Hughes Oliphant Old Called Home to Glory

Dr. Old is the author of a seven volume history of preaching, “The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church.”

Dr. Old’s interests extended from Christian education, particularly with teenagers and special needs children, to art, architecture, and above all, worship. It is the importance of worship which sparked his desire to study further the history of worship. With this in mind he went to Europe, where for seven years he learned the principles applied by the Protestant Reformers in their reform of worship practices at the time of the Reformation.

 

Dr. Hughes Oliphant Old Dr. 83, died on Tuesday, May 24, 2016, in his home in White River Junction, Vermont. Hughes was born April 13, 1933, in Torrance, California. His parents were Shadburne and Emma Oliphant Old.

As a young boy, Hughes was known for being very precocious. He loved to read and ask questions, but particularly he liked to explore. He was sent East to school at the age of six, and this sparked his lifelong love of travel. Ultimately he was to have traveled to every continent except Australia and Antarctica.

In 1951, Hughes graduated from Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach, California. True to his adventuresome nature, he went to Centre College of Kentucky, near his father’s family, but in a state and a part of the country he had never lived in. It was at Centre that he acquired the nickname “Scoti,” a name far more commonly used than “Hughes” thereafter.

After graduating from Centre in 1955, Hughes went on to receive his Bachelor of Divinity at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1958. On September 30, 1959, Hughes was ordained to the Presbyterian ministry. He served in various capacities for over 55 years, including pastoring two congregations, and teaching at various seminaries, including Princeton Theological Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary, Westminster Theological Seminary, and Erskine Theological Seminary. During this time he continued his research on the history of Christian worship and the publishing of the results of his work.

Dr. Old’s interests extended from Christian education, particularly with teenagers and special needs children, to art, architecture, and above all, worship. It is the importance of worship which sparked his desire to study further the history of worship. With this in mind he went to Europe, where for seven years he learned the principles applied by the Protestant Reformers in their reform of worship practices at the time of the Reformation.

He received his Doctor of Theology from the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland in 1971. His dissertation, published in 1975, was entitled The Patristic Roots of Reformed Worship. Dr. Old is also the author of a seven volume history of preaching, The Reading and Preaching of the Scriptures in the Worship of the Christian Church (1998-2010), Worship: Reformed According to Scripture (1984, 2002); The Shaping of the Reformed Baptismal Rite in the Sixteenth Century (1992); Themes and Variations for a Christian Doxology (1992); Leading in Prayer (1995); and Holy Communion in the Piety of the Reformed Church (2013), in addition to numerous articles.

Dr. Old is survived by his wife Mary, daughter Hannah Old, son Isaac Old and his wife Holly, and grandson Milo Old. He is predeceased by his parents and brother Duncan Old. Services will be held at Providence Presbyterian Church, 99 Maple Street, in West Lebanon, NH, on May 31 at 11:00am. Burial will be at the Christian Street Cemetery in White River Junction, Vermont.

Source