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Lewis Howard Grimes

By Eugene S. Gibbs


Lewis Howard Grimes (1915-1989). Minister, Army Chaplain, seminary professor, Howard Grimes was a contributor to the development of Mainline Protestant Christian education during the turbulent years following World War II. He was a professor of Christian education for over 30 years at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and an adult Sunday school teacher, with his wife, at First Methodist Church in Dallas for more than 35 years. Through his two major books, The Church Redemptive and The Rebirth of the Laity, he helped to reestablish the position and importance of the ministry of the laity for Mainline denominations, generally, and the Methodist Church, specifically.


Educations and Writings

Breckenridge, Texas was a small community in 1915 less than 100 miles west of Fort Worth. It was there that Lewis Howard Grimes was born to Lewis Frederick and Julia Ophelia McClenny Grimes on July 10. Howard's parents were farmer/ranchers who worked hard to maintain a humble standard of living. They were very active Methodists and brought their four children up in the church. Mrs. Grimes was a faithful Sunday School teacher for many years. Besides being loyal to the church, the Grimes were committed to the education of their children.

In 1919 the family moved to Weatherford, 70 miles closer to Fort Worth, while maintaining the family farm and its modest-sized oil land. In Weatherford Howard completed elementary and secondary school. He went on in 1934 to Weatherford Junior College. From there he enrolled in the University of Texas at Austin. Howard majored in English and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in 1936. He taught English and government at the high school in Cookville, Texas during the school year of 1936-37 and at Weatherford Junior College during the summers of 1936 and 1937.

The following three years Howard studied at Southern Methodist University's School of Theology. He earned the B.D. degree in 1940. While at SMU he studied under several professors whom he considered influential. Seehorn Seneker in Christian Education, John Hicks in Old Testament, and Robert Goodloe in Church History, as well a librarian Kate Warnick and Registrar Nell Anders were among the most helpful. Howard was assistant to Paul Root in Sociology of Religion. Howard, in his posthumously published history of Perkins School of Theology at SMU, attested that those faculty members along with Fred Gealy in New Testament, Wesley Davis also in New Testament, and J.T. Carlyon in Theology were competent teachers. He also noted that their seminary work load and the time they were expected to spend in various congregations left precious little time or energy for research or writing.

He on went to Union Theological Seminary in New York City following the summer of his seminary graduation. In 1941 he earned the S.T.M. degree. He wrote a thesis on the sociology of conversion that reflected the influence of Paul Root.

Howard received his license to preach at Daingerfield, Texas in 1941 and was appointed to the First Methodist Church in Duncan, Oklahoma. He served there for several months and then went as Associate Pastor to the First Methodist Church of Houston, Texas. The Rev. Paul W. Quillian was the senior pastor. Howard was ordained deacon and elder in the Texas Conference of the Methodist Church in 1942. That same year he entered the Army Chaplaincy and served in England, North Africa, Sicily, and Italy until November of 1945. He received the Purple Heart, the Legion of Merit and the Italian Medal of Valor for his service. At the end of the war he returned to Houston and resumed his Associate Pastor position.

During his first period of ministry at First Methodist Howard became acquainted with Johnnie Marie Brooks, the church's Director of Religious Education. She came from a historic Texas family from Bellville, Texas. Her life had been greatly shaped by her mother who was a Sunday school teacher and active leader in the Methodist Woman's Missionary Society in the Bellville Methodist Church. Johnnie earned her B.A. at Southwestern College in Georgetown, Texas in 1927. After college she served in the Beaumont YWCA as Director of Business and Industrial Girls' Work. After several years she was appointed to a position in the YWCA in Oklahoma City where she joined St. Luke's Methodist Church where Paul Quillian was pastor. She became Director of Education at St. Luke's and followed Quillian to First Methodist in Houston at his invitation. For three years during and just after the war she served with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency in England, Scotland, France, and Germany, returning to Houston. Howard and Johnnie were married at First Methodist Houston in February 1947.

Howard's old mentor, Paul Root, had been appointed Dean at Duke Divinity School and asked Howard to join him as his assistant. However, Root's untimely death in May of 1947 precluded that move. Howard determined to pursue a doctorate and in June of 1947 entered Columbia University in New York City. He was familiar with the program there from his time at Union Seminary, just across the street from Columbia. In 1949 he earned the Ph.D. Johnnie received the M.A. in 1948 through a joint Columbia and Union program.

