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Descriptive Summary

Title: Samuel Levinson Joekel papers
Dates: 1902-1954
Accession Number(s): 1996-005; 2017-001
Extent: 2 feet
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Austin Seminary Archives at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Biographical Note: Samuel Levinson Joekel (1893-1954) was born on July 1, 1893 in Giddings, Texas to Hermann Charles Joekel and Zipporah Levinson Joekel. He graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1913, received his Bachelor of Divinity from the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1916 and his Masters of Arts from the University of Texas the same year. In 1926 he received Doctor of Divinity degrees from Austin College and Trinity University (McLaurin 1955, 3).

In 1916 Joekel was ordained by the Presbytery of Dallas, Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS), and installed as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Clarendon, Texas, where he served for one year. In 1917, he entered the Army YMCA at Camp Travis and in 1918 was commissioned a chaplain at the chaplain's training school at Camp Taylor, Kentucky (McLaurin, 3).

From 1919 to 1926 Joekel served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Waxahachie, Texas and taught Bible at Trinity University (McLaurin, 3). In 1926 he began his twenty-eight year professorship at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary as professor of English Bible and Religious Education. While a professor at the Seminary he taught Bible courses at the University of Texas and supplied the First Presbyterian Church of Lockhart, Texas. In addition to Joekel's academic teaching, he taught at many Bible conferences and training schools and was active as a civic speaker. For several years he served as a summer leader and teacher at Bloys Camp Meeting Association in Fort Davis, Texas. He was a member of the Austin Kiwanis Club and a thirty-second degree Mason and a Shriner (Law 1955, 10). He gave addresses to organizations such as the Texas Bar Association, the Lions Club, the Jaycees, and a variety of professional organizations and conventions.

Joekel published two works: While It Is Day in 1942, a handbook analyzing the Home Missions work of the Southern Presbyterian Church, and Fitly Framed Together in 1953, a work that analyzed each book of the Bible which was later translated into Spanish.

Joekel died in Austin, Texas on November 12, 1954.


  • Law, R.A. January 1955. “Dr. Joekel as a Scholar and Minister” in “A Service of Appreciation In Memory of Samuel Levinson Joekel.” The Austin Seminary Bulletin. Vol. LXX, No. 5, Sec. 2. [Austin, Texas].
  • McLaurin, Eugene. January 1955. “The Biographical Sketch” in “A Service of Appreciation In Memory of Samuel Levinson Joekel.” The Austin Seminary Bulletin. Vol. LXX, No. 5, Sec. 2. [Austin, Texas].

Scope and Contents: The papers of Samuel Levinson Joekel document Joekel’s work as a Presbyterian minister in Texas, as both student and teacher at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and his activities as a popular civic speaker and Bible teacher in the Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS). Particularly, Joekel’s extensive work with community, student, ecumenical, and women’s groups is documented. The papers include sermon materials, civic addresses, teaching materials, writings, letters, and clippings. They are arranged into two sub-groups: professional activities and personal activities.

While the papers document that Joekel’s career as pastor was anchored in Texas (predominately in Clarendon, Waxahachie, and Lockhart) they also document that following his appointment in 1926 as professor with APTS his activities as minister and teacher frequently expanded to other Southern and Mid-Atlantic states. Clippings announcing Joekel’s week long Bible lectures, hotel stationary used for sermon notes, and the noted dates and locations on several sermons document his work in Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, and West Virginia. It is notable that many of Joekel’s sermon materials span the periods of World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. Subjects such as isolationism, war and brutality, and the responsibility victory brings emerge several times in the material. A sermon entitled “The Survival of the Unfit,” based on the theme of the Christian’s responsibility in a world of warring nations and brutality, is one of Joekel’s most frequently delivered sermons; it was delivered 57 times between 1922 and 1954. Book reviews and related materials collected and created by Joekel, most likely in preparation for meetings with church affiliated women’s groups, are also found in these papers.

