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The Henrietta Perdue Memorial Lecture Series

The Henrietta Perdue Memorial Lecture Series was established at Stone Church in March 1974 as an ongoing memorial to Henrietta Perdue, the wife of Stone Church's second head pastor, by family, friends and church members.

Approximately once a year, a guest speaker of national renown is invited to Stone Church for a weekend to present one or a series of lectures. All in the San Jose/Silicon Valley community are always invited to attend.

Early guest speakers included Jack Sanford, author of The Kingdom Within and The Man Who Wrestled With God; Madeline L'Engle, author of many meditation and children's books; David Noel Freedman, General Editor of The Anchor Bible Reference Library; and Rabbi Daniel Pressman.

Lecturers in the 1980s and 1990s included the Rev. Scotty McLennan, Dean for Religious Life at Stanford University; Dr. Herman Waetjen, Emeritus Professor of New Testament at San Francisco Theological Seminary; and Episcopal Bishop J. S. Spong, author of Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism, Why Christianity Must Die, and many other best-selling books.

Next Speaker, date and time are to be determined. When set, this page will be updated.

Since 2001 we have been privileged to hear:

  • Dr. Philip Clayton , Ingraham Chair at the Claremont School of Theology and winner of the 2002 Templeton Book Prize (2001, 2005, 2015);
  • Dr. Marcus Borg, Bible scholar and best-selling author (2005);
  • Dr. J. Philip Newell, author of many books on Celtic Spirituality (2006);
  • John Dominic Crossan, world-renowned scholar of the historical Jesus and early Christianity (2006, 2008);
  • Dr. Jack Rogers, author of Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church (2007);
  • Dr. Barbara Rossing, author of The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in Revelation (2008);
  • Dr. Patrick Miller, professor emeritus of Old Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary (2009);
  • Barbara Brown Taylor, author and Professor of Religion at Piedmont College (2009); and
  • Dr. Robert J. Russell, founder and director of the Center for Theology and Natural Science, Berkeley (Feb. 5-6, 2010).
  • Marcus Borg (Oct. 22-23, 2010), on Speaking Christian: Reclaiming Christian Language.
  • Walter Brueggemann (Nov. 9-10, 2012), on Practicing Neighborhood amid Empire.
  • Dr. Robin Meyers (Nov. 15-16, 2013), pastor, professor and author of The Underground Church: Reclaiming the Subversive Way of Jesus.
  • Dr. Richard Horsley (Nov. 14-15, 2014), retired Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and the Study of Religion at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.

Henrietta Perdue was the wife of William Perdue, the second head pastor at Stone. Henrietta was a remarkable woman. She spoke Spanish and French fluently and taught both, as well as Latin. She was one of the founders and officers of the International Student Center at San Jose State University. She died on March 25, 1968.

Direct, dynamic, devoted are a few of the words that describe Henrietta Perdue. She was direct in her relations with others, incredibly honest. She was dynamic in the energy she gave to a broad range of social justice issues as well as to cultural and educational interests. Henrietta was also devoted to her faith and enjoyed teaching a weekly Bible study class.

A long-time friend, Hazel James, says this about her, "Henrietta took her Bible teaching very seriously and especially loved the Old Testament. She stimulated her students and brought the characters of the Bible to life. If you knew her and studied with her, you would never be the same person again." David Beamer, associate pastor under Bill Perdue, said: "Henrietta was one the finest lay theologians I have ever known. She was passionate about the life of faith. Her favorite expression was `You can't beat God.'"


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