On September 23, past Judson College president, the late Dr. Norman Henry McCrummen, II, was inducted into the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame in a ceremony and luncheon hosted at The Club by the Women’s Committee of 100 for Birmingham. Many Judson alumnae who were students during Dr. McCrummen’s tenure were in attendance, as well as many faculty and staff members who worked with him or recognized their indebtedness to his great legacy at Judson. Dr. David E. Potts, current Judson College president and McCrummen’s immediate successor, delivered the induction remarks.
McCrummen, who died in 2002 at age 81, was pastor of Alabama Baptist churches in Atmore, Ramer, Selma, Birmingham, and Dalton, Ga., before being named president of Judson College in 1970. During his 20-year tenure at Judson, he often filled the pulpit at Siloam Baptist Church in Marion. Potts praised McCrummen’s gift for preaching and teaching: “Any member of any congregation who knew him and heard him will confirm that he was among the very best preachers in the Southern Baptist Convention. In 1988, I had the privilege of hearing him deliver a sermon on the power of prayer at the Legislative Prayer Luncheon during the 150th anniversary celebration of Judson College. The power of the words in his sermon on that day still rings in my ears.”
Potts lauded McCrummen’s contributions to Alabama Baptist and Southern Baptist circles as a pastor and church leader, to his country as a U.S. Air Force communications officer in the Pacific during World War II, to his community as civic leader and servant, and to Judson College as its president. Dr. McCrummen’s life at home and in his community is indicative of the life he commended to his Judson students, according to Potts. “Throughout his lifelong ministry, he passionately shared the love of God and the grace of Christ…Time does not permit a thorough telling of the many achievements of Norman Henry McCrummen, II at Judson College…He kept faith with the mission established by the founders and brought progress and quality to the institution. Under his guidance, impressive buildings were constructed, endowments were markedly improved, and enrollments were expanded. As a great apologist, he ever sought to point his students to God and His purpose, encouraging young women to take the road less traveled, the more narrow but ever so much more fulfilling way,” Potts said. Find Potts’ full remarks here.
Norman McCrummen III spoke for the McCrummen family, indicating that the high praise of his father’s public life could be applied to his private life at home with his wife, Kitty, and three children, Norman McCrummen III, Lynn McCrummen Johnson, and the late Warren McCrummen. “We grew up knowing that he believed that in order to show love and gratitude to God, you must show the same to one’s neighbor,” said McCrummen. McCrummen and his sister Lynn unveiled the plaque that will hang in Samford University’s Harwell G. Davis Library.
The late Clare Purcell was also inducted at the luncheon. Purcell, a Columbia, Ala., native, served Methodist churches throughout Alabama before being named bishop in 1938. He was known for his role in facilitating the union of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, the Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Methodist Protestant Church in 1939. He was elected to the denomination’s highest national post as president of the Council of Bishops in 1955 and was an advisor on social programs to U.S. Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman. Purcell died in 1964 at age 79.
More information on the Alabama Men’s Hall of Fame can be found at www.samford.edu/groups/amhf.