Memphis Theological Seminary reports the Reverend Dr. Clinton Owen Buck, 89, Professor Emeritus, died October 9, 2021, in Memphis, Tennessee. An honorably retired member of West Tennessee Presbytery, Dr. Buck was the long time pastor of Mt. Carmel Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Laconia, Tennessee, and had been an integral part of the life of Colonial Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Memphis. Clinton was dedicated to Christian Education. He wrote Unity and Diversity in Theological Education, a continuation of the history of Memphis Theological Seminary which was published in 2014. At MTS, the Baird-Buck Endowment funds the Cumberland Presbyterian House of Studies. Clinton was elected moderator of the 165th Cumberland Presbyterian General Assembly meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1995.
Clinton Buck was born July 4, 1932, in Ramer, Tennessee, to Cumberland Presbyterian minister Reverend John T. Buck, Sr., and Verner Giles Buck. In 1940, Clinton joined the Maple Springs Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Beech Bluff, Tennessee (Madison Presbytery). He attended College Street Elementary in Jackson, Tennessee, and Auburn Elementary in Kentucky.
Clinton graduated from Jackson Central High School in 1950 and then attended Bethel College (now Bethel University) in McKenzie, Tennessee. He pledged Alpha Psi Omega at Bethel and graduated in 1953. He then attended the Cumberland Presbyterian Theological Seminary (now Memphis Theological Seminary) which was then also in McKenzie. He completed a Master of Arts at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, in 1958 while also attending Garrett Theological Seminary, and earned a doctorate in theology from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, in 1968.
Clinton Buck came under the care of Madison Presbytery in 1950. As a undergraduate, he served the Sugar Tree and Lexington Cumberland Presbyterian Churches, both in Tennessee. Madison Presbytery ordained Clinton in 1952. The Reverend John T. Buck, Sr., preached Clinton’s ordination sermon and the Reverends Donald Sweet and O.T. Arnett delivered the charge. He then served Martin Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Double Springs Cumberland Presbyterian Church near Milan, Tennessee, Mason Hall Cumberland Presbyterian Church at Kenton, Tennessee, and Park Avenue Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Memphis. He also served First Methodist Church in Lexington, Illinois, and the United Presbyterian Church in McKenzie. Church where he preached occasionally and provided pulpit supply are innumerable. He was variously a member of Madison, Hopewell, Obion, and West Tennessee Presbyteries in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and West Tennessee Presbytery of the United Presbyterian Church.
Clinton taught at Bethel College as an assistant professor, associate professor, and professor for seventeen years. He also served Bethel as Dean of Students and Admissions. He was also on the faculty at the University of Tennessee at Martin. He joined the faculty of Memphis Theological Seminary in 1977 as Professor of Educational Ministry (Christian Education and Pastoral Ministry). He was also the Associate Dean responsible for the Doctor of Ministry program.
Clinton Buck married Evelyn Sue Looper of Dardanelle, Arkansas, September 7, 1951. They had two children, Philip Carson Buck and Phylis Ann Buck. Evelyn died October 24, 2008. On October 26, 2015, Clinton married Ronda Matlock and became stepfather to Keith Garrett.
This article is incomplete. More information will be added as it becomes available.