Beginning with his study at Union Seminary and continuing at Columbia, Howard had encountered Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, and the "New Theology" of the 1940s. Much of the neo-orthodox theology of Barth, Brunner, Niebuhr he found helpful. He was, however, to stick to his strong Wesleyan heritage. He also was not at ease with the Protestant liberalism of that time. He felt that Christian education had been too influenced by it. His dissertation was completed at Columbia under Harrison S. Elliott, a liberal, who did not demand that Howard fit any theological mold. The dissertation dealt with the role and preparation of the laity in the Methodist tradition. He was influenced by Elliott's issue-centered approach to theology. The revised dissertation was published in 1958 as The Church Redemptive. It expresses Howard's theology of the church. His life career became practical theology. He saw it as critical reflection on the life of the church as it relates to the world in the light of the Christian witness of faith. He regarded religious education as a branch of practical theology rather than of general education.

After the degree work at Columbia the Grimes went to Dallas where he assumed the position of Assistant Professor of Christian Education at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. In addition to his various academic duties at Perkins, he and Johnnie began teaching the Aldersgate Class of young couples at First Methodist church Dallas in 1950. They continued for more than 35 years.

Lewis Howard Grimes continued through the Associate and Professor ranks at Perkins until his retirement at age 67. He taught there during a period of great change in theological education, generally, and at Perkins School of Theology specifically. When he began his tenure as a faculty member the school charged no tuition, a common practice at denominational seminaries of the time, the typical student was a white male, straight from college, and "sent" by a home church. Methodist students went to denominational seminaries, some of which had national reputations and drew students from across the country. Time spend out-of-class with faculty and peers within a residential community was seen as a necessary part of the seminary experience. So was time spent in meditation and reflection, chapel worship, and common social and ministry activities.

By the time of Grimes' retirement, in 1982, the former typical student made up only between one-fourth to one-third of total seminary enrollment. Women, ethnic persons, and international students, as well as, second-career persons in their mid-thirties made up a majority of students. Costs grew exponentially so that students came to calculate how many thousands of dollars they would have in debt following seminary. Seminaries had become regional rather than national. Students selected seminaries that were close at hand. In the United Methodist Church up to one-half of United Methodist seminarians are enrolled in non-United Methodist seminaries. This interrupted work and family residence less than moving to a high-reputation school across the country. Schedules had changed to facilitate student work, commute time, church involvement. Many of these things left little time or energy for the full-time residence, extended study hours, or contemplative interaction with faculty.

Howard Grimes was part of the major changes, growth really, at Perkins School of Theology and the United Methodist Church. He recognized the need for spiritual formation of students and continued and advanced education for ministers (He was the first director of the Doctor of Ministry degree.). Howard helped in Perkins' support for rural churches, special links with the Rio Grande Methodist Conference, and the recruiting of African-American students. He retired from Perkins School of Theology in 1982. Upon retirement he took a full-time position with First Methodist Church, Dallas in church communications and established a media department there. This post was relinquished, due to his failing health, in 1987. He died on December 11, 1989.

He wrote over 35 books, articles, and reviews. He served on the Curriculum Committee of the Methodist Church, as chair of the professors' section on the Methodist Conference on Christian Education, and was active in the Religious Education Association, the Association of Professors and Researchers in Religious Education and the Christian Education Fellowship.

Works cited

  • Grimes, L. H. (1993). In R. Loyd (Ed.), A history of Perkins school of theology. Dallas: SMU Press.
  • Howe, L. T. (Ed.). (1982). Practical theology: Essays in honor of Howard Grimes. Perkins Journal, 35 (Summer), 1-37.

Contributions to Christian Education

The word most prominent in any assessment of the contributions of Howard Grimes is "CHURCH." The second most important word is "LAITY." His two major works are about church and laity. The first called The Church Redemptive, a revision of his doctoral dissertation, has five chapters on the nature of the church and six on the mission of the laity. The second named The Rebirth of the Laity, published four years after the first, has as much to say about the church as about the laity. The reason for this is that Grimes believed that nothing could be said about the laity, ho laos tou Theou, "the people of God" without embedding it in the theology of the church.

