Pastors' Memoirs

Paul Leroy Warner, 1897-1988

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Paul Leroy Warner was born in Hamilton, Virginia, January 22, 1897, the son of Charles William and Medora Warner, grandson of George Washington and Virginia Warner. Paul anticipated the calling of the Gospel ministry, thus following his father, a Methodist evangelist, well-known in Northern Virginia and West Virginia. To that end, he enrolled at Asbury Academy in his 11th grade year and spent six happy years as a student at the academy and college. In 1920 he received his B.A. in liberal arts, together with his diplomas in theology and school of expression.

His pastorates in the old Baltimore conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, were in Round Hill, Virginia, Central Church in Ballston (now Arlington), Virginia, and Quantico, Virginia.

Because of continued deterioration in hearing and speech, resulting from having had scarlet fever as a child, he found pulpit and, especially pastoral work, to be increasingly difficult and frustrating. Faced with the need for alternative employment, he returned to his studies and graduated with his master of arts degree from the University of Virginia in 1927.

His career with the United States Department of Agriculture as an agricultural statistician began shortly thereafter and terminated in 1962 when he retired in Denver, Colorado with his wife, the former Lena Bray, whom he met while pastoring at the Ballston Charge. Following her death, he moved in 1976 to the United Methodist retirement community, The Hermitage, in Alexandria, Virginia where he was a resident until his death in June 1988.

Paul was ever a lover of the Gospel and in his declining years enjoyed sharing Scripture and prayer with some of the residents at The Hermitage. In his life and death he was a staunch supporter of his beloved Asbury College which had served as his home for six vital years of his young manhood. He was a faithful Christian man with a keen sense of humor inherited from his father and with whom he shared a warm love for Christ and earnest expectation of his heavenly home and reunion with his mother, whose early death in Paul's childhood deprived him of a meaningful relationship he lamented through life.

Paul was buried in Columbia Gardens Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, beside his wile, there awaiting the fullness of the great day of resurrection.

-Elmer M. Dortzbach and Clara Kuhlmann Dortzbach



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