Mack Stokes, noted bishop who influenced Oral Roberts University doctoral program, dies at 100
BY TIM STANLEY World Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 04, 2012
12/04/12 at 2:51 AM
Marion B. "Mack" Stokes, a noted United Methodist Bishop and former Oral Roberts University professor who gave more than 70 years to higher education, died Nov. 21 at his home in Perdido Key, Fla. He was 100.
No Tulsa services are planned.
Stokes joined ORU's College of Theology and Ministry in 1980 after a distinguished teaching career at Emory University in Atlanta, and several years as a bishop in Mississippi.
In four years at ORU, he taught classes and was chair of the Doctorate of Ministry Committee, with which he was instrumental in establishing ORU's ministry doctorate, considered to be one of the finest theology degrees in the country.
"Bishop Stokes laid a strong foundation for our Doctorate of Ministry program. His commitment to academic excellence still guides this degree today," said Thomson Mathew, dean of the ORU College of Theology.
Born in Wonsan, Korea, Stokes grew up in a missionary home with three brothers, all of whom became Methodist pastors.
After graduating from Seoul Foreign High School, Stokes embarked on a life of scholarship and ministry, obtaining degrees from Asbury College, Duke University, and a doctorate from Boston University.
A theology professor for 31 years and associate dean at Emory University, Stokes was elected to the episcopacy of the United Methodist Church in 1972. He served as bishop in Jackson, Miss., where he helped desegregate Mississippi's United Methodists, leading efforts to successfully merge the black and white Methodist conferences.
Over his career, Stokes taught thousands of young preachers. He was also a noted author who wrote 10 books and countless articles.
Said the Rev. Tom Harrison, senior pastor at Tulsa's Asbury United Methodist Church and an ORU graduate, Stokes "was the first bishop I ever sat down and had a conversation with. He was so clear in the way he communicated the importance of maintaining the Christian faith through good doctrine."
James Buskirk, founding dean of ORU's College of Theology and Ministry, added that the ORU community was "greatly blessed to have Mack and his wife Rose at the university.
"They were such dear people whose sweet fellowship made it easy to understand how they became one of the most loved couples on campus."
Stokes was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Rose; and a daughter.
Survivors include his two sons, Arch Stokes and Marion Boyd Stokes III; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Original Print Headline: In four years, he created a lasting legacy at ORU
Tim Stanley 918-581-8385
Marion "Mack" Stokes was instrumental in establishing ORU's ministry doctorate.