Claypool, IV, (Rev. Dr.) John Rowan. Papers

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Claypool, IV, (Rev. Dr.) John Rowan. Papers


  • 1947-2011 (bulk 1947-2005) (Creation)


26 cu.ft. (69 boxes) and 1.2 TB

Name of creator


Born in Franklin, Kentucky, and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, John Claypool received his undergraduate degree from Baylor University where he studied religion and philosophy. Having accepted a call to the Baptist ministry, Claypool was ordained in 1953 and went on to earn two degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Increasingly disenchanted by the Baptist Convention’s fundamentalism and intolerance of diversity, and after years of exposure to Anglicanism through teaching, continuing education, and encounters with Episcopal clergy and laity who deeply impressed him, he made the decision to become an Episcopal priest. He enrolled at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas and completed a Certificate of Individual Theological Studies in 1986. That same year he was ordained deacon and priest. In 1987, Claypool was called to serve as rector of Saint Luke's Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Alabama, where he remained until his retirement from the ministry in 2000. He later joined the faculty of Mercer University's School of Theology as Professor of Homiletics, a position he held until his death on September 3, 2005. Claypool was widely admired for his preaching skills, especially around grief, and his message of theological inclusiveness.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Claypool Papers are a complete archive of the ministerial records of a noted American preacher. His writings are especially representative of modern themes of redemption, personal Christian witness, and the valuation of life in its diverse expression. Of narrower but significant interest is Claypool's theological transformation from Southern Baptist minister to Episcopal priest. The archive contains audiovisual recordings, indexed sermons, correspondence, books, photographs, news clippings, publicity materials, and scrapbooks.


Biographical and Family Records, 1948-2006
Sermons, Addresses, and Lectures in Print, c.1959-2005
Correspondence, 1982-2011
Publications and Collected Works, 1959, 1964-2008
Clippings, 1947-2006
Publicity, 1972-2009
Scrapbooks, 1952-1990
Collected Artwork, 1983, 1986, 2000
Audio and Video Recordings, 1976-2009

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Access conditions

Access to Episcopal Church records is governed by the Archives Public Access Policy. Research requests must be submitted in writing.

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The Archives is able to respond to limited requests for reproductions subject to copyright restrictions, internal policy, and the condition of the source documents.

Languages of the material

  • English

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