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Rev. Jeff Lowrance Papers

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Lowrance (Jeff) Papers

Rev. Jeff Lowrance papers

Summary Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte
Lowrance, Jeff
Rev. Jeff Lowrance papers
Date [inclusive]
7.0 Linear feet
Collection 390 contains the papers of Reverend Jeff Lowrance (1951-2007), a Presbyterian minister, who served six different congregations from 1975 to 2007. During his thirty-two year career he wrote over 1200 sermons, which make up the majority of this collection. In addition, this collection also includes notes on a variety of subject matter related to Christian and ministerial matters. Rev. Lowrance died of colon cancer on May 30, 2007.

Preferred Citation note

Rev. Jeff Lowrance papers. J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Biographical/Historical note

Jeff Lowrance was born in Mooresville, North Carolina on January 20, 1951 to William and Betty Jo Lowrance, and he spent most of his life in the Tar Heel State. He attended public schools in Mooresville and matriculated through Davidson College from 1969 to 1973—graduating cum laude. From there, he went on to the Union Theological Seminary from 1973 through 1977. While a seminarian from 1975 to 1977, he served at the First Presbyterian Church in Carthage, and the First Presbyterian Church in Salisbury, North Carolina. After his ordination on June 26, 1977, he served a three church yoked field in Ashe County, North Carolina (Lansing Presbyterian Church, Gillespie Chapel, and Foster Memorial Chapel) from June 1977 to November of 1980. From there, he moved to Lenoir, North Carolina and served the First Presbyterian Church of Lenoir from 1980 to 1986. In September of 1986 he and his family moved to the Tazewell Presbyterian Church in Tazewell, Virginia—remaining there until July of 1993. It was then that he moved to his last congregation—the Hopewell Presbyterian Church near Charlotte, North Carolina, where he remained until his death. In mid October of 2004, Reverend Lowrance was diagnosed with colon cancer. He preached his last sermon on Easter Sunday, April 8, 2007 and died on May 28, about six weeks later. During his many years in Christian service, he served on a number of committees and ministries, including the Committee on Women, the Outdoor Christian Ministry, the Committee on Ministry, the Committee on the Preparation for Ministry, the Special Committee for Elderly Housing, the Committee for Clergy Education; and he also served as a delegate to the General Assembly in 1985 and in 1993. He married Anne Doll, a certified Director of Christian Education, on June 18, 1978, and with her had two daughters—Claire Noelle and Erin Anna Lowrance. Among his hobbies and interests were literature, music, film, ACC basketball and history. In addition to his committee service, he also served on the boards of Latta Plantation, Historic Rural Hill Farm, the Hugh Torrance House & Store, and was instrumental in adding the Hopewell Presbyterian Church to the National Register of Historic Places. He helped locate and preserve a number of slave cemeteries in the Hopewell area and also served as chaplain of the Loch Norman Highland Games for ten years. HISTORICAL NOTE: The Hopewell Presbyterian Church (the last church where Rev. Lowrance served) can trace its origins to Reverend Alexander Craighead, who moved to North Carolina from Virginia in 1758 to preach at the Rocky River Presbyterian Church. Craighead is known as the ‘father of the seven colonial churches’ in the Charlotte area (the others being Hopewell, Sugaw Creek, Center, Providence, Poplar Tent, and Steel Creek Presbyterian churches). The Hopewell church recognizes the year 1762 as the year of its founding, and the first meeting house was a log structure, built around 1765. Since then, the members have had a number of building projects and expansions. In 1830, the congregation built a large sanctuary, which is still in use today. In 1860, a vestibule was built on the south side of the building; in the 1920s they built an education building; in 1953, a fellowship hall; and in 1964 they built a recreation building. As the area surrounding the Hopewell church experienced rapid growth in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries, the HPC experienced a corresponding growth in membership.

