Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Charles Leonidas King papers, 1918-1982

Descriptive Summary

Creator: King, Charles Leonidas
Title: Charles Leonidas King papers
Dates: 1918-1982
Abstract Charles Leonidas King (1892-1982) was a Presbyterian minister and educator in Virginia and Texas. Creative works, printed material, correspondence, artifacts, and audio/visual materials (1918-1982) document the career of pastor and educator Charles Leonidas King.
Identification: 2007-009
Extent: 4 feet 11 inches manuscript materials, ¾ inch photographs, 32 audio cassettes, and artifacts
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Biographical note

Charles Leonidas King (1892-1982) was a Presbyterian minister and educator in Virginia and Texas. He was born on November 9, 1892 near Covington, Georgia. He attended Davidson College and graduated in 1914. The following year, he entered Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. He received the bachelor of divinity degree in 1918 and was awarded the Moses D. Hoge Fellowship that allowed for an extra year to study at the seminary. In 1919, King was ordained and became pastor for Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Virginia. During this time, King continued to study at Hampden-Sydney College and received a doctorate of divinity in 1924.

In 1932, King moved to Houston, Texas to become pastor of First Presbyterian Church. At this time, the church was divided by issues that had led to the previous pastor’s resignation. The church was in debt and the building burned down during King’s first months on the job. However, under King’s leadership, the church made a recovery; a new building was built, the congregation doubled in size, and the financial situation was rectified.

King was chairman of the board of trustees of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary from 1951-1960. In 1960, they extended an invitation to him to teach homiletics once a week. In February 1961, he resigned his pastorate at First Presbyterian; in September he started a three-year term as visiting professor of homiletics at Austin Seminary. At the end of this term in 1964, he was granted the official status of honorable retirement by the Brazos Presbytery. In 1971, he moved to Bayou Manor, a Presbyterian retirement community in Houston. There, he acted as unofficial chaplain by preaching regularly and performing worship services. He died on January 27, 1982 and was buried in Houston.

In addition to serving as a pastor, King was actively involved with the governance of the Presbyterian Church, U.S. In 1944, he was elected moderator of the General Assembly. He also served as moderator of the Synod of Texas and of the Presbytery of Brazos. King was active in the development of new churches and his commitment to church growth resulted in the establishment of the Charles L. King Fund for Church Extensions by the Brazos Presbytery. King also served the Presbyterian Church, U.S. through a variety of committees of the General Assembly. He was a delegate to the Edinburgh Conference on Faith and Order in addition to being a denominational representative to the World Alliance of Reformed Churches. He was a member of the committee that drafted the "Brief Statement of Faith" in 1962. In 1966, he served as chairman of a committee that visited the struggling Synod of Mississippi and sought solutions for the synod’s difficulties. He advocated for unification with the United Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., but died before this union was accomplished in 1983. King and others led the Synod of Texas to purchase Mo-Ranch, which became an important gathering center for Presbyterians in Texas. To honor King, First Presbyterian Church gave money to build the Charles L. King Dining Hall there; it was dedicated in 1986.

Source: Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "King, Charles Leonidas (1892-1982)," (accessed October 23, 2008).

Scope and Content Note

Creative works, printed material, correspondence, artifacts, and audio/visual materials (1918-1982) document the career of pastor and educator Charles Leonidas King. The collection is divided into nine series. The bulk of the collection consists of the Sermons, Lectures, and Related Material series; this series is comprised of typed and handwritten sermons and lectures, notes, clippings, and other material utilized for sermons and talks given at the churches King served and elsewhere. This series is broken into three subseries based on the subject matter (Sermons relating to the Bible) and form of the material (Sermons from binders and Lecture notes).

The Presbyterian Governance Material series documents King’s service to the overarching Presbyterian community. It contains information given to moderators of the General Assembly, documents produced by committees on which he served, correspondence about committee work, and packets about Presbytery meeting resources.

King’s original folder titles have been preserved throughout the collection. Information in brackets was added to facilitate access.

Materials in accession #2007-009 were originally held at the Montreat office of the Presbyterian Historical Society. They were transferred to the Austin Seminary Archives in 2007.


