July , 2018

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Author Elaine Parker Adams tells the amazing story of her great-grandfather, the Rev. Peter W. Clark

HOUSTON, TX (BlackNews.com) — Elaine Parker Adams immortalizes the life of her great-grandfather, the Rev. Peter W. Clark, filling vital gaps in the history of the Methodist Church and its work among the black population of Louisiana. Her new biography, The Reverend Peter W. Clark: Sweet Preacher and Steadfast Reformer, covers the life of a man who filled assignments across the state in all but one of the Louisiana Methodist church districts. Clark led churches in the Acadiana, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, Monroe, and New Orleans Districts.

Peter Clark served the Methodist Episcopal Church during the latter 19th century and early 20th century. This Church’s influence on the black community as an anti-slavery institution and its role in educating newly-freed blacks are noted. During the critical post-Reconstruction period, Clark built and developed churches in rural and urban Louisiana, established missions in New Orleans, and served as founding presiding elder (district superintendent) of the Lake Charles district of the Louisiana conference. The author describes each of Clark’s assignments from 1886-1914, nearly 30 years of service.

While the book details Clark’s achievements as a religious and community leader dealing with crises ranging from Mississippi River flooding to axe murders, it also focuses on the personal sacrifices Clark and his family made for what is now the United Methodist Church. Angella Current Felder, who wrote her own family’s story, Breaking Barriers, states of Clark’s biography that “It provides deep insight into the racial attitudes and economic conditions that prevailed in post-Reconstruction Louisiana.”

Adams emphasizes the religious commitment of Peter Clark, pointing out that he remained true to this calling despite multiple obstacles – difficult church assignments, family illnesses and deaths. Poverty placed his grandchildren Grace and Peter “Champ” Clark in servitude after the early death of their father. Yet, they also displayed Clark’s dedicated service to humanity and willingness to take on exceptional challenges. The lives of educator Grace Clark Parker and sports broadcaster Peter “Champ” Clark are presented in the “Legacy” section of the book.

Offering insight into the thoughts of the Reverend Peter W. Clark and his namesake grandson, Peter “Champ” Clark, the book features selected essays and poetry. Adams also documents the book well with end notes, a bibliography, and an extensive index. Photos of ten family members are presented, some from over a century ago.

For more details about the book, visit www.revpeterwclark.com or contact authorepadams@aol.com

The Reverend Peter W. Clark: Sweet Preacher and Steadfast Reformer
by Elaine Parker Adams
Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 172 pages | ISBN 9781449797843
Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 172 pages | ISBN 9781449797836
E-Book | ISBN 9781449797829

Photo Caption: The late Rev. Peter W. Clark

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