Southern Methodist University

Fred D. Gealy papers

A Guide to the Collection


Creator: Gealy, Fred D. (Fred Daniel), 1894-1976
Title: Fred D. Gealy papers
Dates: 1909-1977
Dates (Bulk): 1920-1970
Abstract: This collection documents the life of Fred D. Gealy (1894-1976). Dr. Gealy was a Methodist minister, missionary, Bible scholar, and church musician. His career included teaching positions at Aoyama Gakuin University, Drew Theological School, Iliff School of Theology, Perkins School of Theology, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. The collection includes correspondence; personal materials; research, writing, editing, and teaching files; sermon notes; and publications.
Accession No: Collection BridArch 1.021
Extent: 23 boxes (10.5 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English and Japanese
Repository Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

Historical Note

Scholar, educator, and church musician Fred Daniel Gealy was born on May 13, 1894, in Oil City, Pennsylvania, the son of William Jefferson and Emma Caroline Baum Gealy. He studied at Allegheny College (A.B., 1916), Boston University School of Theology (S.T.B., 1919; Ph.D., 1929), and Union Theological Seminary in New York (S.T.M., 1929). Gealy furthered his studies in Basel, Berlin, and Chicago. In 1937 Allegheny College honored him with a Doctor of Divinity degree.

Gealy became a Deacon in the Erie Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1917 and was ordained an Elder in 1921. From 1918 to 1920, he served as pastor of the West Congregational Church of West Peabody, Massachusetts. From 1921 to 1923 Rev. Gealy was appointed pastor of the Townville, Pennsylvania, Methodist Episcopal Church. On June 26, 1923, he married Mildred Gladys Reader of Rochester, Pennsylvania. They had three sons: William James, Fred Daniel, Jr., and John Robert.

In August 1923 the Gealys departed for Japan on missionary assignment. They arrived on September first, the day of the Great Kanto Earthquake. From 1923 to 1936 Dr. Gealy taught New Testament at Aoyama Gakuin (now Aoyama Gakuin University).

Between 1936 and 1939 Gealy accepted visiting professorships at Drew University, the University of Denver, and Southern Methodist University (SMU). He joined the faculty of the SMU School of Theology (now Perkins School of Theology) in 1940 as professor of New Testament Greek, missions, and church music. After retiring from Perkins School of Theology, Gealy joined the faculty of Methodist Theological School in Delaware, Ohio, in 1960. Following his second retirement in 1969, he returned to Dallas, where he continued teaching occasionally at SMU. Fred Gealy’s published writings included numerous articles in scholarly journals and in the Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (1962), the introduction and exegesis of the Pastoral Epistles in The Interpreter’s Bible (1955), Let Us Break Bread Together (1960), and Celebration (1969).

In addition to being a prominent scholar, Dr. Gealy was a popular conference speaker and a leading church musician. He was the organizing director of the Tokyo Oratorio Society (1924-1936) and the compiler of Hymns in English (Tokyo: 1937). Gealy founded the Seminary Singers at Perkins School of Theology in 1940 and conducted the group until 1959. From 1951 to 1959 he was the chapel organist at Perkins. He also served as organist at two Dallas churches: University Park Methodist Church (1941-1956) and at Casa View Methodist Church (1957-1960).

Gealy’s music leadership included terms as Dean of the Texas Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (1951-1953) and as Chaplain of the Dallas Chapter (1969-1970). He contributed to the production of the 1966 Methodist Hymnal and co-edited the Companion to the Hymnal (1970) with Carlton R. Young and Austin Lovelace. Fred Gealy died in Dallas on December 15, 1976.


Allen, Joseph L. Perkins School of Theology: A Centennial History. Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 2011.

Gealy, Fred D. and Wesley Clifton David. “The Making of Two Ministers: Fred Daniel Gealy and Wesley Clifton David.” Perkins School of Theology Journal. Dallas: Southern Methodist University, fall 1959.

