Former Iowa Bishop Wayne Clymer dies

November 26, 2013


Bishop Wayne K. Clymer, former Resident Bishop of the Iowa Area, died on Monday, November 25, 2013.  He led the Iowa Conference from 1980 to 1984.


Bishop Clymer was born in Napoleon, Ohio, the son of the Rev. George A. and Grace Sallie Hulvey Clymer. His father was a member of the Ohio Annual Conference of the Evangelical Church, having served several churches in that State.


He earned his A.B. degree from Asbury College (1939), and the M.A., degree in Philosophy from Columbia University. Union Theological Seminary, New York City conferred upon him the Bachelor of Divinity degree, and he earned his Ph.D. from New York University. He pursued post-doctoral studies at the New York School for Social Research, the William Alanson White School of Psychiatry, and Columbia University. Clinical Pastoral Education was taken at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and at St. Luke's Hospital in New York City.


Bishop Clymer was ordained Deacon and Elder by Bishop John S. Stamm, becoming a member of the Atlantic Conference of the Evangelical Church. Rev. Clymer served pastorates in Ozone Park, New York and Forest Hills, New York.


In 1946 he was appointed Professor of Pastoral Care at the Evangelical Theological Seminary, Naperville, Illinois. In 1957 he was appointed Dean of the Seminary. In 1967 he became President. During a sabbatical year (1966-67), Dean Clymer served as a consultant on ministerial training to the United Church of Christ in the Philippines. He also taught at St. Andrew's Theological Seminary in Manila and Trinity College in Singapore. During his tenure in theological education, Bishop Clymer served as President of the Association of Seminary Professors, the Chicago Theological Faculties Union, and the Mid-America Theological Center.


Bishop Clymer was elected to the Episcopacy in 1972 by the North Central Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church. He was assigned to the Minnesota Episcopal Area, where he served two quadrennia. In 1980 he was assigned to the Iowa Area, where he served one quadrennium. As a Bishop he served as the President of The United Methodist Committee on Relief, 1976-84. He was a member of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Conference on Refugees in Geneva, Switzerland in 1970. Upon his retirement in 1984, Bishop Clymer served as Liaison for the Council of Bishops to the theological seminaries.


Bishop Clymer gave the Denman Lectures at the Congress on Evangelism (1976); the Berger Lectures at the University of Dubuque (1985); the Washburn Lectures (1985); and the George Buttrick Lectures, Bayview, Michigan (1990). He was Preacher on the NBC radio series, "Art of Living" (1962); and Preacher on "The Protestant Hour" (1970). Four times he was a delegate to the Oxford Conference on Methodist Theological Studies, and represented his denomination at the Fourth World Conference on Faith and Order. Honorary degrees have been conferred upon him by Westmar College, Hamline University, Iowa Wesleyan College, Rust College, and Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.


Bishop Clymer is survived by wife Virginia Schoenbohm Clymer; two sons, Kenton James Clymer and Richard George Clymer, and their wives; and grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by Helen Eloise Graves Clymer.


Memorials are preferred to the Wayne K. Clymer Scholarship Fund at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary (send checks to the Development Office, 2121 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, Ill., 60201), or to the United Methodist Committee on Relief.


A celebration of Bishop Clymer’s life will be held at 2:00 pm on Friday, November 29, 2013, at the Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Ave., Minneapolis. A visitation will take place prior to the service, from 12:30 to 2:00 pm at the church.


(content compiled from Wikipedia and other sources)