The central theme of The Church Redemptive is that the church is the body of Christ, a redemptive fellowship. He sees a personal response to the call of God as Christian vocation and service. The way the church acts is rooted in its understanding of what it is. Grimes states the central convictions underlying this book to be as follows: 1. "[M]any Protestants have failed to see the significance of the Church as Church and must recover its essential importance and meaning" (p. 7). He feels that undue emphasis in the U.S. has been placed on the church as a cultural institution, or institution of the culture, and must be re-examined. 2. He seeks to hold in tension the various ways of understanding the church;"…Body of Christ, People of God? the Fellowship of the Spirit? or some combination…." (p. 7). All of these include the essential nature of the church as both of God and of humanity. 3. The life of the church today (koinonia) is lived out through the laos. So, Grimes has attempted to describe areas of life and work that provide for the active participation of all church members. He admits that one of his major convictions is "…that the Christian Fellowship must be an agency for nurture and teaching of both the young and the more mature" (p. 8). Nurturing of faith should chiefly take place through the richness of the life of the congregation. One of the main goals of this effort is an attempt to evoke a personal response from people and lead them to informed commitment.

William Martin Smith, writing in Encounter, says about The Church Redemptive "One comes away from it pages with a deeper appreciation of the church and its mission, agreeing with the author that revelation of God comes primarily through the church, even though we respond to it individually" (1961, p. 222).

In the Preface of The rebirth of the laity Grimes says that its central theme is the church. Its emphasis is on the whole people of God, or the laity. It is also concerned with clergy, since he believes the two cannot be separated. Much of the preparation for this book came from Grimes' work with the Department of the Laity of the World Council of Churches with which he participated as a consultant. He also visited the Kirchentag in West Berlin and conferred with leaders of lay institutes there.

"This book", Grimes says, "is about and partly for laity, though it is hoped that the clergy will also take its point of view seriously." (p. 11). Laity represent the first call or vocation of the church and clergy the next call. The fundamental responsibility for ministry rests upon the laity, within the church and into the world. The clergy, and other "full time" workers are "…to prepare the congregation for its work of ministry" (p. 84). He attempts to describe the theory and practice of the total ministry of the church. The setting for this ministry is the church within the world, not withdrawn from the world. The response to Jesus' demands must be total and touch all of life.

When individual man [sic] as well as society is being shaken by world catastrophes and revolutions in thought and action, the Church has too often offered palliatives for the alleviation of immediate symptoms of insecurity and doubt rather than clearly proclaiming the kind of faith which can provide the foundations on which can be built a more adequate life. (p. 14)

Major themes that Grimes identifies as common to modern life that confound people are meaningless and depersonalization. He also alludes to incessant activity, implicating television, which may be an attempt not to face our selves. And just when the church could step up and confront us with the insights of the faith, it has tended to allow the culture to affect its message and its life. So, "… its message has been blurred" (p. 15). The American Way of Life, i.e. an idealized description of the middle-class ethos, may be the real religion of many, rather than Christianity. Evidence for this may be seen, according to Grimes, in the beginning of decline in Mainline Protestant church numbers and the apparent lack of substance in the faith of many church members. This religion "…tends to emphasize belief in human values, human freedom, human achievement, and the rewards for such human goodness" (p.17).

Dr. Grimes notes four movements in the early 1960s that may serve to bring renewal to the church. These are the recovery of biblical theology, the rediscovery of the meaning and significance of the church, emphasis on the meaning of the laity, and the growth of adult study of bible, theology, church history, and ethics in the form of small study groups. These have the potential for producing the fusion of koinonia and study in "the doing of the truth" (p.135). He makes further suggestions for the renewal of the church in terms of service, small groups, leadership, and content for adult education. Overall, Grimes stresses a need for deeper commitment to renew the church.

In his review of The rebirth of the laity Findley B. Edge calls the book biblical, (high praise indeed for a Baptist) scholarly, and practical. He believes that Grimes sees Protestantism at the beginning of an era of great change and Grimes is optimistic about that change. Edge gives the book a "highly recommended" (1963, p. 253).

In commenting in 1984 on the changes in religious education since World War II, Grimes characterized the life of the church during that time with the word "diversity." In looking for the roots of that diversity he notes the growth of the Sunday School movement in the 19th century. Churches took on the Sunday school, adapted to fit its needs, as the seed bed for other agencies; women's groups, youth societies, teacher training institutes, vacation Bible school. By WWII these formed the Mainline pattern with the Church (Sunday) School at the center. Earlier in the century liberal theology and progressive educational philosophy had influenced religious education. Closer to mid-century emergent evangelicalism also had an influence. Over this, says Grimes, the purposes of religious education were teaching the Bible, conversion, and nurturing (caring) persons in faith. By the end of the war the emphasis was clearly on nurture at the expense of conversion. In addition the important role of lay leadership in religious education, especially the Sunday school, was being reduced as professional leadership grew. Experience-centered rather than Bible-centered approaches to teaching became dominant. For adults church school classes focused more on caring and therapy than study (Taylor, 1984).

