Dewitt Carter Reddick papers, 1925-1986, undated
Dewitt Carter Reddick (1904-1980) was the primary teacher of the Sunday school Century Class at the University Presbyterian Church in Austin from 1937-1951. Additionally, he was a professor of journalism in the University of Texas at Austin’s College of Communication, and served as dean of that college from 1967-1969.
Reddick was born July 30, 1904 in Savannah, Georgia. Abandoned by his father and losing both his mother and grandmother at a young age, Reddick spent his teenage years taking care of his younger brother in Fort Worth, TX. He worked several jobs to put himself through college and after years of traveling abroad, was offered a full-time position teaching journalism at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) in 1927.
On October 21, 1928, Reddick joined the University Presbyterian Church (UPC) in Austin and was enlisted as director of student work, eventually teaching the Sunday school Century Class established by Walter E. Long. Reddick left Austin twice, once in 1938 to pursue a PhD in journalism at the University of Missouri, and again in 1942 to teach at Columbia University. Following the start of World War II, Reddick moved his family back to Austin where he resumed his teaching position at UT as well as his work with the Century Class, which had grown to over 250 members. Reddick used his connections in the academic world to found the magazine Texas Presbyterian and also served on the board of editors of the Presbyterian Survey, revolutionizing the way churches used print material to reach the wider Christian community.
In 1959, Reddick became the Director of UT’s School of Journalism and soon after, along with the deans of the radio-television and speech departments, founded the university’s College of Communication. Reddick enjoyed giving talks to both clergy and lay people about building effective communication between the church and the community. In the late 1960s, he taught Lawrence Wharton’s adult UPC Sunday school class. He retired as dean in 1969, but continued teaching at UT until 1974. Reddick died on August 22, 1980 from cancer, survived by his wife Marjorie Reddick and their two children.
Creative works, printed material, and correspondence, 1925-1986 (12.5 inches), document the work of Dewitt Carter Reddick as the teacher of the Century Class Sunday School program at the University Presbyterian Church (UPC), as a speaker to other religious and educational institutions, and as a journalism professor at The University of Texas at Austin. The bulk of the collection (11 inches, 1937-1963, undated) is comprised of the Religious Teaching Material created and used by Reddick for instruction of the UPC’s Century Class. The material in this series is arranged by academic year, according to the Century Class schedule, although not all of the academic years have complete material for both semesters.
Material in the Religious Teaching Material series also includes an outline of lessons for the academic year, weekly typed lesson plans, handwritten notes, and printed material associated with each lesson. Reddick frequently reused his lesson plans, which are arranged according to their original date of use, and include notes on the date of a lesson’s later use. Administrative material concerning the Century Class, including rosters, class officer lists, and scripts and readings used in the class, are also found throughout this series. Also included with the Religious Teaching Material are talks Reddick gave to campus organizations at The University of Texas at Austin and churches in the surrounding area. Talks he gave in his capacity as a member of the university’s journalism faculty are found in the Professional Material series.
The University Presbyterian Church series documents Reddick’s interactions with other UPC staff members, the Presbyterian student work program, worship service bulletins, sermons, teaching material for classes, and church-wide celebrations. Documents concerning the church’s Faith and Life class are spread across this series, as is material on the history of student involvement with the church.
Biographical materials concerning Reddick’s life are found both in the Biographical Materials series, and the Marjorie Reddick subgroup.
The series Professional Material consists of two subseries. The first, Published material, contains books written and edited by Reddick. The second, Assorted material, consists of items related to Reddick’s role as a professional in the community.
The collection is largely complete for the years 1937-1951, but the teaching material grows sparse during 1952-1953 and 1956-1963, with no teaching material in the collection covering 1954-1955. Material for the whole collection grows more incomplete after 1958, especially during the 1970s. Notable persons documented in the collection include Walter E. Long, who founded the Century Class at the UPC in 1924.
Materials are available by appointment only. Contact the archivist for details.
Dewitt Carter Reddick papers, 1925-1986, Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
The date of receipt and persons involved in the donation of the Dewitt Carter Reddick Papers are unknown – the boxes of material were simply found in the archives without any accompanying information on the donation. The latest dated piece is from 1986, so it can be assumed it was donated no earlier than that. Based on documents in the collection, it appears that Reddick’s widow Marjorie played some role in finding a home for the papers after his death. An additional box of material was combined with the collection in 2009.
Previous APTS archivist Bill Brock started an arrangement in the mid-1990s, but it was not completed. His notes and photocopies have been included in the holding record where appropriate. Processing of the collection was completed in Fall 2008 by Holly Green and Scott Miles as part of Dr. David Gracy’s Introduction to Archival Enterprise I course at The University of Texas at Austin School of Information. The 2009 addendum was processed by Elizabeth Garber, Archives Assistant, in September 2009.
Detailed Description of the Collection