Renwick Carlisle Kennedy was born
October 1, 1900 at the home of his grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. R. C. Carlisle,
Newberry County, South Carolina. He was the son of Rev. Isaac Newton
Kennedy, D.D., and Mrs. Mary Emma Carlisle Kennedy. His father was
the son of W. P. and Margaret McLane Kennedy of Due West, South Carolina.
His mother was the daughter of Dr. Richard Coleman Carlisle and Emma Renwick
Carlisle of Newberry County, South Carolina.
Dr. Kennedy grew up in the
Elk Valley church, Lincoln County, Tennessee. He was baptized by
the Rev. A. J. Ranson. He joined the Elk Valley Church about the
age of eleven. When he was twelve years of age his parents moved
to Ora, South Carolina, where his father became the pastor of the Ora church.
Dr. Kennedy attended the public schools of Harms, Tennessee, Ora, South
Carolina, and Laurens, South Carolina, finishing his high school education
at the latter. He entered Erskine College in September, 1917, and
graduated in June, 1921. He entered Erskine Theological Seminary
in September, 1921 and graduated in June, 1923. In September, 1923
he entered Princeton Theological Seminary and took two years of graduate
work in that institution, completing his studies in June, 1925. He
was licensed by Second Presbytery at Unity Church, Newberry County, South
Carolina, on May 1, 1923, and was ordained by the Arkansas Presbytery at
a called meeting on July 30, 1925, at New Edinburgh, Arkansas.
Dr. Kennedy supplied the churches
of Elsberry and Mt. Zion, Missouri, during the summers of 1923 and 1924.
On June 7, 1925, coming from Princeton Seminary, he began work at the home
mission church at Russellville, Arkansas, where he remained for two years.
Accepting a call to Camden, Alabama, he began the pastorate at Camden and
Prosperity on May 17, 1927. On November 7, 1954, he became pastor
of Bethel Church. He continued in work in these three churches until
his retirement on May 31, 1974.
During his ministry, he served
for many years as clerk of the Tennessee-Alabama Presbytery. He also
served a term of the Erskine College Board of Trustees, serving as vice
chairman of the board in 1967. He served as a chaplain
during World War II, and wrote many articles for various magazine, including
the Christian Century. During the inauguration of Governor
Benjamin Meek Miller of Camden in 1931, Dr. Kennedy gave the invocation
on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol. He served for twenty-four
years as director of public relations of Troy State University. His
alma mater conferred the degree of doctor of divinity upon him.
On August 17, 1928, Dr. Kennedy
was married to Miss Mary Elisabeth Fitzhugh Moore of Charlotte, North Carolina,
She was born March 5, 1899, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John T. Moore,
formerly of Clover, Virginia. Mrs. Kennedy was a graduate of Davenport
College and Columbia University.
Dr. Kennedy died December
4, 1985. Mrs. Kennedy died March 3, 1989. Both are buried in