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Scope and Contents note

The Reverend Jeff Lowrance collection contains over 1200 sermons that he wrote over the course of his thirty-two year career as a Presbyterian minister; and two other series in the collection contain additional materials pertinent to Presbyterianism (a small quantity of church records and several files on subject matter). Such a collection as this contains a wealth of information about Presbyterian theology and should be valuable to scholars of religion and also to ministers. Even in the age of typewriters, computers and word processing, Reverend Lowrance always wrote his sermons long-hand and his files contain a nearly complete accumulation of his written work. Though he originally kept each sermon in its own folder, his labeling scheme changed over time, and he did not always include a sermon title on the folders, and he almost never wrote the title, date or scriptural reference on his sermons. It seems that while he served the congregation at the Tazewell Presbyterian Church, a secretary made typed transcriptions of his sermons and the transcriptions typically contained titles, dates and scriptural references. Lowrance usually retained copies of the church bulletins to accompany the sermons; and the bulletins usually provide these data elements. The sermons whose dates could not be determined had to be arranged either according to a scriptural reference (some of the original folders had this information), or according to topic. Another series in this collection contains a small quantity of records of the churches where he served. These include a small quantity of church bulletins (arranged chronologically), a few items of correspondence, a few things from the Presbyterian General Assembly and a few records from the Hopewell, Prospect and Tazewell Presbyterian churches. The last series contains files on a wide range of subject matter concerning issues that the Presbyterian clergy had to deal with in the late twentieth and early twenty first centuries.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, UNC Charlotte 2008

9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, NC, 28223

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use note

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Acquired from Mrs. Anne D. Lowrance, in 2008.

Processing Information note

Processed by Robert A. McInnes

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Hopewell Presbyterian Church records, mss 245 ; Sharon Presbyterian Church records, mss 385 ; Pharr-Walker family papers, mss 197.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • First Presbyterian Church (Lenoir, N.C.).
  • Foster Memorial Chapel (Ashe County, N.C.).
  • Gillespie Chapel (Ashe County, N.C.).
  • Hopewell Presbyterian Church (Mecklenburg County, N.C.).
  • Lansing Presbyterian Church (Lansing, N.C.).
  • Presbyterian Church (Charlotte, N.C.).
  • Presbyterian Church--Clergy.
  • Tazewell Presbyterian Church (Tazewell County, Va.).

Geographic Name(s)

  • Charlotte (N.C.)--Church history
  • Charlotte (N.C.)--Religion

Personal Name(s)

