This is Us – December 2017

I was Born on August 25, 1924 at Cleveland, Ohio. My father was Howard Wardsworth Allen and my mother was Martha Todd Allen. I attended public schools in Oxford, Ohio, Coral Gables, Florida and Jacksonville, Florida.

I was taught to earn and pay my own way from childhood. I lived for a time with my grandparents in Oxford, Ohio where my grandfather was a professor of economics at Miami University. He gave me Horatio Alger books to read which made a deep impression on me.  At a young age I sold the Ladies Home Journal, the Saturday Evening Post and Collier Magazines to university students.

In 1936 My family moved to Miami Beach, Florida and I got a paper route with the Miami Daily News. When my dad opened the Colony Ice Cream Store in Coral Gables and I worked in the store until the business was closed down. I then worked for the Olympia and Tivoli Theaters in Miami as an usher. Then, for a short time I was employed by Walgreens Drug Store.  When I was 16 years old I began  working for the Mayflower Donut Corporation. My first job with them was in Miami, Florida, then I worked for the company in Washington, DC.  From Washington, DC.  I was transferred to Cincinnati, Ohio, then to Cleveland, Ohio,  then to Detroit Michigan. I served  in various capacities in those restaurants. My last position before being drafted into the army was as in Detroit a night manager.

At age 18 In 1943 I was drafted by the government to serve in the United States army. I was sworn in as a private at Camp Blanding, Florida on March 20, 1943. After taking basic training I was given basic radio training and then advanced radio training. When I completed those courses I was assigned as a Flight Radio Operator with the Ferry Command and then later transferred to serve with the Air Transport Command. I served in the American, European-African, Middle Eastern and Asiatic -Pacific Theaters of Operation during World War II. I attained the rank of Sergeant and was honorably discharged at March Field, California on December 11, 1945.

After my army discharge I returned to work with the Mayflower Donut Corporation in Cincinnati, Ohio as a night manager and began taking courses under the GI Bill of Rights.

In 1948 I took a position in Indianapolis, Indiana with the Laundry Workers International Union as an International Organizer and was assigned to work from the Atlanta, Georgia headquarters. While on a Texas business trip in January of 1954 I attended an evening  worship service at the First Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, Texas and I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord and upon my request I was baptized by Pastor Homer G. Richie.

Not long after that conversion experience I quit my job as an International Organizer with the Laundry Workers International Union and I relocated to  Miami, Florida where my parents were living and I took a job as the manager of Loffler Brothers Oyster House in Coral Gables, Florida. I later left that job and became a salesman with Abraham Chevrolet Company in Coral Gables. Following that I took a job with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad as a Dining Car Steward, going from Miami to New York and back. When I discovered that I couldn’t sleep well on a train I left that job and went back to work as a salesman at Abraham Chevrolet. I remained with that company until I  left to go to Decatur, Georgia as a ministerial student at Columbia Seminary in the fall of 1956.

When I returned to Miami I joined the Key Biscayne Presbyterian Church and under the ministry of Rev. Dan Iverson I felt the call to preach the gospel and I was accepted as a candidate for the gospel ministry under the care of the Presbytery of the Everglades and in the fall of 1956 I became a ministerial student at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia.

During my middler year at Columbia Seminary I married  the former  Judith Lynn (Judy) Akin of Acworth, Georgia on December 22, 1957 in the Acworth Presbyterian Church where she and her parents were members.  From our union  Judy  and I have four children: Deborah Deldee  born on February 12, 1962 at Kennestone Hospital in Marietta, Georgia, Rebekah Lynn and Rachel Davina, twins daughters born on May 6, 1965 at Telfair Candler Hospital in Savannah, Georgia and finally our son Todd Wardsworth Allen, Jr. born on April 22, 1969 at Telfair Candler Hospital in Savannah, Georgia.  As of this update we have six grandchildren and two great grandchildren.

I began serving the Midway and Mars Hill Presbyterian Churches. In 1957 as a student supply until my seminary graduation in 1959. I was then called by both  churches to be their pastor. I served as pastor of both churches from 1959 to1962.

While serving Midway and Mars Hill Presbyterian Churches I helped to organize the Kennestone Hospital Chaplains’ Association. I also helped to organize the North Cobb Ministerial Alliance and served as its first president.

In 1962 I accepted a call to serve as senior pastor of Eastern Heights Presbyterian Church in Savannah, Georgia. I served Eastern Heights from  October 1962 until April 1974.  While serving Eastern Heights Presbyterian Church I was elected twice to serve as president of the Savannah Protestant Ministerial Association and also as chairman of both the Radio TV Committee and the Pornography Committee. While a member of Savannah Presbytery I served  a term as Chairman of its Committee on World Missions.

The Eastern Heights Presbyterian Church and the Mary Elizabeth Blue Hull Memorial Presbyterian Church both withdrew from the Savannah Presbytery on April 17, 1966 over departures from the church constitution.  We subsequently had to defend our local church property rights in litigation that lasted 3½ years. Our case went to the United States Supreme Court  twice. The result of this very lengthy litigation was that both local churches were awarded their church property.

In September of 1972 I issued a call to disaffected churches and pastors to come to the Eastern Heights Presbyterian Church of Savannah, GA to consider the formation of a presbytery. This call resulted in the formation of Vanguard Presbytery. I was elected presbytery moderator and I was then invited to serve on the Steering Committee to form a Continuing Presbyterian Church. Later, when the new denomination was formed at the Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama  on December 4, 1973  I was elected to serve as Chairman of the Sub Committee on Judicial Business.

In 1974 I accepted a call to serve as senior pastor of Shenandoah Presbyterian Church of Miami, Florida. I served  the Shenandoah congregation from April 1974 to November 1981. While serving the church I served the Presbytery of Southern Florida on the Committee on Administration as its Chairman and also served as Chairman of Presbytery’s Committee on Mission to the United States. I also chaired presbytery commissions to receive both the Key Biscayne Presbyterian Church and the Old Cutler Presbyterian Church into the PCA.

In November of 1981 I accepted a call to be the southeastern representative for the World Home Bible League and I moved with my family from Miami to Acworth, Georgia.

In August of 1983 I accepted a call to serve for a second time as the senior pastor of Midway Presbyterian Church. I served the Midway congregation from August 1983 to November 1996. During that tenure I also served as chairman of the North Georgia Presbytery Publicity Committee and also as chairman of the presbytery Shepherding Committee.

Upon my retirement from Midway in November of 1996 the Session bestowed upon me the honorary title of pastor emeritus and in 1996 I was honorably retired by the North Georgia Presbytery.

Beginning in 1996 I began serving as occasional supply for  various churches and from August 16, 1998 to December 27, 1998 I served as an interim pastor for Westminster Presbyterian Church of  Atlanta, GA.

In March of 2000 I began serving as  the interim pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Villa Rica, GA and subsequently was extended a call to be their pastor. On August 20, 2000  I was installed by a commission of North Georgia Presbytery as senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church. In 2008 I announced to the session that I was submitting my resignation and that I would remain as their pastor until a minister had been properly called and installed by the presbytery. Accordingly, in due time Rev. Chad Sadorf was called and installed by a commission of Northwest Georgia Presbytery on October 18, 2009, which action concluded my ministry at First Presbyterian Church of Villa Rica.

On August 27, 2006 Northwest Georgia Presbytery was formed and officially convened. I became a member of that presbytery and in 2008 I was elected to serve as Moderator and filled that position for one year.

Since retiring from First Presbyterian Church of Villa Rica on October 18, 2009 Judy and I have regularly worshiped at Midway Presbyterian Church where I previously had been named as pastor emeritus in 1996.