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WOODS (WILLIAM IRVINE) PAPERS, circa 1870, 1955-1988, 2007

Descriptive Summary

Title: William Irvine Woods papers
Dates: circa 1870, 1955-1988, 2007
Accession Number(s): 2007-009; 2008-001
Extent: 1 ft., 8 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Austin Seminary Archives at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Biographical Note: William “Bill” Irvine Woods (1939- ) was a Presbyterian minister in South Carolina and Texas. Woods was born November 25, 1939 in Columbia, South Carolina. After receiving an English degree from the University of South Carolina, he enrolled at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1962.

During his time at the Seminary, he received clinical pastoral training as a chaplain at Austin State Hospital (1965), and served one summer as a student assistant pastor in Mineral Wells, Texas. He graduated from the Seminary in 1966, and was called to be Pastor at both Old Waxhaw Presbyterian Church and Faith Presbyterian Church in Lancaster, SC. Woods’ ministry in South Carolina was marked by his active commitment to youth ministry, migrant ministry, and mental health issues. He served the South Carolina Mental Health Association, as President of the Lancaster County chapter (1968-1972), and as a member of its Executive Board of Directors (1970-1973). In recognition of his efforts, the Lancaster Jaycees named Woods “Young Man of the Year” (1972).

In 1973, Woods resigned from both Old Waxhaw and Faith Presbyterian Churches, and accepted a call to become Associate Pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas, under Reverend Joe R. Cochran. While at Westminster Presbyterian, Woods continued to be active in youth ministry, and served as Secretary of the Women’s Coordinating Council, PCUS, Southwest Region (1976). With Cochran’s resignation in March 1976, Woods became acting Pastor. Due to financial difficulties, Westminster decided to retain only one pastor, and Woods’ was forced to dissolve his ties with the church in January 1977 when a new pastor was named.

In the subsequent years, Woods accepted numerous invitations to deliver sermons at other churches, primarily in Texas. He also served as an editor of the short-lived ‘O Kerux: A Quarterly Journal of Sermons (1976-1977). Woods then embarked on secular work. He accepted an administrative assistant position at the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin (1979-1983), where he edited the department’s newsletter, Biosphere. In 1983, he became an executive assistant in the Department of Geological Science, a position he held until his retirement in 2006.

Scope and Contents: One foot, seven inches of diaries, correspondence, creative works, minutes, printed material, and photographs (1870-1988), arranged in three subgroups, document Reverend William I. Woods and the churches he served.

The William I. Woods subgroup (1870-1988, 1 ft., 2 in.) comprises the bulk of this collection, and is divided into five series. Series I. Ministerial Papers (1966-1988, 1 ft., 2 in.) contains correspondence, sermons, pastoral records, creative works, speeches, photographs, and printed material documenting Woods’ ministerial work primarily at Old Waxhaw and Westminster Presbyterian churches. The majority of sermons (1963-1982, 9 in.) incorporate the printed order of worship from the day on which Woods delivered the sermon, illuminating the weekly activities of the congregations he addressed. Correspondence (1966-1984, undated, 1.5 in.) details many of Woods’ pastoral and administrative duties, particularly in the areas of youth, mental health, and women’s ministry. Extensive minutes and financial statements of the Westminster Presbyterian Church Session (1974-1976) are also included. Series II. Seminary Papers (1962-1966, undated, 2 in.), comprising diaries, correspondence, course papers and notes, and photographs, richly documents the life of a student preparing for the ministry. Three diaries (1965, 0.5 in) detail Woods’ thoughts and experiences at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Other materials relate his research and interactions with the staff and patients at Austin State Hospital (some of which are currently restricted). The majority of the correspondence (1962-1966, 0.5 in) concerns financial aid, but Woods’ initial communication with the Old Waxhaw and Faith Presbyterian congregations regarding his calling also are included. Series III. Personal Papers (1870, 1955-1986, undated, 1.5 in.) contains small numbers of resumes, correspondence, creative works, printed material, and photographs, and cover Woods’ life prior to entering the Seminary and his life after he left the ministry. Notable inclusions are an early essay Woods wrote about becoming a minister, and his great-great-great grandfather’s prayer book (1870). Series IV. Quarterly Journal of Sermons (1976-1977, 0.3 in.) and Series V. Biosphere (1981-1983, 0.1 in.) contain a few issues of each publication.

The Presbyterian Churches subgroup (1955-1976, undated, 1 in.), arranged in three series, provides additional documentation of the churches Woods served. Series I. South Carolina (1955-1973, undated, 0.3 in.) primarily consists of Old Waxhaw Presbyterian Church histories by Nancy Crockett and membership directories for the Waxhaw and Shiloh Bible Society. Limited documentation of Bethel Presbytery (1966-1973, 0.1 in.) is also included. Series II. Texas (1973-1976, undated, 0.3 in.) contains records from Westminster Presbyterian comprising minutes, Easter devotionals, and an audio recording of music specially created for the church. Series III. Southwest (1976) comprises a single report of the Women’s Coordinating Council of the Red River Synod.