Grimes characterized the years from the late 1960s to 1984 as a time of decline and confusion in mainline churches. He noted declining numbers involved in religious education, dissatisfaction with the quality of teaching in the church, a questioning of church structures, and a growing evangelical movement in regard to the theological changes that had occurred in the earlier years of the century (Taylor, ?).

He agreed with others, such as Jack L. Seymour and Richard T. Murray, that the identity of the Sunday School as basic to congregational Christian education had been formed during the period from 1860 to 1900 and not within the liberal-progressive era. At that point the Sunday school was seen as a caring community as well as a learning community. Earlier it had been supported by conventions, lay involvement, etc. beyond the local congregation that gave it strength and encouragement. That had been lost (Taylor, ?).

In looking toward the future Grimes suggested that Mainline churches needed to get back to the three-part function of the earlier religious education, instruction, caring, and evangelism. The churches needed to recover both the school and the movement. Also, the socialization within the whole life of the congregation and the in-depth teaching of content need to be seen as basic to religious education along with the Church School. All of this should, he said, rest on the foundation of the family as the major point of Christian nurture (Taylor, ?).

In his 1996 book, Models of Religious Education, Harold W. Burgess places Howard Grimes in the "Mid-century Mainline" category. He comments that "The Church Redemptive is among the clearer statements arguing for the primary features of the mainline model" (p. 116). Burgess assesses Grimes writing as clearly differentiating between the liberal and mainline positions in religious education. He identifies the issues of human nature that needs redemption, the relationship between revelation and the Bible, and ways in which process theology can effectively enhance religious education as typical concerns of the Mainline model examined by Grimes.

Howard Grimes' impact on Christian education between 1949 and 1987 was made though his seminary teaching, leadership in local Church School, ministry on the staff of First United Methodist Church of Dallas, and his writing. He communicated a summary of the position of the evolving Mainline Protestant position on religious education and probed it to renewal by reclaiming the best from healthier times in the past and by daring to move ahead with culturally relevant innovations into the future.

Works Cited

  • Edge, F. B. (1963). Review and Expositor, 60 (Spring), ?.
  • Grimes, L. H. (1958). The church redemptive. NY: Abingdon Press.
  • __________. (1962). The rebirth of the laity. NY: Abingdon Press.
  • Smith, W. M. (1961). Encounter, 22 (Spring), ?.
  • Taylor, Marvin J. (Ed). (1984). Changing patterns of religious education. Nashville: Abingdon Press.



  • Grimes, L. H. (1951). Cloud of witnesses: A history of First Methodist church, Houston. Houston: First Methodist Church.
  • _________. (1958). The church redemptive. NY: Abingdon Press.
  • _________. (1962). The rebirth of the laity. NY: Abingdon Press.
  • _________. (1965). Realms of our calling. New York: Friendship Press.
  • _________. (1979). How to become your own best self. Waco, TX: Word Books.
  • _________. (1986). The Perkins 40th Story, 1946-1986. Dallas: Perkins School of Theology, SMU.
  • _________. (1993). Loyd, R. (Ed.) A history of Perkins School of Theology. Dallas: SMU Press.


  • Grimes, L. H. (1954). Is being brotherly subversive? Perkins School of Theology Journal, (Spring), 3-4.
  • _________. (1959). St. Augustine on teaching. Religious Education, 54 (March-April), 2.
  • _________. (1972). Church education: A historical survey and a look to the future. Perkins Journal, 25 (Spring), ?.
  • _________. (1977). What is practical theology? Perkins Journal, 30 (Spring), ?.
  • _________. (1981). The 'Quillian years': With appreciation and with a look toward the future [of Perkins School of Theology]. Perkins Journal, 34 (Spring), ?.
  • _________. (1983). Teaching the Bible to children. Review and Expositor, 80 (Spring), ?.