Gealy, William J. “Fred Daniel Gealy.” Official Journal and Year Book Western Pennsylvania Conference The United Methodist Church, 1977.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Through correspondence, personal papers, office files, and collected published writings, the Fred D. Gealy papers document the life of a noteworthy twentieth-century pastor, missionary, teacher, and church musician. Themes within the collection include Japan, missiology, biblical exegesis and translation, ministerial education, and Christian hymnody and worship.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is arranged in five series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1913-1976
Series 2: Personal papers, 1909-1977
Series 3: Professional papers, circa 1916-1970
Series 4: Biblical studies, circa 1920-1970
Series 5: Published writings, 1933-1976


Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Head of Special Collections of the Bridwell Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Sensitive Materials Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which Bridwell Library assumes no responsibility.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms:
Gealy, Fred D. (Fred Daniel), 1894-1976.
Southern Methodist University – Faculty.
Methodist Church -- Clergy.
Biblical scholars.

Related Materials

Carlton R. Young papers, Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Fred D. Gealy papers, Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information


Processing Information

Processed by Timothy S. G. Binkley, 2014.

Finding aid written by

Timothy S. G. Binkley, 2014.

Encoded by

Ada Negraru, 2014.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Correspondence, 1913-1976
43 folders

Dr. Gealy’s general correspondence files are arranged chronologically. The folders in this series contain incoming letters with enclosures and carbon copies of outgoing letters. These items detail Gealy’s ministry, teaching positions, publishing projects, speaking engagements, and music leadership.
Box Folder
1849A 01-09 Correspondence, 1913-1934
Box Folder
1849B 01-07 Correspondence, 1935-1940
Box Folder
1850A 01-08 Correspondence, 1941-1948
Box Folder
1850B 01-08 Correspondence, 1949-1959
Box Folder
1851A 01-05 Correspondence, 1960-1964
Box Folder
1851B 01-06 Correspondence, 1964-1976

Series 2: Personal papers, 1909-1977
18 folders

This series begins with documents and publications relating to Dr. Gealy’s high school and university education. The personal papers end with folders of articles mentioning Gealy, including copies of his death notices.
Box Folder
1851C 01 Oil City High School, 1918
02-05 Boston University School of Theology, 1909-1948
05 Boston University dissertation: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the Religious Experience of the Primitive Church, 1929
06 Boston University convocation, 1970
07 University of Basel, 1920
Box Folder
1852A 01 Boston University dissertation: The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit in the Religious Experience of the Primitive Church, 1929
02 Boston University convocation, 1970
03 University of Basel, 1920
04 University of Berlin, 1921
05 University of Strasbourg, 1924
06-09 Union Theological Seminary, 1928-1931
10 Publications mentioning Dr. Gealy, 1946-1959
11 Photograph, circa 1965
12 Obituaries and memorials, 1976-1977
Box Folder
Oversize: 2188C 01 University of Berlin diploma, 1921

