Death of Reverend Dr. Paul R. Gregory, former missionary to China and Japan
Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Reverend Dr. Paul R. Gregory, former missionary to China and Japan.
December 19, 1920 – February 20, 2012
Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of The Reverend Dr. Paul R. Gregory of Homestead Village, Lancaster, PA on February 20, 2012. Born on December 19, 1920, in Chapman Quarries, Northampton County, Pennsylvania, Paul was the only child of John T. and Annie Radcliffe Gregory. He was married to Catherine Hahn Gregory for 67 years.
A graduate of Lehigh University (B.S. in Chemical Engineering, 1940) and of Lancaster Theological Seminary (B.D., 1944), he studied Chinese and Japanese at Yale University. He was awarded honorary doctorates from Japan International Christian University (Doctorate of Humane Letters, 1979), Eden Theological Seminary (Doctorate of Divinity, 1980), and Tohoku Gakuin University, Sendai, Japan (Doctorate of Laws, 1986).
Paul served as a missionary of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and was based in Yuanling, Hunan Province, China (1947-48) and in Morioka, Japan (1949-1957). During his time in Japan, Paul worked with the refugees in Okunakayama, Iwate Prefecture, who were living in extreme poverty. He introduced dairy farming to the community by bringing in Ladinow clover, nine heifers, and one bull supplied by Heifer International and Christian Rural Overseas Program. Today, the region is a flourishing dairying community.
From 1957 to 1986, Paul was Secretary for East and Southeast Asia for the United Church Board for World Ministries of the United Church of Christ (UCBWM), serving also as General Secretary of that Board’s Mission Division for ten of those years. He chaired various committees related to East Asia, including the National Council of Churches. For twenty-five years, Paul served as President of the Japan International Christian University Foundation based in New York City.
First president of the Residents’ Association of Homestead Village, Paul was active in the Church of the Apostles and in Penn Central Conference of the United Church of Christ. He is the author of more than twenty hymns, some of which have been used widely throughout the United Church of Christ and have been published now in several denominational and ecumenical hymnals.
Surviving are his wife, Catherine; three daughters, Nancy Black (Liverpool, New York), Judith Brun (Velaux, France), and Lynne Porpiglia (Damascus, Maryland) and their spouses; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. Paul was dearly loved and respected for his wisdom, love of all people, and passion for a more just and peaceful world.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend The Reverend Dr. Gregory’s Life Celebration Memorial Service at Church of the Apostles, UCC, 1850 Marietta Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603 on Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. with The Reverend Richard Cowles, Jr., The Reverend Kathryn Kuhn, and The Reverend David Longenecker officiating. Private interment will be held at the convenience of the family. The family will receive friends following the Memorial Service. To share a fond memory of The Reverend Dr. Gregory, please visit the website of the Fred F. Groff Funeral Home at www.lifecelebration.com.
Messages of condolence may be sent to Mrs. Catherine H. Gregory, Apt 145, PO Box 3227, Lancaster, PA 17604-3227. Memorial gifts may be made to: United Church of Christ Global Ministries, 700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, Ohio 44115; Church of the Apostles, UCC, 1850 Marietta Ave., Lancaster, PA 17603; Heifer International, (Tribute to Reverend Paul R. Gregory), 1 World Avenue, Little Rock, Arkansas 72202.