John T. Middaugh activist pastor, is dead at 77

July 05, 1991

A memorial service for the Rev. John T. Middaugh, a proponent of ecumenism and civil rights who was pastor of Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church from 1957 until 1967, will be held at 11 a.m. tomorrow at the Edwards Congregational Church in Northampton, Mass.

Dr. Middaugh, who was 77, died June 26 at a nursing home in Northampton after a series of strokes.

He left the Baltimore church in 1967 to become president of Carroll College in Waukesha, Wis., and retired from that post three years later.

During his time at what is now Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church, the church built a now-independent suburban branch, Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church.

He and a Roman Catholic priest also appeared regularly on a discussion program on WMAR-TV called "Faith to Faith," for which he was one of the first three non-Catholic clergymen to be awarded the Cardinal Gibbons Medal of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. He also served as a member of his own denomination's Commission on Ecumenical Missions and Relations.

In 1961, he represented the commission at a World Council of Churches meeting in New Delhi, India, during which the Russian Orthodox Church was admitted into the organization.

He also served as co-chairman of the Baltimore Interfaith Commission on Human Rights. In 1963, he was one of 275 demonstrators, including many representatives of the clergy, arrested at Gwynn Oak Park, the Woodlawn amusement area that was integrated later that year.

A native of London, Ontario, he was a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and earned a master's degree and doctorate in history at Case Western Reserve University. He taught there in a Navy officer candidate program during World War II.

He earned a divinity degree at the Oberlin Graduate School of Theology and was ordained in 1944. Then he did postgraduate work at the Union Theological Seminary and the Ecumenical Institute of the World Council of Churches in Switzerland.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, the former Anna Zukel; two sons, David Anthony Middaugh of Seattle and Dr. John Philip Middaugh of Anchorage, Alaska; a daughter, Dr. Deborah Ann Middaugh of Cincinnati; two brothers, Frank H. Middaugh of Toronto and Gordon C. Middaugh of Simcoe, Ontario; and six grandchildren.

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