Series 3: Professional papers, circa 1916-1970
92 folders

This series contains topical office and project files organized alphabetically. Materials include sermon notes and prayers; worship bulletins; documents concerning Dr. Gealy’s work at educational institutions in Japan and in the United States; and papers from committees compiling the American Standard Bible, The Interpreter’s Bible, The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, the Methodist Book of Worship, the 1966 Methodist Hymnal, and the Companion to the Hymnal.
Box Folder
1852B 01 Advent and Christmas lessons and songs, circa 1920-1970
02 American Guild of Organists, 1952-1953
03-07 American Standard Bible Committee, Old Testament Section, 1944-1950
Box Folder
1853A 01-06 American Standard Bible Committee, 1943-circa 1950
07 "Art and the Gospel" by Walter Nigg, circa 1957
Box Folder
1853B 01-05 Book of Worship revision, circa 1960-1965
Box Folder
1854A 01 Bultmann translation “The Problem of Miracles” 1956
02 Casa View Methodist Church, 1957-1959
03 Choral Conductors Guild of America, 1960
04 Christian understanding of life and death, 1965
05 Committee on Alternate Rituals, 1971-1972
06-07 Companion to the Hymnal, 1964-1968
Box Folder
1854B 01-08 Companion to the Hymnal, 1964-1968
09 Council of Southwestern Theological Schools, 1958
Box Folder
1854C 01 Dialogue and Encounter: An Approach to the Scriptures, circa 1960-1970
02 Drew University, 1937-1938
03 Hymnal Committee of the Methodist Church, 1964
04 Hymnody in the early church, circa 1940-1970
05 Iliff School of Theology, 1938-1946
06 Interpreter’s Bible, 1947-1948
07 Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, 1956-1960
08 Japan: American School in Japan yearbook The Chochin, 1936
09 Japan: Aoyama Gakuin publications, 1920-1957
Box Folder
1855A 01 Japan: Articles, 1934-1935
02 Japan: Arthur Daniel Berry, 1931
03 Japan: Bible Class of Aoyama First Church, 1926
04 Japan: Japan Mission Council of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1929
05 Japan: Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai (Society for International Cultural Relations), 1937
06 Japan: Kyo Bun Kwan (Christian Literature Society of Japan) hymnals, 1937-1951
07 Japan: Publications in Japanese, circa 1923-1936
08 Japan: Radio addresses, 1943-1945
09 Japan: Wesley Foundation, 1932
Box Folder
1855B 01 Lectionary notes, 1962
02 Lectures, circa 1950-1970
03 Lecture: Educational Task of the Church, circa 1920-1960
04 Lecture: Introduction to the Book of Romans, circa 1956-1970
05 Lecture: Methodists and the Scriptures, 1967
06-08 Methodist Theological School in Ohio, 1959-1976
09 Ohio Wesleyan University conference on the nature of the church-related college, 1962
10-11 Prayers, circa 1920-1970
12 Quinlan Methodist Church Holy Week services, 1965
Box Folder
1856A 01-12 Quotations and clippings notebooks, circa 1920-1970
13 “The Resurrection of Jesus as understood in the New Testament,” circa 1960s
Box Folder
1856B 01 Sermon for the funeral service of Wesley Clifton Davis, 1975 November 1
02-04 Sermon notes, circa 1916-1970
05 Sermons and communion meditations, circa 1940-1970
06 Southern Methodist University, 1939-1962
07-08 Southern Methodist University “Let’s Discuss It!” forum, 1945-1946
09 St. Louis Convocation on Worship, 1969
10 Textual criticism, 1941-1966
Box Folder
1857A 01 Theology of mission panel discussion, 1959
02-03 University Park Methodist Church, 1953-1955
04 Wesley Hymn Book, 1958-1960

Series 4: Biblical studies, circa 1920-1970
21 folders

The papers in this series document Fred D. Gealy’s work in the areas of New Testament translation and exegesis. The folders are arranged in canonical order.
Box Folder
1857A 05 The Synoptic Problem, 1930-1970
06 Mark in Japanese, circa 1925-1970
07-08 Mark in Romaji, circa 1925-1970
Box Folder
1857B 01-02 Mark, circa 1920-1970
03 Luke, circa 1920-1970
04 John 4:1-24, “True Worship” lecture, circa 1960-1970
05-06 Romans, circa 1920-1970
07 1 and 2 Corinthians, circa 1920-1970
08 Galatians, circa 1920-1970
Box Folder
1857C 01 Ephesians, circa 1920-1970
02 Philippians, circa 1920-1970
03 Colossians, circa 1920-1970
04 Thessalonians, circa 1920-1970
05 1 Timothy, circa 1920-1970
06 2 Timothy, circa 1920-1970
Box Folder
1858A 01 Pastoral epistles, 1951-1954
02 1 Peter, circa 1920-1970
03 Revelation, circa 1920-1970

Series 5: Published writings, 1933-1976
22 folders

The final series contains copies of monographs, articles, and book reviews written by Dr. Gealy and published between 1933 and 1978. The works are grouped in folders by year of publication.
Box Folder
1858A 04-06 Publications, 1933-1937
Box Folder
1858B 01-11 Publications, 1938-1959
Box Folder
1859A 01-08 Publications, 1960-1976