Bibliographic Essays

  • Grimes, L. H. (1965-1966). Christian Education. Perkins Journal, 19 (Fall-Winter), ?.
  • Grimes, L. H. & Richard Murray. (1969). The local church and its ministry. Perkins Journal, 69 (Spring), ?.

Book Chapters

  • Grimes, L. H. (1966). Theological foundations for Christian Education. In M. J. Taylor (Ed.). An introduction to Christian Education. Nashville: Abingdon Press.
  • __________. (1970). Attitudes toward an ecumenical orientation for Religious Education, part B. In K. B. Cully (Ed.). Does the church know how to teach? NY: Macmillan Co.
  • __________. (1975). Augustine. In E. L. Towns (Ed), History of religious educators. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.
  • __________. (1978). Process/Developmental view of the divine/human relationship. In I. V. Cully and K. B. Cully (Eds.), Process and relationship. Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press.
  • __________. (1983). How I became what I am as a Christian Religious Educator. In M. Mayr (Ed.), Modern masters of religious education. Birmingham: Religious Education Press.
  • __________. (1984). Changing patterns of religious education practice in Protestant churches since World War II. In Marvin J. Taylor (Ed.), Changing Patterns of Religious Education. Nashville: Abingdon Press.

Book Reviews

  • Grimes, L. H. (1959). The reality of the church. NY: Charles Scribner's Sons. Perkins Journal, 13 (Spring), 34.
  • _________. (1960a). A philosophy of adult Christian education. Philadelphia: Westminster Press. Perkins Journal, 14 (1), 46-47.
  • _________. (1960b). Corpus Christi. Philadelphia: Westminster Press. Perkins Journal, 14 (1), 39.
  • _________. (1960c). The importance of being human. NY: Columbia U. Press. Perkins Journal, 13 ( 2), 44.
  • _________. (1961). Religious education. Nashville: Abingdon Press. Perkins Journal, 14 (3), 54-55.
  • _________. (1970). A church without priests. NY: Macmillian. Perkins Journal, 23 (Spring), ?.
  • _________. (1970). Christ's suburban body. Nashville: Abingdon Press. Perkins Journal, 24 (Fall), ?.
  • _________. (1970c). Church in experiment. Nashville: Abingdon Press. Perkins Journal, 23 (Spring), ?.
  • _________. (1970d). Crises in Eden. NY: Abingdon Press. Perkins Journal, 24 (Fall), ?.
  • _________. (1970e). Does the church know how to teach. NY: Macmillan. Perkins Journal, 24 (Fall), ?.
  • _________. (1970f). Holy infection. St. Louis: Concordia. Perkins Journal, 23 (Spring), ?.
  • _________. (1970g). The impact of the future. Nashville: Abingdon Press. Perkins Journal, 23 (Spring), ?.
  • _________. (1970h). The shape of the Christian life. Nashville: Abingdon Press. Perkins Journal, 23 (Spring), ?.
  • _________. (1970i). Christ's Suburban Body. In Perkins Journal, 24 (Fall), ?.
  • _________. (1970j). Understanding Christian education. Nashville: Abingdon Press. Perkins Journal, 24 (Fall), ?.
  • _________. (1970k). Values for tomorrow's children. Philadelphia: Pilgrim Press. Perkins Journal, 24 (Fall), ?.
  • _________. (1973). Theological dynamics. Nashville: Abingdon Press. Perkins Journal, 26 (Spring), ?.
  • _________. (1974a). Everyone a minister. St. Louis: Concordia. Perkins Journal, 26 (Spring), ?.
  • _________. (1974b). Flow of religious instruction. Dayton: Pflaum. Perkins Journal, 27 (Fall), ?.
  • _________. (1974c). On nurturing Christians. Nashville: Abingdon Press. Perkins Journal, 27 (Spring), ?.
  • _________. (1975). Christian view of history. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans. Review of Books and Religion, 5 (April), ?.

Grimes' Books Reviewed

  • Casteel, J. L. (n.d.). The rebirth of the laity. Union Seminary Quarterly Review, 18.
  • Edge, F. B. (1963). The rebirth of the laity. Review and Expositor, 60 (Spring), ?.
  • Moore, A.J. (1980). How to become your best self. Perkins Journal, 33 (Spring), ?.
  • Smith, W.M. (1961). The church redemptive. Encounter, 22 (Spring), ?.

Excerpts from Publications

Grimes, L. H. (1958). The church redemptive. NY: Abingdon Press.