  • Lowrance, Jeff


  • Church records and registers

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Collection Inventory

 Series I. Sermons 

 Subseries a.  Sermons by date, 1975-2007 1975-2007 

Box Folder

Union Theological Seminary 1975 

1 1

First Presbyterian Church, Carthage, NC 1975 

1 2

First Presbyterian Church, Salisbury, NC 1976 

1 3

Lansing Presbyterian Church 1977 

1 4

Lansing Presbyterian Church 1978 

1 5-6

Lansing Presbyterian Church 1979 

1 7-8

Lansing, First Pres. Ch. of Lenoir 1980 

    Box Folder
Mixed materials   2 1
    Box Folder
Mixed materials   1 9

Box Folder

First Presbyterian Church of Lenoir 1981 

2 2-3

First Presbyterian Church of Lenoir 1982 

2 4

First Presbyterian Church of Lenoir 1983 

2 5

First Presbyterian Church of Lenoir 1984 

2 6

First Presbyterian Church of Lenoir 1985 

2 7

First Presbyterian Church of Lenoir, Tazewell Presbyterian Church 1986 

3 1-3

Tazewell Presbyterian Church 1988 

4 1-3

Tazewell Presbyterian Church 1987 

3 4-7

Tazewell Presbyterian Church 1989 

4 4-6

Tazewell Presbyterian Church 1990 

5 1-4

Tazewell Presbyterian Church 1991 

5 5-7

Tazewell Presbyterian Church 1992 

6 1-3

Tazewell Presbyterian Church 1993 

6 4-6

Hopewell Presbyterian Church 1994 

    Box Folder
Mixed materials   6 7-9
    Box Folder
Mixed materials   7 1-2

Box Folder

Hopewell Presbyterian Church 1995 

7 3-5

Hopewell Presbyterian Church 1996 

7 6-8

Hopewell Presbyterian Church 1997 

8 1-3

Hopewell Presbyterian Church 1998 


Hopewell Presbyterian Church 1999 

    Box Folder
Mixed materials   8 7-9
    Box Folder
Mixed materials   9 1

Box Folder

Hopewell Presbyterian Church 2000 

9 2-4

Hopewell Presbyterian Church 2001 

9 5-7

Hopewell Presbyterian Church 2002 

10 1-3

Hopewell Presbyterian Church 2003 

10 4-6

Hopewell Presbyterian Church 2004 

    Box Folder
Mixed materials   10 7-9
    Box Folder
Mixed materials   11 2

Box Folder

Hopewell Presbyterian Church 2005 

11 3-5

Hopewell Presbyterian Church 2006 

11 6-8

Hopewell Presbyterian Church 2007 

12 1

 Subseries b.  Sermons by scripture 

Box Folder

Exodus 34 


Deuteronomy 8 

12 3

1st Samuel 4 

12 4

Isaiah 7 

12 5


12 6


12 7


12 8


12 9


12 10

1st Corinthians 

12 11


12 12


12 13

 Subseries c.  Sermons by topic 

Box Folder


12 14


12 15

Barreness, Abraham & Nicodemus 

12 16

Being Special 

12 17

Ben Barker 

12 18


12 19


12 20


12 21

Disturbing the Peace 

12 22

Easter in Russia 

12 23


12 24

God’s Grace 

12 25

Holy Week 

12 26

Holy Week—Wednesday-Receptivity 

12 27

Holy Week—Maundy Thursday 

12 29
Box Folder

Holy Week—Holy Thursday 

12 28

Holy Week—Good Friday 

12 30

Holy Week—Easter Sunrise 

12 31


13 1

John the Baptist 

13 2

Leaving Jesus Behind 

13 3

Living Life to the Fullest 

13 4


13 5

Officer Election Sermon 

13 6


13 7

Predictable Behavior 

13 8


13 9

Remembering & Forgetting 

13 10


13 11

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 Series II. Church records 1980-2007 

Box Folder

Bulletins 1980-1985 

13 12

Bulletins 1985-1993 

13 13

Bulletins 1993-2007 

13 14

Correspondence 1980-1992 

13 15

General Assembly 1980-1998 

13 16

Hopewell Presbyterian Church 

13 17

Prospect Presbyterian Church 

13 18

Tazewell Presbyterian Church 

13 19

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 Series III.  Subject files 

Box Folder


13 20

Altar guild 

13 21

Ash Wednesday services 

13 22

Ashe County churches—history 

13 23

Baptism: explaining with graphics 

13 24

Bible Survey International 

13 25

Campbell, Will 

13 26

Celtic Christmas services 

13 27

Celtic Christmas wedding ceremony 

13 28

Children’s worship 

13 29

Christ’s resurrection 

13 30

Contemporary writers 

13 31

Continuing Education Seminar (Kelly Belmar) 

13 32


13 33


13 34


14 1

DaVinci Code 

14 2

Exegeses—loose notes 

14 3

Foundation for Community Encouragement 

14 4

Games, songs, puzzles, jokes 


Gospel of Judas 

14 6

Holy Spirit 

14 7


14 8

How To Have a Soul 

14 9

Jesus of Nazareth—TV 

14 10

Latta Plantation 

14 11

Lessons & carols, 1994 

14 12

Life is Sacred 


Liturgical year—seminar 

14 14

Loch Norman Highland Games 

14 15

Lord’s Supper—Learning Center (see also a film strip, located in NST 3:38) 

14 16

Magazine/newspaper articles 


Magazine/newspaper articles—Katallagete 

14 18

Mark’s Gospel—Study 

14 19

Marriage services, research on 

14 20

Ministers’ Annuity Fund 

14 21


14 22

Out-Door Christian Ministries Committee 

14 23

Parenting, by John Rosemond 

14 24

Prayer—introduction (4 parts) 

14 25


14 26

Radio devotions 

15 1

September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001 


Scout Sunday 

15 3

Sermon quotes 

15 4

Spiritual development workshop 

15 5

Spiritual disciplines 



15 7

Stephen ministry 

15 8

Suddenly Single 

15 9

Teen sexuality 

15 10

Ten Commandments—Williamson—Exodus 20 

15 11

VIM Dedication—Mexico 2002, Ignacio Zaragoza, Yucatan 

15 12

Negative strips 

NST3 38

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