Your gift to the Horizon Society qualifies you for one of four levels of recognition, each named after a famous figure from CRCDS’s past:
- William Newton Clark Circle – For an annual gift of $1,000-$2,499
- Suzanne Rinck Armstrong Circle – For an annual gift of $2,500-$4,999
- Samuel Crozer Circle – For an annual gift of $5,000 to $9,999
- Howard Thurman Circle – For an annual gift of $10,000+
Howard Thurman Circle: $10,000+
Rev. Dr. Howard Thurman (1900-1981), minister, educator, civil rights leader, 1926 Graduate of Rochester Theological Seminary.
Author, philosopher, theologian, and educator Howard Thurman spent most of his childhood in this late 19th-century, two-story, wood frame vernacular residence. In quiet moments before a civil rights march, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., used to read from Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited–a book that laid much of the philosophical foundation for a nonviolent civil rights movement. According to Thurman, fear, deception, and hatred prohibit a peaceful end to racial bigotry. These emotions isolate African Americans and whites, he wrote, and prevent either group from seeing the other as individuals free of stereotyped expectation. Only by overwhelming such restraints with love, said Thurman, can oppressed peoples surmount persecution. Their love is rooted in the “deep river” of faith:
It may twist and turn, fall back on itself and start again, stumble over an infinite series of hindering rocks, but at last the river must answer the call to the sea.
In 1923, Howard Thurman graduated from Morehouse College as valedictorian. After he was ordained a Baptist minister in 1925, he became the first black dean at Boston University and then the first dean of Rankin Chapel at Howard University in the District of Columbia. In the latter position, he traveled broadly, heading Christian missions and meeting with world figures like Mahatma Gandhi. When Thurman asked Gandhi what message he should take back to America, Gandhi said he regretted not having made nonviolence more visible worldwide and suggested some American black man would succeed where he had failed. Ebony magazine called Thurman one of the 50 most important figures in African American history, and Life rated him among the 12 best preachers in the nation.
Samuel Crozer Circle: $5,000-$9,999
Samuel Crozer (1825-1910), Founder Crozer Theological Seminary
Son of John Price Crozer and Sallie Knowles Crozer (Philanthropic founders of Crozer Theological Seminary)
Samuel Crozer was the first president of Delaware County National Bank and owner of three family businesses in Chester, PA.
During his entire life, Mr. Crozer devoted much of his means and time to the cause of religious and public charities. In 1865 he was elected president of the National Baptist Council for Missionary Purposes; for over forty years he was one of the managers of the Training School for Feeble Minded Children, located at Elwyn, and for much of that time president of the institution, a position held by his father at his death. He was president of the Baptist Publication Society, and for nearly half a century had been a manager of the Deaf and Dumb Asylum of Philadelphia. After the organization of the Crozer Theological Seminary in 1868, he was the president of the Board of Trustees, besides being a director in a number of business corporations.
Suzanne Rinck Armstrong Circle: $2,500-$4,999
Suzanne Rinck Armstrong, BMTS class of 1929, died in 1997. Her name was synonymous with BMTS. She came to the school as a student in 1927, graduated and stayed as a staff member, Except for a leave of absence to earn an AB degree, she never left her Alma Mater. She served as field secretary, director of admissions and scholarship program, registrar, professor Bible, and finally both as academic dean and director of the Bible department. She earned her MA degree from the University of Chicago and took 33 hours of additional graduate study. In 1962 she joined the CRDS faculty, the only BMTS teacher in the then new graduate program, and as loyal to the divinity school as she had been to her Alma Mater. In retirement she was named President Emeritus of the BMTS Alumnae Association.
During most of the years at BMTS she was Suzanne Rinck, a name prominent in denominational circles. She married at age 66, only to discover shortly thereafter that her spouse was ill with Parkinson’s disease. She had to learn to drive for the first time. She was the driving force behind the scholarship fund that was completed for CRCDS.
William Newton Clark Circle: $1,000-$2,499
Professor, Colgate Theological Seminary
William Newton Clarke (1840-1912), was a Baptist theologian and famed professor of Colgate Theological Seminary. Dr. Clarke graduated from Madison University (now Colgate) in 1861 and from its theological seminary in 1863. After serving pastorates in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Montreal, Canada, and teaching in the Toronto Baptist College as Professor of New Testament Interpretation, he returned to Hamilton as pastor of the First Baptist Church. In 1890 he resigned to become Professor of Christian Theology in the seminary. Clarke’s lectures were published in 1894 as the Outline of Christian Theology. It represents a milestone in the development of progressive theology in the United States. The text was so valued it went through 21 editions. Dr. Clarke was one of the founding members of the Walter Rauschenbusch and Leighton Williams inspired Brotherhood of the Kingdom.