Archives and Manuscript Repository for the Continuing Presbyterian Church

Manuscript Collections :
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Arthur F. Perkins
Manuscript Collection

Collection #076
Box #130204.2

Content Summary: This collection consists primarily of documents from the ecclesiastical trial of the Rev. Arthur F. Perkins, which trial was conducted over the matter of his involvement with the Lake Crescent Bible Camp, an parachurch ministry conducted outside of presbytery or denominational oversight.

Span dates: 1930-1936 Size: 0.25 cu. ft. (one box)

Access: This collection is open to researchers.

Preferred citation:
Arthur F. Perkins Manuscript Collection, PCA Historical Center, St. Louis, Missouri.

Administrative History: Donated by the Rev. Robert Smallman, pastor of the Bible Presbyterian Church of Merrill, Wisconsin, 30 June 2004. Accession #004a014000. Arrangement and description of the collection was prepared by Wayne Sparkman.

arthur f perkins
Rev. Arthur F. Perkins
23 October 1887 - 29 December 1936

Biographical sketch—
[transcript of an obituary in The Merrill Daily Herald, Merrill, Wisconsin, 30 December 1936, pages 1-2.]

Merrill Pastor Passes Away In Madison Hospital
Rev. A.F. Perkins, Pastor Here Since 1931, Dies As Result of a Nervous Breakdown

The Rev. Arthur F. Perkins, Presbyterian pastor here since 1931 and central figure in a controversy with the Winnebago presbytery since which ended in his resignation from the Presbyterian church of the United States and organization of a new church in this city died last night at 8:30 o’clock in the Wisconsin General Hospital at Madison.
His death followed a nervous breakdown precipitated last summer, members of his loyal flock said, by the unfair trial and persecution preceding his resignation.  While he had been in a serious condition his passing occurred unexpectedly.
His wife, Mrs. Marie Heroux Perkins who had been with him constantly during his illness until he was moved from a sanatorium in Missouri to the Madison hospital, was visiting at the home of R.B. Page, trustee of the new church congregation, when she received word of his death.  His son, Dale Perkins, Wausau, and his daughter, Mrs. Paul Nagler, Milton Junction, came here today.
The passing of the Rev. Perkins brought forth expressions of regret and sympathy for the family from all sides.  During his pastorate in this city and particularly during his ecclesiastical trial before the Winnebago Presbytery, Mr. Perkins gained many friends and supporters from among those outside as well as within his own congregation.  The respect and esteem in which he was held knew no denominational bounds.

Funeral On Friday
Mr. Page and other officers of the new Community Presbyterian church which was founded here following the Rev. Perkins’ resignation from the Presbyterian Church of America, undertook to make arrangements for the funeral of their well-beloved spiritual leader.  The rites will be held at 10:30 a.m. next Friday in the American Legion hall, where the Community church has held services since its establishment last summer.
In accordance with __[unclear]__ of the Rev. Perkins’ last wishes, the Rev. Ernest Tremblay, Wausaukee, will officiate, assisted by the Rev. Charles Giesselbrecht, Waukesha, and the Rev. W.M. Dawson, who has been supplying the pulpit here since the rightful pastor was taken ill.
The body is being removed to this city today by Schram’s and will lie in state at the Schram parlors until the day of the funeral.
The controversy between the Rev. Perkins and the Winnebago presbytery of the church of the United States began several years ago when he assisted in the establishment of a non-denominational bible camp at Crescent Lake.  When he refused to give up his connection with the bible camp he was charged with insubordination and conduct unbecoming a minister.
According to Mr. Page, who acted as __[unclear]__ official spokesman, those who brought these charges later acted as judge, jury and prosecutor against him at an ecclesiastical trial held at Green Bay in 1935.  The trial court found against Rev. Perkins, and as punishment  imposed a sentence suspending him for two years, stipulating that he would be restored in the eyes of the Presbytery if he repented.

Box 130204.2
ƒ01—Finding Aid

ƒ02—Judicial Case No. 4 (1936): (1.) Appeal of the Rev. A.F. Perkins against Judgement of the Synod of Wisconsin, PCUSA. [6 p.]; )2.) Appeal of the Rev. Arthur F. Perkins from the final judgement of the Special Judicial Commission of the Presbytery of Winnebago to the Synod of Wisconsin [10 p.]

