NASHVILLE, Tenn. (ABP) — Albert McClellan, a Baptist statesman and executive whose ministry spanned parts of six decades, died in Nashville, Tenn., Jan. 9 after a long illness. He was 91.
McClellan worked for the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee throughout more than 30 years of rapid denominational growth and change, from 1949 to 1980.
He served as the convention's public relations director from 1949 to 1959 and as its leader of program planning from 1959 to 1981. In those capacities, he worked alongside three Executive Committee presidents, Duke McCall, Porter Routh and Harold Bennett, serving as the chief associate to Routh and Bennett.
In mid-career, he was instrumental in developing the 1963 Baptist Faith and Message, the convention's doctrinal statement. In retirement, he served on the SBC Peace Committee from 1985 to 1987, in the midst of denominational controversy.
Prior to joining the Executive Committee, McClellan was editor of the Baptist Messenger, newspaper of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, from 1945 to 1949. Previously, he was pastor of First Baptist Church in Waurika, Okla., from 1942 to 1945 and Saint Jo Baptist Church in Montague County, Texas, from 1939 to 1942. Before that, he was part-time pastor of eight rural churches and also taught school in North Texas.
After he retired, he taught Baptist history and polity at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
A native of Bowie, Texas, McClellan attended Decatur Baptist College and Baylor University and graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University, which conferred an honorary doctorate upon him. He also is a graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
He wrote at least 15 books and hundreds of articles on organization, planning, forecasting, evangelism and history.
McClellan served as a member of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma's executive board and the boards of trustees of Oklahoma Baptist University, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Belmont College.
He was a life member of the Baptist Communicators' Association, and the top prize in the organization's annual public relations design contest is named in his honor.
McClellan was preceded in death by his wife, Mabel. He is survived by his sons, Alan of Nashville and Renick of Chicago, and four grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements are pending with Woodlawn Funeral Home in Nashville. The service is expected to be held Jan. 12 or 13 at Immanuel Baptist Church, where he was a longtime member.