Graham family papers, 1902-1998
William Ezekiel Graham was born in Tiplersville, Mississippi on March 15, 1863. He married Sarah E. "Sallie" Luna in Walnut, MS on December 3, 1884. Shortly thereafter he was ordained by the Bell Presbytery of the Synod of Mississippi on July 25, 1891. Reverend Graham was a preacher and educator throughout Mississippi until 1894. That same year he moved to Kemp, Texas where he served as pastor of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for eleven years. In 1905 he became pastor at Greenville Presbyterian Church (now part of the Dallas Presbytery) where he served for twenty-nine years. The foundation of the church was personally paid for by William in 1907. In 1918, he was elected Moderator of the Texas Synod by more than a two thirds majority. Trinity University conferred upon Dr. Graham an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1929. Resigning this church in 1934, he became pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Whitesboro, Texas until his death. One said of him "He was an outstanding minister of Texas for forty years and his entire ministry was characterized by its constructive work…" He died in Whitesboro, Texas, on January 11, 1936.
Robert Ethan Graham was born in Greenville, TX on July 12, 1915. He is the son of William Ethan Graham and Nannie Moody Armstrong, and the grandson of William Ezekiel Graham. Robert attended Texas Tech from 1932-1936 and Princeton Theological Seminary where he graduated in 1938 and was ordained in 1939. On February 20, 1943, Robert married Helen Ruth "Peg" Coats in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. As a pastor in United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America from 1939-1960, Robert served churches in Shickshinny, Tamaqua, Altoona, and Oil City, Pennsylvania before serving churches in Austin (1958-1964). In Austin, Robert’s unwavering support of church integration cost him his position at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. Without a church for two years, Robert found service in Brady, Texas where he eventually became a full time pastor. He was ordained on October 14, 1969 and served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Dickinson, TX from 1969-1980. He retired from the Dickinson church in 1980 moving on to serve as an interim pastor for Presbytery of New Covenant in Gulf Prairie, Alief, and Conroe, Texas and in the Palo Duro Presbytery in Pampa, Texas. Robert Ethan Graham passed away November 16, 1998 in Canyon Lake, Comal, TX.
Two inches of sermon notes, correspondence, clippings, and recorded sermons on audio CDs (1902-1998) are arranged in two groups to document William Ezekiel Graham and Robert Ethan Graham’s personal and professional lives. A record of books belonging to William Ezekiel Graham and Robert Ethan Graham (published from 1883-1989, and inventoried by Lois Graham Moran in 2017), is located in the holding record.
Sub-group one is arranged in two series that include William Ezekiel Graham’s professional and personal papers. The professional series consists of 1 inch of sermons and related notes dating from 1931-1933. These sermon files were originally housed in two binders that have been separated from the papers due to preservation concerns [photo copies of the inside of the binders that included written notes have been photocopied and included in with the sermons in their respective folders]. The Personal series includes correspondence and clippings from years 1902-1935.
Sub-group two includes Robert Ethan Graham’s recorded sermons on three audio CD’s dated 1987- circa 1998.
Materials are available by appointment only. Contact the archivist for details.
Graham family papers, 1902-1998, Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Processed by Nikole Koehlert, Archives Assistant, July 2017.