Access Restrictions

Materials are available by appointment only. Contact the archivist for details.

Index Terms

Personal Names
King, Charles L. (Charles Leonidas), 1892-
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary--Faculty.
Presbyterian Church in the U.S.--Synod of Mississippi.
Presbyterian Church in the U.S.--Synod of Texas.
Presbyterian Church--Clergy..
Sermons, English--Texas.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Charles Leonidas King papers, 1918-1982, Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Detailed Description of the Collection

Sermons, Lectures, and Related Material:

C162 Sermons and Sermonettes, 1931, 1945, 1958 and undated
[Presbyterianism], 1956
Sermons, 1919-1924, 1940, 1946
The church, 1948-1951 and undated
Christ concern, 1967, 1975-1978 and undated
Series on the Holy Spirit, 1938, 1952 and undated
Series on Faith, 1960 and undated
The Apostles Creed, 1938, 1961-1962 and undated
C163 Paul D. Torrey Writings, 1959-1961
Sermons: First Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas, 1924, 1924, 1940-1944, 1956-1958 and undated
God – Clippings from 1st years of my ministry, 1919, 1920-1932, and undated
Farewell Prayer 13:30 Chap 17, 1947 and undated
Resources for spiritual growth and power, undated
Recent Sermons, 1964-1965, 1974 and undated
Lectures on Christian Beliefs – Nov. and Dec. of 1980, undated
Xmas, 1976 and undated
Sermons, undated
Sermonettes, most of which was published in Houston, 1936-1956 and undated
Sermonettes from Houston Post, 1919-1923, 1941-1960 and undated
Sermonettes published in Houston Post, 1957-1958
Ministers’ Personal Life, 1960-1964
C165 Worship, 1924-1926, 1939 and undated
Faith, 1924-1928
Freedom, 1924, 1942 and undated
Forgiveness, 1922-1928 and undated
Inspiration, 1923
The Holy Spirit. St. A[ndrew’s], undated
The Lectures on the Prayers of Jesus 12/4/79, undated
3 Lectures on the Holy S[pirit] delivered in 1st church in 1967, 1967 and undated
Concerning Church Union, 1953 and undated
My Last Sermon at First Church, 1961
Chapel Talks at Austin Sem[inary], 1963 and undated
Talks and Letters by others, 1941, 1962-1968 and undated
Lectures on the Minister – Austin, U.T.S. [Union Theological Seminary], 1960-1964 and undated
Westervelt Lectures, 1960
Talks to Young P[eople], 1935-1939
Talks at Various Places, 1967-1969 and undated
Addresses by self on various occasions, 1960-1970
Various Talks by Self, undated
Talks to Ministers at Camp Cho-Yeh March 4 and 5, 1957 and Other Places and Groups, undated
Prayer – Lectures, undated
Lord’s Prayer, undated
C166 Presbyterians, 1948-1961 and undated
Early Talks on the H[oly] S[pirit], undated
Sermons, 1981 and undated
[Montreat Conference on Ministers Forum], 1964 and undated
Prayers of Jesus, undated
Sermons and Lectures, [includes “Brief Statement of Faith” from 1962], 1938, 1949-1953, 1962, 1970 and undated
[Confirmation Class], undated
[Presbytery of New Covenant Resource Center], 1980
Our Presbyterian Heritage, 1970-1982 and undated
Church of Scotland, Report on Pentecostals, New Pente. Charismatic, 1974-1976 and undated
Leadership [?] Luke – Parables – Miracles, undated
Thanksgiving, 1915, 1926-1929 and undated
Wilson (Woodrow), 1924-1927 and undated
Teaching Value in the Old Testament, Kerrville 1936, undated
400 Anniversary Bible in English, 1935 and undated
Evangelism – 2 Talks in Atlanta Assembly, 1959 and undated
Presbyterianism in Richmond, Grace Covenant, 1918-1923, and undated
C168 Grace Covenant Ch[urch], [includes printed text for Wednesday Evening Bible Studies] 1921-1924, 1932, 1974
Dispensationalism, 1938-1944 and undated
Left over or duplicates of little value [includes lectures, Austin Presbyterian Seminary Board of Trustees and Search Committee material], 1976 and undated
Church History, undated
New Testament Roads, 1949 and undated
[Luke Circle Study and Discussion Lessons], undated
Lectures on the Church Synod of Okla[homa], 1965, and undated
How we got our Bible, 1921
From Exile Through Restoration Address (Bible Study) at Christ Episcopal Church 6/2/46, undated
Holy Spirit, 1965 and undated
Lectures on Basic Beliefs – Spring ’61, 1961-1962 and undated
[First Presbyterian Church, Houston], 1933, 1946, 1980-1982, and undated
