Death of former missionary to Ghana Reverend Alfred C. Krass
September 13, 1936 – October 26, 2010
Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Reverend Alfred C. Krass, retired pastor of United Christian Church in Levittown, Pennsylvania, and former missionary to Ghana. Reverend Krass died of complications of pneumonia Tuesday, October 26, at St. Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. He was 74.
Alfred Krass was born into a Jewish family and converted to Christianity while at Amherst College. He attended Yale Divinity School, and was ordained a minister of the United Church of Christ in 1961. He spent his life in service to God and the people with and among whom he lived. A man of prayer, he had a strong passion for justice and peace, a great compassion for others, and an ever-growing understanding of all people as children of God. His favorite biblical passage, said Susan Byrne Krass, his wife, was from the Gospel of St. Luke: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” As he said of himself, he began with evangelism and ended with peacemaking.
After ordination, Reverend Krass served as a missionary in Ghana for nine years, working in church planting, community development, and literacy. Returning to the United States in 1970, he and his family lived in St. Louis for a year and then in New York City, he studied at the New School for Social Research and received an MA in sociology. He also served as evangelism consultant for the United Church Board for World Ministries.
Later, in Philadelphia, Reverend Krass participated in Jubilee Fellowship, an ecumenical house church, was an editor of The Other Side magazine, and did community organizing with the Southwest Germantown Association and Germantown Residents Acting to Conserve Energy. He was called as full-time pastor to United Christian Church in Levittown in 1987. He was the founder and first president of the Interfaith Housing Development Corporation. He also founded the Lower Bucks Center for Church and Community, and was active in peace projects with the Metropolitan Christian Council and the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference of the UCC.
Since his retirement in 1999, Reverend Krass preached in various churches, worked part time for the Coalition for Peace Action in Bucks and Montgomery County, participated in the Interfaith Council for Middle East Peace, and other groups working for interfaith understanding. He also taught classes on poetry, peacemaking, and themes in American history at the Osher Lifelong Learning Center at Temple University.
His other interests were his family, friends, sketching and watercolor, gardening, travel, cycling, swimming, and cooking. He was an avid reader, had a good sense of humor, and enjoyed music, especially classical jazz and hymns. He was a communicator and an organizer, who knew how to move people and to make friends, many of whom saw him as a family member. His broad, loving outlook on life meant that many sought his advice and companionship.
Reverend Krass is survived by his wife of 48 years, Susan; sons, Thomas and Michael and his partner, Anna Luten, and their son, Bruno. He is also survived by his older brother, William Krasilovsky, and many nieces and nephews whom he loved.
Services were held on November 2 at the Bucks County Presbyterian Church, Levittown.
Donations may be made to United Christian Church, 8525 New Falls Rd, Levittown, PA 19054-1601; or to Peaceful Living, a provider of services for the developmentally disabled, at 2210 Shelly Rd., Suite 2, Harleysville, PA 19438.
Messages of condolence may be sent to Mrs. Susan B. Krass, 29 Dark Leaf Lane Levittown, PA 19055-1707.