Teaching materials relate to Joekel’s position as professor of English Bible and Religious Education for the APTS and also to the Association of Religious Teachers (A.R.T.) affiliated courses, which Joekel and Thomas White Currie co-taught at the University of Texas. These materials include: class registers and grade books (restricted), exam questions, lecture notes, Old and New Testament Bible outlines, and Joekel’s copies of some of Currie’s lecture outlines. Writings by Joekel include manuscripts and typescripts of: “The Gospel of Justification by Faith: Studies in the Epistle to the Galatians and the Epistle of James,” A Survey of the Pentateuch, and The Eternalness of Christ. Research materials and a partial manuscript for a biography on Thomas White Currie exist in the papers as an unfinished work which Joekel commenced in 1943. These research materials contain several letters to Joekel from personal and professional associates of Thomas White Currie and contain observations of Currie’s life, work and character.

The papers also include notebooks and sermons created by Joekel during his own years as an APTS student, two personal letters to Joekel and a few items relating to Joekel’s family. A volume by R. L. Dabney owned and inscribed by Joekel [2017-001] is also included.

Processing information:: Initially processed by Tracy Grimm and Bill Brock in May 1998.

Restrictions: Sensitive information regarding students’ grades has been restricted for a period of 80 years from the date of creation. Materials are available by appointment only. Contact the archivist for details.

Index Terms:
Currie, Thomas White, 1879-1943.
Glasgow, Samuel McPheeters, 1883-
Joekel, Samuel Levinson, 1893-1954.
Vinson, Robert Ernest, 1876-1945.
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary--Faculty.
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary--Students.
University of Texas.
Presbyterian Church--Clergy.
Sermons, English--Texas.

Other Finding Aids: This finding aid is also available in PDF format, which may be more suitable for printing. Click here to download the PDF version.

Preferred Citation: Samuel Joekel Levinson papers, 1914-1954, Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary


Box Number:
C050 Series 1: Professional Activities
  Ministerial Work, 1914-1954 (bulk 1940-1954)
  Note: c. 805 items. Consists of sermon materials, civic addresses, materials prepared for special conferences and meetings, collected printed materials, letters, and clippings. The sermon materials are arranged as found--chronological within three formats: sermon materials (from envelopes), loose notebook pages, and notebooks. Many of the sermons were delivered multiple times throughout Joekel’s career. The arrangement documents a general chronological progression of Joekel’s early work as a minister in Texas through his years as a stated supply pastor. Many of the sermons were delivered in Clarendon, Giddings, Waxahachie, and Lockhart, Texas as well as in the states of Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, and West Virginia. Notable items include Joekel’s first sermon, delivered in Camden, Arkansas in 1914; a sermon initially graded by Dr. Robert Ernest Vinson; a paper written by Joekel as part of trial for licensure before the Central Texas Presbytery; as well as several sermons dated c. 1948 which were broadcast over the radio station “KCNY--Lockhart.” The civic addresses include several baccalaureate and commencement speeches. Also included are teaching outlines and materials prepared for special conferences such as Synod Young People’s Conferences, women’s conferences and meetings, and the annual meeting of Bloys Camp Meeting Association in Fort Davis, Texas. Possibly related to Joekel’s work with women is a group of book review materials which are arranged alphabetically by book author. Included are book reviews written or outlined by Joekel, clippings, Book of the Month Club and the Literary Guild of America promotional pamphlets, as well as two letters to Joekel from Collier’s Readers Research Bureau on the subject of women’s achievements in the fine arts and women’s opportunities for service. In addition, there are miscellaneous printed materials and clippings related to church activities, services, and Joekel’s Bible classes.
  Sermon materials:
     From envelopes:
     Loose notebook pages:
C051       1942-1950
     Civic and special occasions:
        1935, 1950
C052    Clippings and prose, c.1945
     No location, undated
  Trial for licensure paper, 1916
  Teaching outline, undated
  Book review materials:
     A-F, c.1940
     L-W, c.1940, c.1947
  Certificates of appreciation, 1947, undated
  Collected printed material, 1913-1954, undated
  Letters, 1946, 1947
  Clippings, 1916-1941
  Professorship/Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and University of Texas at Austin, 1926-1954
  Note: 93 items. Includes class registers/grade books (restricted materials), lecture materials, and exam questions for APTS English Bible and Religious Education courses and Association of Religious Teachers (A.R.T.) courses taught at the University of Texas at Austin. Old and New Testament Bible outlines are also included, as well as a 1933 typescript of Bible outlines which is identified in Joekel’s handwriting as “Dr. Currie’s Syllabus” and Joekel’s copy of Currie’s Studies in the Psalms. Research materials and preliminary portions of the manuscript created for a biography of Thomas White Currie which Joekel began in 1943 at the request of the Board of Trustees of the APTS are also included. The biography materials include an outline of the biography, manuscripts of chapters 1 and 2, and letters (arranged as found--by subject) solicited by Joekel from former associates of Currie. The letters relate to Currie’s activities as recalled by his childhood friends, former students, community and church leaders and include two letters from Mary E. Branch, president of Tillotson College, which discuss Currie’s inter-racial work. Also includes a letter to Joekel regarding a job offer and two letter requests for copies of Joekel’s biography of Thomas White Currie upon its completion.
  Class registers/grade books [Restricted]:
C053    1949-1952
  Exam questions, 1936-1953, undated
  Lecture notes, notebook of Bible outlines, undated
  Bible outlines, undated
  Lecture materials - ”Dr. Currie’s Syllabus,” undated
  Lecture materials - Studies in the Psalms, 1933
  Research-Thomas White Currie biography, 1943
  Letters, 1943, 1944, 1945
  Writings, 1942-1949, undated
  Note: 6 items. Includes manuscripts and typescripts for various writings by Joekel. Included are versions of “The Eternalness of The Christ,” “The Gospel of Justification by Faith: studies in the Epistle to the Galatians, and the Epistle of James,” “The Humanism of God,” “The Individual Producer and the Group,” “Security - Romans 8:28-29," “A Survey of the Pentateuch,” and a copy of While it is Day from the library of B. W. Trull.
  ”The Eternalness of the Christ,” undated
  ”The Gospel of Justification by Faith,” undated
C040 ”The Gospel of Justification by Faith,” undated
  ”The Humanism of God,” 1949
  ”The Individual Producer and the Group,” undated
  ”Security,” undated
  ”A Survey of the Pentateuch,” undated
  While it is Day, 1942
C040 Series 2: Personal Activities
  Academic Work/Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 1914-1916
  Note: 5 items. Consists of classroom materials created by Joekel while an APTS student. Includes a Spring 1914 notebook from Rev. Samuel McPheeters Glasgow’s combined middle and senior English Bible class, a Spring 1914 notebook from Dr. Robert Ernest Vinson’s junior English Bible class, a notebook for the 1915-1916 junior class Church History course which Joekel taught as instructor during his senior year, a 1916 notebook from his senior class New Testament exegesis of Phileman and Philippians which also includes “Paul’s Christology continued #3," and an undated (c.1916) and unidentified notebook.
     1916, undated
  Letters, 1945, 1952
  Note: 2 items. Includes a sympathy letter from Dr. Thornton Read, a letter of praise and congratulations for a moving and eloquent sermon, and a thank you letter.
  Personal Letters, 1945, 1952
  Family, 1950, undated
  Note: 3 items. Includes one telegram regarding hospital expenses incurred, a clipping regarding Joekel’s son entering World War II and a photomechanical imprint of his son, Lt. Samuel L. Joekel Jr., in pilot’s gear.
  Family, 1950, undated
Rare books (Row A) Printed material, 1902
  Note: 1 item. Book by R. L. Dabney from Joekel’s library. Joekel’s name is on the flyleaf with the date 1913. Donated by Jerry Tompkins [2017-001]
  Sacred rhetoric : or, A course of lectures on preaching, delivered in the Union Theological Seminary of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S., in Prince Edward, Va. by Robert Lewis Dabney; Richmond : Presbyterian Committee for Publication, 1902

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