Bethany Pres[byterian] Church – ten miles from Covington Georgia, Dr. King’s Home Church, 1978-1981 and undated
[Notes], 1945 and undated
Sermons and lectures relating to the Bible:
Lecture Material from Montreat 1955 – Lectures of John (First) and Prayer, 1959-1961 and undated
John, Epistles of, 1924, 1957 and undated
Jude, 1924 and undated
C169 Genesis complete series 1960, 1960
Genesis. This is a 2nd and condensation of 1st series, 1976, and undated
Genesis. My earliest studies, before coming to Houston in 1932, 1922-1924 and undated
Exodus plus papers on plagues and covenant, 1948 and undated
The Pentateuch, undated
Leviticus, 1922 and undated
Numbers, 1922 and undated
Special Bible Study – Deuteronomy, Introduced February 21-March 20 – 5 Lectures, 1922 and undated
Nehemiah, undated
Ezra and Nehemiah, undated
Book of Ruth, 1922 and undated
Chronicles, 1922 and undated
Kings, 1922 and undated
Samuel, 1922 and undated
Judges, 1922 and undated
Joshua, 1924 and undated
Song of Solomon, undated
Ecclesiastes, undated
Proverbs, undated
1922 Job – Lectures on, undated
Psalms, Bible Lectures, April 1953, First Presbyterian Church, Houston, 1953, 1973
Psalms – Outlines, 1953 and undated
Studies in the New Testament, 1958-1960 and undated
Bible Study Outline – New Testament, 1940
Beginning of N.T. out lives [empty]
Jeremiah, undated
Lamentations, undated
Daniel, 1922-1923 and undated
Joel, undated
1st set Amos, 1922, 1957-1960 and undated
D001 2nd set Amos + 21 [?] Lectures, 1957-1960 and undated
Prophets – Minor, undated
Jonah, 1940 and undated
Obadiah and Joel, 1922 and undated
Micah, 1922-1923 and undated
Nahum and Jonah, 1922-1923 and undated
Habakuk and Zephaniah [empty]
Haggai, undated
Malachi, undated
Zephaniah, 1922-1923 and undated
Zachariah, undated
Esther – Book of, 1942 and undated
Isaiah, undated
Jeremiah, undated
New Testament [?] 3, 1940 and undated
Matthew, 1923-1924, 1939, 1947 and undated
Devotional Studies in the Gospel According to Luke – First Presbyterian Church, Houston, Holy Week, 1942 (Auxiliary sponsored, but held at noon for all comers), 1942 and undated
Mark – Lectures on Gospel of, 1920, 1959 and undated
Gospel of Luke Prayer Meeting 1936, 1923-1924, 1936, 1943 and undated
John - Nearly [?], 1923-1924, 1940 and undated
John – School San Antonio, 1922, 1957-1960 and undated
Acts, 1943-1944, 1954-1958, 1967 and undated
D002 Romans – Lectures, 1930, 1938 and undated
Romans – Houston – 1938, Mid-Week Service, 1938
Romans, 1938 and undated
Corinthians – Lectures – Grace Covenant, 1924, 1978, and undated
Corinthians – First and Second, 1923-1924 and undated
Lectures on Ephesians, Spring Bible Lectures, Intensive Bible Lectures – March 9 through April 3rd, 1954, 1960 and undated
Philippians, 1961 and undated
Galatians, 1920-1924 and undated
Philemon, 1923-1924 and undated
Colossians – Lectures:
Outlines, 1923-1924 and undated
Essay by Hardie, undated
Lecture, undated
Thessalonians, 1923-1924 and undated
I Timothy – Lectures, January 1926, undated
Timothy – Second, undated
Titus, undated
Hebrew – Lectures, 1961 and undated
Hebrew – Sermons, 1916 and undated
Peter, First Epistle of – Lecture, 1924, 1958-1959, undated
D003 Last Lessons on Luke – Circle Meetings, 1923, 1967 and undated
Revelation, 1959
Revelation, 1958-1959 and undated
Seven Signs in John, undated
Studies in the Old Testament
Studies in the Parables (Y.P. Conference, Kerrville 1941; Y.P. Leadership School, Montreat, 1941), undated
[Hosea], undated
Sermons from Binders:
Acts 1-9, 1936-1961 and undated
Creeds, Carols, Young People, 1931-1943, 1956-1961 and undated
Worship, Christianity, Misc., 1928-1943, 1951-1961
Sermons on Matthew, 1934, 1970-1973 and undated
[Sermons on John], 1973-1974 and undated
D004 [Sermons on Corinthians], 1931-1940, 1952-1954, 1973-1975 and undated
[Sermons on Phillippians], 1927-1938, 1974 and undated
[Sermons on Romans], 1954, 1974 and undated
[Sermons on the Holy Spirit], 1970 and undated
Various sermons, 1924-1976 and undated
D005 Various sermons, 1924-1976 and undated
Lecture notes [unknown authorship, potentially Dr. King]:
Outline Studies in the New Testament, undated
The Existence of God, undated
“What Presuppositions…” [incomplete], undated
I001 Personalized binder from First Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas

