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Descriptive Summary

Title: William H. Foster Jr. papers
Dates: 1942-1995 and undated
Accession Number(s): 2015-003; 2016-001
Extent: 2.5 feet manuscript material, 116 photographic negatives, 17 microcassette tapes, 4.5 feet note cards
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Austin Seminary Archives at the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Biographical Sketch: William Hague Foster Jr. (1918-1999) was born in Midland, Texas, on July 13, 1918 to Reverend William Hague Foster Sr. and Bess Hardwicke Omohundro. He attended Daniel Baker College for one year, and then moved to Austin College where he graduated with a Bachelors of Arts in 1939. He graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 1942 with a Bachelor of Divinity degree. While attending Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Foster was the editor of the Austin Seminary Theolog, the Seminary’s student publication. He was licensed and ordained in 1942 at El Paso Presbytery and was then called to First Presbyterian Church in Lubbock.

Foster married Dorothy Marion Sitter in Dallas, Texas, on August 28, 1942. They had four children together: Judith Lynn, Nancy Elizabeth, Evan Sitter, and William Hague III. He served as a chaplain in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1944-1946.

Foster received a Master of Theology degree in 1948 from Princeton Theological Seminary and became the assistant minister at First Presbyterian Church in Houston the same year. He became pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Arlington, Virginia in 1952 and received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 1963 from Austin College. After 23 years at Trinity, Foster moved to Sherman, Texas, in 1977 and served as interim minister of First Presbyterian Church in Denison. He left Denison and served for nearly seventeen years at First Presbyterian Church in Whitewright before retiring from the ministry in 1995.

Foster passed away on February 20, 1999, in Sherman, Texas.

Scope and Contents: The materials in this collection date from roughly 1942-1995 and cover most of Foster’s adult life. The collection includes paper documents, photographic negatives, printed material, and twenty microcassette tapes. Major subjects documented in the collection include William Foster’s education at both Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and Princeton Theological Seminary and his ministry at his subsequent church appointments. The bulk of the material covering his ministry is from his time at the First Presbyterian Church in Whitewright, Texas (1979-1995) where he spent seventeen years before retiring.

The first series, Education (1942-1948, and undated), contains photographic negatives from Foster’s time at Austin Theological Presbyterian Seminary and notes and assignments from his time at Princeton Theological Seminary (1946-1948). Fifteen negatives in the collection document the construction of the Austin Seminary Chapel in 1942. Several other photographic negatives document buildings on the campuses of both Austin Presbyterian Seminary and the University of Texas at Austin, including the finished chapel and the UT tower. The rest of the negatives capture recreational activities including lake outings, group dinners, and performances. There are also several group shots and a few portraits amongst the negatives.

The second series, Ministerial (1941-1995, undated), contains work and materials related to Foster’s ministry. Most of these documents are related to Foster’s time at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Arlington, VA and First Presbyterian Church in Whitewright, Texas. Sermons and related materials are organized in folders according to Foster’s original system. Each book is broken up into chapters; with missing chapter numbers indicating material missing from the accession at the time of donation (2015-003). These folders contain typed and annotated sermons, handwritten sermon notes, and printed sermons from other ministers. The Sermon notes sub-series contains notes boxed together and labeled by year. The titles in the finding aid reflect the labels on the original boxes and do not always accurately reflect the actual date ranges of the documents. The Published materials (1892-1961) sub-series contains published reference documents not authored by Foster. The Ministerial series also contains a small collection of session meeting minutes from the First Presbyterian Church of Whitewright. In addition to these documents, the collection includes three distinct research indexes compiled on index cards. One collection of index cards is organized by book of Bible (the Holy Scripture), one by theme (sermon illustrations), and the last contains bibliographic information (texts for sermons). Foster appears to have used these indexes to organize ideas and references for use in sermon writing. The microcassettes make up the last part of the Ministerial series. These have not been listened to, but the inventory of the collection contains a list of the labels from the tapes.

Processing Information: Processed by Jennifer Allen and Elyse Chevallier, volunteers from The University of Texas at Austin School of Information, May 6, 2016.

Restrictions: Materials are available by appointment only. Contact the archivist for details. Microcassettes are restricted due to format.

Index Terms:
Foster, William Hague, 1918-1999.
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
First Presbyterian Church (Whitewright, Texas)
Princeton Theological Seminary.
Trinity Presbyterian Church (Arlington, Virginia)
Presbyterian Church--Clergy.
Sermons, English--United States.

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: Foster (William H. Jr.) papers, 1942-1995 and undated, Austin Seminary Archives, Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary


