An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Penniman, Charles Frederic

(July 14, 1893-Aug. 16, 1963). Priest and educator. He was born in Asheville, North Carolina, and studied at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Harvard University. He received his Master in Engineering from Lehigh University in 1914 and his B.D. from the Virginia Theological Seminary in 1924. Penniman was ordained deacon on June 6, 1924, and priest on June 5, 1925. He served churches in Brandy Station, Virginia; Meridian, Mississippi; and Wilmington, Delaware. He became director of the Educational Center in St. Louis in 1945. Its endowment was originally established for the care of orphans, but in time the courts were persuaded to change the terms of the bequest to provide for “spiritual orphans” whose need was for Christian nurture in all things “which a Christian ought to know and believe to his soul's health.” He used this position to produce Christian education programs and teacher training methods that reflected on life experience in light of the gospel. Penniman was a pioneer in research and development of educational programs based on faith development. In time his work embraced a large number of parishes throughout the United States. He served on the boards of many social agencies and diocesan commissions and as an arbitrator of labor disputes. He became eastern representative of the center in 1958 and retired in 1961. He died in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.