The Holy Spirit in the Bible:

D005 Draft manuscripts, undated
Printed copy, 1978

Congregational Materials:

D005 [Bayou Manor Chapel bulletins], 1973-1978 and undated
First Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas [includes bulletin and directories], 1977-1981
Pastoral Record Book [includes records of weddings and funerals], 1949-1961

Presbyterian Governance Materials:

D005 General Assembly:
Moderator 1944, 1944
Friends of Presbyterian Union, 1955
Committee on Mississippi Visitation:
Miss[issippi] Visitation by Assembly Com[mittee] 1955, 1966-1967 and undated
Report of the Ad-Interim Committee on Visitation, 1970
Joint-Control of Austin Seminary, [includes Distinguished Service award from Austin Seminary Association] 1957-1958, 1980 and undated
Charles L. King Fund for Church Extension 1961
Joint Comm[ittee] of 12 Report 1979 1979
[Presbytery of New Covenant Resource Center] 1980
Presbytery Green Books:
The Presbytery of Brazos:
March 13, 1979
June 9, 1979
D006 March 11, 1980
The Presbyteries of Brazos and Gulf Coast:
November 13, 1979
June 7, 1980
The Presbytery of New Covenant:
November 18, 1980
March 14, 1981
June 9, 1981
September 19, 1981


D006 Mary Baldwin College – Invitation to consider Pres., 1946
[Correspondence], 1978-1981 and undated

Appointments, Awards, Diplomas, and Honors:

I005 Moderator of General Assembly Presbyterian Church U.S.A. plaque, 1944
D006 Austin College, Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa diploma, 1945
I001 Austin College, Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa diploma cover, 1945
PRES State of Georgia, Honorary Lieutenant Colonel certificate, 1959
D006 Austin College [and other honors], 1961-1966 and undated
Austin College, Austin College Development Commission certificate, 1963
St. Edward’s University, Coronat Medal certificate, 1963
Davidson College, 1979
I006 Davidson College, Doctor of Divinity plaque, 1979
I001 Austin Seminary Association, Distinguished Service Citation plaque, 1980
D006 The Institute of Religion, 1980

Biographical information:

D006 [Biographical information], undated
Oral history, 1979

Audio Cassettes:

C112b Sermons from First Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas, 1960-1961
Bible Study from First Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas, 1955-1960
C112c Bible Study from First Presbyterian Church, Houston, Texas, 1955-1960

C111 Photographs


I008 Academic regalia, undated