ƒ03—Presbytery of Winnebago, undated, Report of the Special Committee appointed by the Presbytery of Winnebago to Confer with the Session and Members of Merrill Presbyterian Church [5 p.]

ƒ04—Presbytery of Winnebago, 1931, Minutes of the Fall Stated Meeting, September 8-9, 1931. [15 p.]

ƒ05—Presbytery of Winnebago, 1934, Minutes of the Spring Stated Meeting, April 10-11, 1934. [16 p.]

ƒ06—Presbytery of Winnebago, 1934, Minutes of the Fall Stated Meeting, September 11-12, 1935

ƒ07—Presbytery of Winnebago, 1934, Minutes of the Adjourned Meeting of 18 September 1934 [2 p.]

ƒ08—Presbytery of Winnebago vs. Arthur F. Perkins, 1935, copy of charges handed to Rev. A.F. Perkins, dated 10 April 1935. [4 p.]

ƒ09—Presbytery of Winnebago, 1935, Minutes of the Spring Stated Meeting, April 9-10, 1935. [15 p.]

ƒ10—Judicial Commission of the Presbytery of Winnebago, 1935, (1.) Notice to appear, dated 26 June 1935 [1 p.]; (2.) a latter reply by the counsel for the defense, dated 12 August 1935 [1 p.]; (3.) Decision of the Special Judicial Commission, dated 27 August 1935 [2 p.]; (4.) Letter of 1 October 1935, correcting some of the text of the prior Decision; (5.) Notice of a hearing and decision of the Appeal of Rev. Perkins; letter dated 16 October 1935. [1 p.]

ƒ11—Complaint to the Synod of Wisconsin, PCUSA, in the case of the Presbytery of Winnebago vs. The Reverend Arthur F. Perkins, 11 September 1935. [6 p.; Note: a second copy of this text, also present in this folder, bears the signatures of the twenty-one men bringing this complaint.]

ƒ12—Hughes, Miss Mary F., Letter addressed to the Rev. Joseph A. Vance, D.D., in support of Rev. Arthur F. Perkins, dated 15 May 1936. [8 p.; typescript]

ƒ13—Presbytery of Winnebago, 1936, Call to convene a pro re nata meeting on 17 June 1936. [1 p.]

ƒ14—Perkins, Arthur F., 1936, Letter dated 17 June 1936 renouncing the jurisdiction of the PCUSA [2 p.]

ƒ15—Presbyterian Church in the United States of America, 1936, General Assembly Daily News, Tuesday, 2 June 1936. Includes coverage of the Perkins appeal to the General Assembly. [3 p., large format]

ƒ16—Merrill Presbyterian Church, Merrill, Wisconsin, 1936, (1.) Newsletter of 19 March 1936; (2.) Sunday bulletin dated 10 May 1936; (3.) Photo: "New Presbyterian Group Holds First Service."

ƒ17—Rian, Edwin H., 1936, Unbelief in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.—Is It Recent? [8 p.; reprint of an article which appeared in the April 1936 of the Independent Board Bulletin.

ƒ18—Perkins, Arthur F., undated, Sermon outline: "The Menace of Modernism" [text: 2 Timothy 4:1-8; 5 p., typescript on 3.75" x 6.75" paper, duplex.]

ƒ19—Village and Rural Pastor's Conference, 1930-1934, Program brochures [4 p. each]

ƒ20—Lake Crescent Bible Camp: (1.) Missionary News newsletter, No. 5 (August 1936), with coverage of the Crescent Lake Bible Conference; (2.) 1st and 2nd Prize Essays, undated; (3.) handwritten chronology [1 p.]; (4.) News clipping and church budget information [3 p.]; 2004 Bible Camp brochure [12 p.]

ƒ21—Correspondence, 1927-1936, related to the ministry of Rev. Perkins and subsequent judicial trial [two folders; approximately 25 p.]

Accretions to the Collection (items added by Historical Center staff):—
ƒ22—Perkins, Arthur F., 1936, (1.) Obituary from The Merrill [Wisc.] Daily Herald, 30 December 1936, page 1. [poor photocopy]; (2.) transcription of item #1; (3.) additional biographical information, as published in The Christian Beacon,

ƒ23—Fenton, Carrie Manley, A Costly Dream at Crescent Lake and Lake Lundgren. Salem, OR: Panther Printing Co., 1979. Pb, 157 p.; 22 cm. Accession #004a080000.

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