Box Number:
F007   Series 1: Education, 1942-1948, undated
    Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary negatives:
       Austin Seminary chapel construction, 1942
       Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, undated
       The University of Texas at Austin, undated
       Lady Bird Lake, undated
       Austin, undated
F104   Princeton Theological Seminary:
       Greek New Testament edited with critical apparatus by Dr. Eberhard Nestle, American bible Society, [photocopy of cover, title page, and inscription made by archivist], 1946
       Studies in John, Dr. Howard Kuist, 1946
       What to Preach, 1946-1947
       Epistle to the Hebrews, Dr. H. T. Kuist, 1948
       Doctrinal Preaching, Dean Edward H. Roberts, 1948
       Christology, undated
    Austin College baccalaureate and commencement p rogram, 1963
F104   Series II: Ministerial, 1941-1995, undated
    Sermons and related materials:
       Old Testament, 1956, 1974-1992
       Prophets, 1956-1971, 1985, undated
       Matthew 1, 1953-1958, 1974-1975, 1986, undated
       Matthew 2, undated
       Matthew 3, undated
       Matthew 4, 1959, 1969-1973, undated
       Matthew 5, 1954-1971, undated
       Matthew 6, 1955-1971, undated
       Matthew 7, 1956-1970, undated
       Matthew 8, 1974, undated
       Matthew 9, 1956-1963, undated
       Matthew 10, 1947, 1959, undated
       Matthew 11, 1981, undated
       Matthew 12, 1962, undated
       Matthew 13, 1961, 1973, 1986, undated
       Matthew 14, 1966, 1991
       Matthew 15, 1969, undated
       Matthew 16, 1959-1970, undated
       Matthew 18, 1957, undated
       Matthew 19, undated
       Matthew 20, 1962
F105      Matthew 21, 1953, 1980, undated
       Matthew 22, 1957-1959
       Matthew 23, 1967
       Matthew 24, 1959, undated
       Matthew 25, 1952-1964
       Matthew 26, 1964, 1978-1985, undated
       Matthew 27, 1955-1964, undated
       Matthew 28, 1951-1954, undated
       Mark 1, 1969, 1985-1986, undated
       Mark 2, 1966, undated
       Mark 4, undated
       Mark 5, 1970, undated
       Mark 8, 1956, undated
       Mark 9, 1971, undated
       Mark 10, 1965, undated
       Mark 12, 1954, undated
       Mark 13, 1973
       Mark 14, 1970, undated
       Mark 15, 1968, undated
       Mark 16, 1963
       Luke 1, 1955, 1982, undated
       Luke 2, 1968-1972, undated
       Luke 5, 1970
       Luke 6, undated
       Luke 7, undated
       Luke 8, 1967, undated
       Luke 9, 1967-1970, undated
       Luke 11, 1954
       Luke 12, 1956-1967, 1983, undated
       Luke 14, 1964
       Luke 15, 1956-1963
       Luke 17, 1985-1986, undated
       Luke 18, undated
       Luke 19, 1956, undated
       Luke 21, 1960, undated
       Luke 22, undated
       Luke 24, 1954
       John 1, 1949, 1963, 1974, undated
       John 4, 1956, undated
       John 7, 1954, undated
       John 8, 1961-1963, undated
       John 9, undated
       John 10, undated
       John 11, undated
       John 12, 1971, 1986, undated
       John 13, 1961, undated
       John 14, 1969, undated
       John 15, 1985, undated
       John 16, 1987, undated
       John 17, 1965, undated
       John 18, undated
       John 19, 1959
       John 20, 1956-1963, 1985, undated
       Acts 1-4, 1954-1965, undated
       Acts 9-12, 1956, 1985, undated
F106      Acts 13-16, 1959-1961, 1978-1984, undated
       Acts 28, undated
       Romans 1-4, 1951, undated
       Romans 5-8, 1963, 1970, 1985, undated
       Romans 13-16, 1955, undated
       I Corinthians, 1978-1986, undated
       Ephesians, undated
       Philippians, 1961, 1975, undated
       Hebrews, 1950, 1967, 1978-1986
       Peter 1-2, 1986
       Beatitudes, 1985-1990, undated
       Ten Commandments, 1967-1975, undated
       Men and women around the cross, 1978-1984, undated
       Parables, 1983, undated
       Christmas talks or sermons, 1958-1987, undated
       Nation, 1956, 1969, 1983-1986, undated
       Predestination, 1985-1992
       The Lord’s Prayer (WMH Kadel 1957), 1957
       Church music, 1979-1986, undated
       Home – the Christian father and mother, 1951-1967, 1983, undated
       Children’s sermons, 1971
       Sin, 1986
F107      Sermons, 1954, 1965-1971, 1982-1992, undated
       Sermon notes, 1986-1995
       Bible studies, 1944-1946
    Printed material:
       Book of Congregational Worship [photocopy of cover, title page, and inscription made by archivist], undated
       Outlines of Sermons Based on the Old Testament (1892-1898) by Rev. M. Craig Johnson, “for Wm. H. Foster, Jr., the gift of Mrs. Gould Cloud of Houston, Texas,” undated
B074a      The Book of Common Worship [annotated and with inserts], 1956
F107      “Preaching and Doctrine,” lectures by Professor James S. Stewart, Edinburgh University, Scotland, given at the Thirteenth Annual Conference on Evangelism, Ontario Ladies’ College, August 24-26, 1960
       “Appendix to The Anthology of Sermons,” compiled by Ben L. Rose, 1961
    First Presbyterian Church of Whitewright, Texas, session minutes, 1981-1983
    Research indexes (cards):
       Loose notes removed from cards, “Prayers,” 1968, 1972
F108a      Sermon illustrations, undated
F108b      Sermon illustrations, undated
F108c      The Holy Scriptures, undated
F109a      The Holy Scriptures, undated /td>
F109b      Texts for sermons, undated
E009e   Microcassettes, 1986-1990 (as labeled):
       4-86 Bonham 1st Ch.
       Blood/Martyrs 5-27-90Wh
       McCord-AC Hall of Honor and CupCold Water Whitewright 11-88
       How God Used a “decree” Roman King Wh/ 12.13.87
       After Easter? 4-10-88 Wh
       NOAH Wh. 5/29/88
       Jesus/Thomas 3.22.87 and JESUS/CROWDS Palm S. 4.12.87
       Only Believe Mk5/8-2-87 Wh
       PS. 46 MI. Fort 8-21-88
       Know Jesus? Wh. 8-6-89
       PreInnaug Jan15. 89 and Capitol Pun. Wh.1.29.89
       All This/Heaven Wh 4-22-90
       Judas-Wh 3.15.87
       David Wh. 6-26-88
       Amazing Jesus Wh. 2-89
       Happens in Ch? W. 10-29-89 and JosephGrtTxs 10-22-89
       Compas./Sin Wh.6.24.90

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