November 18 Today in OPC History

Ned B. Stonehouse


On Sunday afternoon, November 18, 1962, the Rev. Dr. Ned B. Stonehouse died suddenly in his home in Glenside, Pennsylvania, at the age of 60. Born in Grand Rapids and a graduate of Calvin College (1924), Princeton Seminary (1927), and Free University of Amsterdam (ThD, 1929), Stonehouse was appointed to the Westminster faculty at its founding in 1929, and taught New Testament there until his death. Beginning in 1955 he also served as dean of the faculty.

Stonehouse was also an active Orthodox Presbyterian churchman. Ordained by the PCUSA in 1932, he joined the OPC at its founding in 1936, and he moderated the General Assembly in 1946. He served on the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension for many years as well as several special committees, including the committee to confer with representatives of the Christian Reformed Church. He was the OPC delegate to the Reformed Ecumenical Synod in Amsterdam (1949), Edinburgh (1953), and Potchesfstroom (1959).

Like his colleagues at Westminster, Stonehouse wore many other hats. He edited the Presbyterian Guardian and the Westminster Theological Journal for many years. He authored and edited several books including the Westminster faculty anthology The Infallible Word, and perhaps his best known work, J. Gresham Machen: A Biographical Memoir. Stonehouse's passing began the changing of the guard at the seminary. Within a decade, all of the original faculty, with the exception of Cornelius Van Til, would depart by retirement or death.

Robert Nicholas penned these words of tribute in the Guardian: “We have all lost a wise counselor. The church has lost an ardent defender of the faith. Westminster Seminary will miss him beyond words. New Testament students will long be indebted to his sound scholarship. His family will sorrow, yet not as those without hope, and to them we extend our sympathy. A host of people around the globe will give thanks to God for raising up so devoted a servant of Christ and for sparing him through the years of faithful stewardship that were his before the final summons came.”