Grace Mullen with the Lord
July 21, 2014
March 7, 1943 - July 20, 2014
It is with sorrow that we announce the death of Miss Grace Mullen, who served the Westminster Seminary Library and Archives for over 38 years. Grace passed away on Sunday July 20, 2014, surrounded by loved ones.
Grace was born in Wildwood, NJ on March 7, 1943. After graduating from Calvin College, Grace taught at various Christian schools around the country and then earned a Master’s degree in Education from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971. Following her graduation from UPenn, Grace taught school in Iran for a year and then returned home to work at the Presbyterian Historical Society.
Grace began work in the library at Westminster in September of 1975. Over the years Grace worked tirelessly, meeting the research needs of the seminary’s faculty and students and very ably serving as the Acting Library Director on four different occasions. Those of us who had the privilege of working with Grace on a daily basis will always be grateful for her and will miss her wisdom, good humor, and professionalism. Grace’s contributions to the work of the library were recognized by the wider community when, in June of this year, the American Theological Library Association granted her an honorary life membership in recognition of her exemplary work.
Grace’s desk in the library was a frequent stopping point for both current and former students who rightly saw her as being at the heart of the library’s operations. Grace always went more than the extra mile in providing research help for students. Furthermore, she lovingly provided this service to countless researchers around the world. It is no exaggeration to say that Grace received more acknowledgements in books and articles, as the person who provided indispensable research help, than anyone else I can think of.
Grace had a deep love for Westminster’s students and particularly for the international students. She frequently provided a home away from home to students from all over the world. In fact, many of our African students called her their “mother.” Grace kept up a massive written and electronic correspondence with former students and colleagues and was always anxious to hear news from them.
Grace was a devoted servant of Christ and his church. She grew up in a home with deep connections to the Orthodox Presbyterian Church (OPC). Her piety and commitment to the Reformed faith were exemplary. She was a member at the Pole Tavern OPC church and was for decades associated with the French Creek Bible Conference, first as a camper, then counsellor, kitchen helper, life guard, and eventually board member.
Working with the OPC’s Committee for the Historian, Grace was instrumental in organizing the archives of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, which for over twenty years were stored at Westminster Seminary under her supervision. When the Archives were moved to the OPC’s administrative offices, the room in which they are stored was named in Grace’s honor. Grace’s knowledge of the OPC was wedded to a deep devotion to the Reformed faith. Her faithful stewardship of this tradition has been a great gift to the seminary and to the denomination.
I first met Grace when I became the Library Director at Westminster. Grace had forgotten more about the history of Westminster and its library than I will ever know. And she could not have been more supportive and helpful as I learned the job. It was an honor and a privilege to know Grace and to serve here with her.
Grace fought her battle with cancer for over ten years. She did so quietly, patiently and with great determination. While all of us at Westminster mourn her passing, we do not mourn as those who have no hope. We know that Grace has gone to be with the Lord she loved so much. Hers was a life well lived, to the glory of God.
Sandy Finlayson, Director of Library Services
Please join with us as we mourn the loss of this sister in Christ.
In honor of Grace Mullen, Westminster has set up a memorial scholarship for international students. If you would like to contribute to the funding of this scholarship, please click here.