The third subgroup, Sermons by others (1973-1977, undated, 0.3 in.) incorporates a few sermons delivered by William J. Barnett, Bob Kash, Roland Perdue, John Evans, James Wharton, and Jay Wilkins.

These materials were originally held at the Montreat office of the Presbyterian Historical Society. They were transferred to the Austin Seminary Archives in 2007.

Processing Information: This collection was processed by a group of students from the School of Information at The University of Texas at Austin.

Restrictions: Social Security information and sensitive information regarding patients at Austin State Hospital have been restricted for a period of 80 years from the date of creation. The reel-to-reel recording is inaccessible due to a lack of playback equipment. Materials are available by appointment only. Contact the archivist for details.

Index Terms:
Woods, William “Bill” Irvine, 1939-
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
Austin State Hospital (Austin, Tex.)
Faith Presbyterian Church (Lancaster, S.C.)
Old Waxhaw Presbyterian Church (Lancaster, S.C.)
Presbyterian Church in the U.S.--Presbytery of Bethel.
Westminster Presbyterian Church (Austin, Tex.)
Sermons, American--South Carolina.
Sermons, American--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: William Irvine Woods papers, circa 1870, 1955-1988, 2007, Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary


Box Number:
C067b   William I. Woods:
    Ministerial papers:
          1966-1979 and undated
C073         1974-1988 and undated
C067b      Sermons and accompanying orders of worship:
       Note: Woods often delivered a sermon on more than one occasion, sometimes years apart. Most sermons were not organized when they arrived at the repository. These have been arranged chronologically by the earliest date a sermon was given. Woods filed some sermons by Gospel, and his order has been maintained, where it existed. However, there are sermons on these gospels included in the sermons arranged by date as well.
          Chronological, 1963-1976
C072         Chronological, 1977-1979
          Matthew, 1964-1971
          Mark, 1967-1971
          John, 1964-1972
          Research notes, undated
          Responses to sermons, 1975
          Pastoral records:
             Funeral meditations and records, 1970-1976 and undated
             Westminster Presbyterian Church minutes and financial statements, 1974-1976
             Marriage ceremonies, 1972-1988, 2007 and undated
          Creative works, 1972-1976
C073         Speeches, 1966-1972 and undated
          Printed materials:
             Orders of worship, 1966-1980
             Newspaper clippings, 1973 and undated
B025a         Photographs, 1966-1980s and undated
C073   Seminary papers:
       Diaries, 1965
       Correspondence, 1962-1966 and undated
       Austin State Hospital:
          Lecture notes and course papers, 1963-1965
C017         Confidential patient notes and ID card, [Restricted until 2045], 1965
C073      Term papers, 1964-1965 and undated
       Printed materials, undated
B025a      Photographs, 1963-1966
C073   Personal Papers:
       Resumes/Employment documents, 1976-1979, 1986
       Correspondence, 1956-1979
       Creative works, undated
       Printed materials:
B114b         Prayer book, owned by Rev. Philip Pierson (1801- 1873), who was pastor of Midway Church in South Carolina from 1838-1873, and died in the pulpit of Bethel Church:
             Book, ca. 1870
C073            Explanatory notes, circa 1960s
          Newspaper clippings, 1958-1962 and undated
          Assorted, 1955-1977
          ‘O Kerux: Quarterly Journal of Sermons, 1976-1977
          Biosphere, newsletter of the UT Austin Division of Biological Sciences, 1981, 1983
       Financial records, 1973
B025a      Photographs, 1955-1978 and undated
C073   Presbyterian Churches:
    South Carolina:
       Old Waxhaw Presbyterian Church (Lancaster, SC):
          Histories, undated
          Printed materials, 1955-1973
          Membership directories of bible societies, 1965, 1970
       Bethel Presbytery:
          Minutes, 1966
          Jacob’s Ladder Newsletter, December 1972, March 1973
          Order of Worship, unknown church, undated
       Westminster Presbyterian Church (Austin):
          Minutes [see also Sermons / Pastoral records above], 1973, 1976 and undated
          Printed materials, undated
          “Where Shall Wisdom Be Found”:
             Sheet music, 1976
C015            Audio recording (reel-to-reel), 1976
C073   Southwest:
       Report of the Women’s Coordinating Council of the Synod of Red River, 1976
C073   Sermons by others:
    William J. Barnett:
       Sermons, 1977 and undated
    Bob Kash:
       Sermon, 1976
    Roland Perdue:
       Sermon, 1976
    John Evans:
       Sermon, 1975
    James Wharton:
       Sermon, 1973
    Jay Wilkins:
       Sermon, 1975
       Sermon, undated

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