Thomas White Currie, Presbyterian minister, professor, and seminary president, son of David Mitchell and Ira Ione (White) Currie, was born on a farm near the Carolina Cemetery, not far from Durango, Texas, on January 23, 1879. After working as a clerk in grocery and clothing stores, he received an A.B. degree from Austin College in 1907. He taught chemistry for a year at Austin College and then went to Austin, where in 1911 he received an M.A. in history from the University of Texas and a B.D. from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. At about this time he also became secretary of the Young Men's Christian Association at the University of Texas, a position he held until 1920. Upon graduation he was made assistant in English Bible at the seminary and, in 1922, president of the institution. He served as professor of church history and president there until his death. His chief interest at the seminary was to produce good ministers for the Southwest and for missionary areas.
Currie was granted honorary doctorates by Austin College in 1915 and Daniel Baker College in 1937. He was made an honorary member of Phi Beta Kappa in 1942 at the University of Texas. The chapel at the seminary was completed under his direction in 1942. In 1921 he was elected moderator of the Synod of Texas of the Presbyterian Church in the United States and in 1930 of the General Assembly. In 1925 he represented the church at the Universal Christian Conference on the Life and Work of the Churches at Stockholm, Sweden, and at the Pan-Presbyterian Conference at Cardiff, Wales. He was a representative in 1937 at the World Conference on Faith and Order in Edinburgh, Scotland.
In addition to his other duties, from December 1932 till the summer of 1937 he served as preacher at Highland Park Presbyterian Church in Dallas. He was interested in improving race relations and served for a time on the board of Tillotson College, a black college in Austin (now Huston-Tillotson College). He served as chairman of the Committee on Cooperation and Union of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, U.S., and helped devise the first written plan of union with the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. He was a member of the committee that compiled Presbyterian Expansion in the Synod of Texas of the Presbyterian Church, U.S. (1927) and the author of Studies in the Psalms (1941).
On August 26, 1913, Currie married Jeannette Ella Roe at the First Presbyterian Church of Colorado City, Texas. Their three sons entered the Presbyterian ministry, and their daughter became a director of Christian education. After a week's illness following a stroke, Currie died in Temple on April 22, 1943. He was buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Austin.
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Thomas White Currie, Jr., Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary: A Seventy-fifth Anniversary History (San Antonio: Trinity University Press, 1978). Ministerial Directory of the Presbyterian Church, U.S. (Presbyterian Church in the United States, 1898, 1942-). Who's Who in America, 1940–41.
Dallas/Fort Worth Region
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Thomas W. Currie, Jr.,
“Currie, Thomas White,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed August 11, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
Most Recent Revision Date:
December 1, 1994
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