What, then, is the nature and function of Christian nurture and teaching?…The purpose of Christian education, briefly stated, is to seek to lead persons into a living encounter with the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to illuminate and enlighten the meaning of this encounter for all of life. The means through which this takes place are dynamic encounters with other persons whose lives have been touched by Jesus Christ, and whose spirit, attitudes, knowledge, and understanding have in some measure been formed and informed by him. The role of the leader is to be a human channel by which the Spirit of God may reach others. He [sic] performs this role partly through introducing those whom he [sic] teacher to the knowledge of the Christian faith. (104-105) …there is a distinctive function of Christian teaching when it is thought of in the narrow sense of that which is planned to take place in the church-school class or in some other educational enterprise: namely, to prepare for and follow up after the distinctive meetings of the human self with the divine Self. Such meetings cannot, in the final analysis, be either planned or structured. Preparation for them can be made, however. Such encounters may take place at summer camps and conferences, in the church-school classroom, in church worship services, at evangelistic services, in private meditation, sometimes when least expected. When they do occur, it may be reasonably inferred that the efforts of parents or substitute parents, of church-school teachers and other church leaders, of pastors and counselors, of friends and associates, have helped prepare the way for that person's encounter with the living God. (105) What we have said in the preceding paragraphs is that the membership of a local church ought to be led to think seriously about the message and mission of the Church and to plan the work of the local fellowship in the light of the deeper understanding achieved. This is not offered as a panacea for all the ills that beset the modern church. It is not suggested as an automatic way by which Christian koinonia will be achieved. This is a gift of God and cannot be manipulated into being. But the soil can be prepared and the watering can be done so that persons may be prepared to receive the gift of God's Spirit. (167)

Grimes, L. H. (1962). The rebirth of the laity. NY: Abingdon Press.

…It is…the possession by the special ministry [clergy] of "gifts and graces" which make them able to function representatively; that is, in the name of Christ, on behalf of the total ministry of the congregation, their willingness so to function stemming from their response to God's call to service. The ordained minister is, as it were, the link between the Church throughout time and space and the individual congregation. His [sic] gifts, graces, special training, and freedom from responsibilities outside the Church make it possible…to do certain things better than other ministers in the Church. But his [sic] set-apartness does not remove him [sic] from the laos tou Theou (people of God); it only frees him [sic] to act in this special capacity. Baptism is the ordination of ministers, and clerical ordination confers no special grace. For the sake of order, the Church has set up such ordination as a means of linking this individual with the tradition of the Church. From this perspective even apostolic succession may be asserted, though I am inclined to believe that it too often viewed more as a mechanical process than as a means of linking the special ministry to the past. (71) Two of the major emphases in the new forms of church life are fellowship, or koinonia, and study. A third grows out of these two, or in some instances may contribute to them: action, or the doing of the truth. In other terns, there is a concern for participation in the Christian faith community, for it is in this manner that we are drawn meaningfully into the fellowship of faith and receive the gift of God's love and grace through fellowship. But there is a correlative interest, directed toward a deepened knowledge of what it means to be a participant, a man [sic] of faith, a committed Christian (135-136) Without commitment, knowledge is sterile. A new gnosticism…is always a threat, and it has reappeared in our day among those who become proud of the fact that they can understand--or at least quote from--Paul Tillich and Reinhold Niebuhr. Participation without knowledge, however, easily becomes a shallow pietism, a subjective romanticism without roots in the Christian tradition, a travesty on the biblical faith. And we have already had enough of that in American Protestantism! Both, it may be noted, remain incomplete unless they lead to action in society, in vocation, service, and witness. Both fellowship and knowledge must continually point beyond themselves to the life of action. (136)


Howard Grimes first two books The Church Redemptive published in 1958, which is basically his doctoral dissertation in publishable form, and the 1962 The Rebirth of the Laity present his primary contributions. "Church education: A historical survey and a look to the future." Perkins Journal, 25 (1972, Spring) and "What is practical theology?" Perkins Journal, 30 (1977, Spring) are good places to start learning from Professor Grimes. "Process/Developmental view of the Divine/Human Relationship," (See bibliography.) is not too long and gives something of an introduction to his ideas.

Author Information

Eugene S. Gibbs

Eugene Gibbs (Ed.D., University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA), serves as Professor of Christian Education at Ashland University Theological Seminary in Ashland, OH. He was greatly influenced by reading Howard Grimes’ books as a seminary student.