It is with great sadness that the Christian Unity and Interfaith Ministry announces the death of the Rev. Dr. Paul A. Crow, Jr., who had been a champion for the ecumenical movement.

Ms. Mary Crow and her family ask that we share the following statement:

We are celebrating the life of the Rev. Dr. Paul A. Crow, Jr. in his death and resurrection on Saturday, January 23, 2021, at 11:30 pm. He served as President of the Council on Christian Unity for 25 years, which thus enabled him to give expression to his passion in seeking Christian unity – which was the “polar star “ of his ministry – and his love for Christ’s Church.  We remember him lovingly in the words of scripture, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Mt. 25:21)

Dr. Crow was a long-time friend, colleague, and mentor to many Disciples and ecumenical friends as he offered significant leadership for over 40 years in promoting the unity of all Christians and the oneness of Christ’s church in its local, regional, national, and international expressions.  Dr. Crow helped to define and shape the ecumenical movement in many ways – especially in nurturing seminary students and younger pastors in understanding their call to a ministry that includes the vision of unity and reconciliation as the “matrix for mission” in our world today.

We are in gratitude to God for the life and ministry of God’s servant, Paul A. Crow, Jr.

In lieu of flowers, Mary and her family have asked that any financial gifts might go to:

  • Council on Christian Unity dba Christian Unity and Interfaith Ministry (Online Giving)
  • Northwood Christian Church (4550 Central Ave., Indianapolis, IN  46205); or
  • the National Processing Center, Alzheimer’s Association (P.O. Box 96011, Washington, D.C.  20090-6011)

If you want to learn more about his dedication to the ecumenical movement, please visit here: Paul A. Crow., Jr.

21 Comments, RSS

  • James Puglisi, sa

    As the Director of the Centro Pro Unione, Rome, Italy, I wish to express my synpathy to Mary and family for their loss and the Disciples of Christ. Paul and Mry have been guests of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement both in Rome and in the USA on many occasions. We will holòd Paul in our prayers and all of you as you mourn the loss of this great ecumenist and friend. May he rest in the peace of the Risen Lord.
    Peace and all good,
    James F. Puglisi, SA
    Director, Centro Pro Unione, Rome

  • James Puglisi, sa

    As the Director of the Centro Pro Unione, Rome, Italy, I wish to express my synpathy to Mary and family for their loss and the Disciples of Christ. Paul and Mary have been guests of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement both in Rome and in the USA on many occasions. We will hold Paul in our prayers and all of you as you mourn the loss of this great ecumenist and friend. May he rest in the peace of the Risen Lord.
    Peace and all good,
    James F. Puglisi, SA
    Director, Centro Pro Unione, Rome

  • Dan Yarnell

    It is always a sad time to hear of the passing of a servant of Christ and fellow traveller in the Kingdom. So sorry for the loss for family, friends, and colleagues, but also rejoicing for his own promotion to glory as well as in the many and varied achievements toward Christian unity that Paul engendered in his life and ministry.
    Much love and blessings from colleagues in the United Kingdom.

  • Guy Waldrop

    Mary I send you and your family my sympathy and my love in the death of Paul. With great memories of my relationship and friendship with Paul across the years i give thanks for his service to the church. He was a mentor for me and provided me with opportunities to be involved in the ecumenical movement. I am sorry that my health does not permit me to be at the service to celebrate his life love you
    Guy Waldrop

  • Professor David Thompson

    Paul’s reputation within the Christian family was world-wide. Equally he was concerned that all members of Disciple heritage should be brought within his own efforts from the USA to further Christian unity. This was something which we in the UK greatly appreciated, and it bore particular fruit in the Disciples/Roman Catholic International Commission for Theological Dialogue, in which I was privileged to share (1980-2018), and also in the Disciples’ Ecumenical Consultative Council with its commitment to the achievement of visible Christian Unity. My wife and I remember him, and Mary in her loss, with deep affection. God bless them both.

  • John S. Mbinda

    I hasten to send most sincere condolences to my dear friend and great Ecumenist, Rev, Dr. Paul A. Crow, Jr. My 20 years of working with Dr. Crow from 1986 t0 2006, were the best years my ecumenical engagement with the Disciples of Christ (Christian Church). My tribute to the life and ministry of Dr. Crow is one of recommitment to Christian Unity.

    May His Soul Rest in Peace.

    Msgr. John S. Mbinda
    Retired Vatican Official, Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU), 1986-2006

  • Richard Ziglar

    What great memories I have of meeting Paul for the first time at International CYF Commission. What a great minister/leader he was for the Disciples of Christ!
    I cherish the memories of our friendship and am grateful for the legacy he has left behind.
    Richard Ziglar
    Retired clergy in Tulsa, OK

  • Kenneth W Moore

    I want to express my sincere sympathy to Paul’s family. He taught me a great deal about our Disciple’s Polar Star and inspired me to greater ecumenical efforts as a Regional Minister.

