Cecil H. Lang papers, 1917-1969
Cecil Herbert Lang (1891-1974) was a US Army Chaplain and a Presbyterian Minister in the south. Lang was born in Temple, Texas on March 18, 1891, ordained to the ministry in the Presbyterian Church in 1916, and served as a US Army Chaplain during the world wars and as a pastor at several churches throughout the South. He completed his Bachelor of Divinity degree at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and received his Doctor of Divinity from Austin College in 1937. Lang married twice and had a son and a daughter from his first marriage. His father and son served also as pastors.
During the world wars Lang served in Europe and the eastern US in camps, and on ships which brought troops and supplies to and from Europe. He served with various regiments from 1917-1919, and with the XIII Corps in 1942 until 1947, when he asked to be discharged in order to serve as the Executive Secretary of the Dallas Presbytery, an office he held until 1958. From 1917-1918 Lang served as a Religious Work Director for the National War Work Council of the YMCA. In 1945 Lang, a colonel, was awarded a Bronze Metal Star for meritorious service in Europe. Lang retired from the ministry in 1966 after serving in churches in Tennessee, Virginia, Texas and South Carolina. Lang died on July 9, 1974.
One foot, three inches of correspondence, reports, memorandums, creative works, published material, certificates, photographs, pastor’s records and army orders, one photo album and one scrapbook (1917-1969) document the ministerial career of Cecil H. Lang, primarily as a US Army Chaplain during World War I and World War II. The material is arranged in two series: US Army Chaplain Papers (1917-1947) and Pastoral Papers (1917-1969).
The first series, US Army Chaplain Papers (1917-1947), contains papers created and maintained by Cecil H. Lang while serving as a chaplain in the US Army. Most voluminous are the army orders which most commonly describe where Lang was called to serve and in what capacity, the internal army correspondence which bestowed rank promotions, commendations and awards, and correspondence with family, which yields a rich account of Lang’s duties, travels, and leisure activities, primarily in New York and Europe. Other correspondence comprised of incoming letters from the families of service men for whom Lang served as chaplain reveals the ups and downs of chaplaincy, bearing praise and thanks for his services, or asking for information regarding men who were estranged from their families or killed in action. A photo album and scrapbook document Lang’s travels in Europe during the wars with photographs of Lang and the men whom he served, landscapes, and buildings.
The second series, Pastoral Papers (1917-1969), is comprised of material from Lang’s career as a civilian pastor. The bulk of the series is pastor’s records books and type-written sermons and sermon notes, which illuminate Lang’s day-to-day life as a Presbyterian minister. The sermons are usually undated, but appear to have been revised throughout Lang’s career. The pastor’s records books which span 1917-1959, nearly cover Lang’s entire career. Other material includes type-written addresses, material for workshops, handwritten Bible notes, and class notebooks from coursework completed at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Material from the Pastoral Papers series was originally housed in small binders from which it was removed for preservation.
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.
Materials are available by appointment only. Contact the archivist for details.
Cecil H. Lang papers, 1917-1969, Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Detailed Description of the Collection