IL (1951 – 1958), Central Presbyterian Church, Louisville, KY (1958-1967), and Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church, Bethesda, MD (1967-1989).
He was married to Ann Benson Hall for 65 years and was the devoted father of Janet Hall Graff (Steven) of Falls Church, Laura Hall Abell (Michael) of Mt. Vernon, OH, and Nancy Hall Berens (Thomas) of Alexandria, and grandfather to Geoffrey Graff (Shalini Low-Nam), Hannah Graff, Dylan Scott, Ethan Abell and Anne-Marie Berens. He was preceded in death by his parents, an infant sister Janet Hall, and his son-in-law Rick Scott.
Arthur Hall was active in many initiatives and projects related to civil rights, urban renewal and helping the disadvantaged both in the Washington, DC area and in downtown Louisville, KY. In the Washington area he participated in various committees of National Capital Presbytery, Greater Washington Council of Churches, Washington Interchurch Club, Synod of the Piedmont (moderator 1974-75) and Montgomery County Community Ministry. When he first arrived in the metropolitan DC area, he organized area clergy to help integrate several funeral homes which refused to serve African American families, and later he worked to secure church property for use by Latinos for a community center still in use today. After retiring from parish ministry, Dr. Hall volunteered at Asbury Methodist Village as treasurer for the Villas and on a religious advisory committee. He and his wife Ann also served as flower shop volunteers at NIH.
Arthur Hall was also active with the Presbyterian Church on the national level especially in the area of education where he acted as the President of the Board of Christian Education, Chairman of Renewal and Extension of the Ministry, and served on the Joint Committee on Presbyterian Reunion. He was a key player in reuniting the northern and southern branches of the Presbyterian Church which had split during the Civil War. He was also the Associate Director of the Theological Education Fund and a member of the Committee on Theological Education of the Presbyterian Church, USA. He served on the Board of Directors of the Presbyterian Foundation as well as several educational institutions including Louisville Theological Seminary (KY), Centre College (Danville, KY), Union Theological Seminary (NYC), and Johnson C. Smith Seminary and the Interdenominational Theological Center (Atlanta, GA). In 1970 he was a Delegate to the Uniting Assembly of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches in Nairobi, Kenya.
Dr. Hall loved reading, traveling, and music, especially organ music, and was a member of the American Guild of Organists. He also had a keen interest in cars and architecture. He traveled frequently to Ghost Ranch Conference Center (Presbyterian Church USA) in New Mexico for study and vacation with his family. Family travels took them all over the US and around the world. He was proud to have visited all 50 states.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, February 20, 2:00 p.m. at Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church, 6601 Bradley Blvd, Bethesda. Burial will be in East Lynn Cemetery north of his hometown of Danville, IL.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Hall Mission Fund at Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church.