Wade P. Huie, Jr., Peter Marshall Professor Emeritus of Homiletics, 1923-2015

Wade Huie.  Photo courtesy of Columbia Seminary.
Wade Huie. Photo courtesy of Columbia Seminary.

Wade P. Huie, Jr., Peter Marshall Professor of Homiletics for Columbia Theological Seminary from 1957 to 1991 passed away last Saturday, May 30, 2015. Born in Elberton, GA on June 14, 1923 to Wade P. and Nora (Oakley) Huie, Wade Huie, Jr. embraced life with energy, optimism and true enjoyment.

Dr. Huie graduated from Emory University where he was a member of Kappa Alpha Order, Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Beta Kappa. While a student there, he became Associate Pastor for Youth at Peachtree Presbyterian Church where he was known as the Pied Piper for his successful ministry, and for creating the still popular Camp Rutledge retreat.

Graduating from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA with a B.D. in 1946, he later earned a Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, serving as Assistant Pastor of Canongate Kirk. Further studies took him to Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, Princeton Theological Seminary, Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA, and Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA. He later received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity from Presbyterian College.

For eight years Dr. Huie was Pastor of Vineville Presbyterian Church in Macon, GA. He returned to Columbia Presbyterian Seminary as the Peter Marshall Professor of Homiletics where he delighted in teaching preaching and worship, the “Good News” of the Christian faith, for 34 years, with an addition 11 years on a part-time basis.

An early advocate of international mission, Dr. Huie used sabbaticals to teach at Trinity Theological College in Accra, Ghana, and Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Seoul, Korea. Lecturing and preaching invitations also took him to Japan, Taiwan and Russia. His 26 trips taking students to Jamaica led to The Alternative Context experience (now called Explorations) at Columbia Theological Seminary, in which future ministers are exposed to the church in multiple cultures. An avid traveler for career or vacation, he visited all 50 states and every continent excepting Antarctica.

Along the way, Dr. Huie also taught as a visiting professor at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, and Princeton Theological Seminary. He once served as an adjunct professor at the San Francisco Theological Seminary.

Dr. Huie’s ministry to children and young people was unfailingly enthusiastic. For 25 years he was guest chaplain at Athens Y Camp, a memory so valued that he wore Athens Y tee shirts for the rest of his life. He was extremely proud of his involvement with Our House, a daycare/school for homeless children in Decatur, GA. His dedication to the Presbyterian church led to participation in the General Assembly in such roles as the Board of Christian Education, the General Council, the Permanent Theological Committee, the Ordination Examination Committee, and the Theological Education Fund. He was also named President of the Academy of Homiletics.

In 2004 Dr. Huie was honored by the establishment of the Wade P. Huie, Jr. Chair of Homiletics at Columbia Theological Seminary, which he accepted with the deep sense of gratitude. “An effective preaching class requires time-intensive, individualized instruction and a mentoring relationship with a professor who has both theoretical and practical expertise,” said then President Laura Mendenhall. “Establishment of the Wade P. Huie Chair of Preaching will ensure that our students continue to receive the best possible individualized instruction from faculty members as they prepare to deliver God’s Word.” The first person to hold the title was Rev. Dr. Joseph L. Roberts, the well known pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, who died this past February. In 2007, Dr. Huie received the Distinguished Service Award by Columbia Seminary’s Alumni Association.

Dr. Huie celebrated his family with joyful love, commitment and pride. He is predeceased by his wife of 40 years, Verna Lee (Hardy); their infant son, Mark; their grandson, Ryan Huie, of Franklin, TN. His wife Emily (Williams) survives him along with his sons and wives; Wade III and Sarma, Los Angeles, CA; John and Dawn, Franklin, TN; David and Miriam, Merritt Island, FL; and Scott, Snellville. His grandchildren are Jason, David, William, Nicole, Jessica, Madison and Jackson Huie. Also surviving are stepchildren and spouses; Mary Ann Williams and Michael Ryan, Dublin, Ireland; Ralph Williams III and Connie; Thomas Currie Williams and Susan, all of Atlanta, and eight step-grandchildren.

The Huie family is grateful for Wade’s ongoing care received from the staff at Brighton Gardens Buckhead and for the individual care provided by his gifted attendants from Better Care Home Aide.

A memorial service will be held Wednesday, June 3 at 11:00 am at Columbia Presbyterian Church with reception following at Columbia Theological Seminary in the Ellis Room at Richards Center.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Huie Endowment at Columbia Theological Seminary, to provide scholarships for international students (PO Box 520, Decatur, GA 30031), or to Our House, to provide daycare for homeless children (PO Box 1304, Decatur, GA 30031).

by Columbia Seminary Communications Staff