  • Thomas Ryan

    Paul was a much-appreciated fellow traveler on the road to Christian unity. I am grateful for his ministry and witness to the importance of solidarity and collaboration among the followers of Jesus. I trust Jesus welcomes him with open arms into the Kingdom of God.

  • LaTaunya Bynum

    I am grateful for the life of Rev. Dr. Paul A. Crow, Jr. When I was a new young member of the Disciples General Staff, Paul welcomed me and helped me to continue to expand my understanding that the church is much larger than any one denomination. I am grateful for his contribution to the unity of the church of Jesus Christ; I mourn his passing and I give thanks for his life.

  • NancyCarol Stahl

    I was shocked and saddened to learn of Paul’s death. I appreciated the years that I served on the Council on Christian Unity under his leadership. Paul was a great mentor and will be greatly missed. Mary and family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Luzia Wehrle

    Dearest Mary, Paul will remain for ever among us – To me he was such an outstanding personality but at the same time he was a friend, a brother and at times even a father. Deeply united with you, dear Mary,sharing the ‘going home’ (heimgehen in German) of Paul – I like this expression in German – he is gone HOME- to that home which we will all hopefully be able to reach!

    Much love and in prayer that you may have the strength every day to say ‘yes’ to what God asks you do live,
    yours Luzia (Wehrle) former WCC colleague

  • Dwain Epps

    Paul was like a life-long friend in the ecumenical movement, an inspiration, faithful partner and bearer of hope and good humor in the most difficult of circumstances, someone you could always count on. I was privileged to know and work with him in both the World Council of Churches and the National Council of the Churches of Christ since 1971. May God rest his soul, comfort his family, and keep his memory alive as an example to future generations.

    Rev. Dwain C. Epps, Former Director, Commission of the Churches on International Affairs of the World Council of Churches

  • Nadia Lahutsky

    I send my deepest sympathies to Mary Crow and all of the rest of the family, a family of which Paul was always enormously proud! Paul Crow was such an important part of the world of ecumenism for three decades. In my experience, he always exercised his leadership with unfailing kindness and that is a quality not always in evidence, even among the churches. Memory eternal.

  • Beverly Dale

    He was a giant in our church. He was the face and the soul of ecumenism both professionally and personally. I benefited from his friendship and consider him one of my mentors for sure. An incredibly gentle man with a passion for inclusion and dialogue. We have been blessed by his life. We have benefitted by his work. “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

  • Rev. Dr. Angelique Walker-Smith

    Dear Mary and Ecumenical Colleagues,

    It is with sadness and a spirit of thanksgiving that I celebrate the life of the Rev. Dr. Paul Crow in this season of his physical departure from us. May he rest in peace.

    Dr. Crow was a steadfast ecumenist who passionately sought to proclaim and embrace the gift of unity among the churches. He was also committed to the visible unity of the churches. He understood the importance of matters of faith and order and life and work. At the same time, he maintained both a critical and open engagement of addressing issues that divided the churches.

    I remember meeting him during my younger and formative adult years upon entering ecumenical work full time as Executive Director of the Trenton Ecumenical Area Ministry (TEAM) and later, as Executive Director of The Church Federation of Greater Indianapolis, Ecumenical Liaison of the National Baptist Convention USA, Inc. and World Council of Churches Central Committee member. In all of these venues and roles I had, ‘Paul” was there and a highly visible and respected ambassador of his church and Christian unity. His writings and voice insisted on Christian unity when it was “in season and out of season.” One of the many things I remember about his priorities is that we must not ever settle for only “unity projects and engagements” but must always call for deep and substantive transformation among us at all levels of koinonia i.e. individual, communal, ecclesial and spiritual. This is a difficult proposal but one to which we are called to. May “Paul’s life always be a living testimony to the power and possibilities of this.

    I end with a prayer of thanksgiving for “Paul’s” life and witness. I am eternally grateful for this and most assuredly, for having known and worked with him and known Mary. Here I extend my prayerful wishes and gratitude to Mary for her faithfulness. May God’s peace and assurance be with you especially in this season of loss.

    (Rev. Dr.) Angelique Walker-Smith, National Baptist Convention USA, Inc. and Bread for the World

  • Michael Kinnamon

    I give thanks for the way God worked through Paul’s ministry to increase unity among the churches. And I send my sympathy to Mary and the family in this time of grieving and remembering. It was Paul who brought me into the ecumenical movement, for which I am deeply grateful. May his contributions to Christian unity be celebrated for generations to come.

  • Jane Myers Perrine

    Dr. Crow was my major professor in seminary and married George and me–a union that lasted 47 years. Mary, I remember you so well. I hope it gives you joy that so many loved Dr. Crow (I never was able to call him Paul!).

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