Note: Francis Raymond received degrees at Trinity (1901) and Harvard (1902), and a Bachelor of Divinity at Harvard (1906). He was installed as minister at the Unitarian Channing Church in Dorchester, Mass., in 1906, and at the First Congregational Society in Taunton in 1911.
Individual Note: October - 1934 memorial to Francis Raymond Sturtevant: Dr. Crandall's address in part was as follows: "We have come together in happy commemoration of a serene and spiritual personality. For 14 years Raymond Sturtevant ministered to this ancient and beloved parish, a service which included the happiest years of his life." "Born in New England, he loved New England and most of all, he loved Taunton. To him this old church was a hallowed spot, and when he was absent his thoughts were often with us here, for he felt that we were still his own people. Witness his Christmas eve message, coming to us without fail, always beautifully phrased and full of a sentiment that showed his ardent and regretful longing to be with his beloved friends here." "Few could live through the stormy years of the great war without a disturbance of mental balance. Yet through all this troublous time there was for him, the same calmness and evenness of purpose and action that were characteristic of his whole life." "He early devoted himself to the ministry and he lived the life that his religion made him love to live. This life was no veneer, assumed as befitting his profession, but was the very fibre of his being. His personal friends were legion, and those who stood close to him, know how loyal, true and sincere his friendships were." "Someone has said that dying, we leave an influence behind us that survives. Happy the man who can leave to his family and his friends, an influence so beficent and a memory so dear and fragrant as did Raymond Sturtevant," Dr. Crandall said in closing. Dr Park had the following to say about his friend: "In speaking of Mr. Sturtevant, first of all, he was a thoroughly conscientious, consecrated and devoted minister. He administered the gospel to his fellowmen. That was his life work, his foremost aim, his strongest desire.... He had the fundamental affection for people. He liked folks. His sympathy was quick and generous. Like anybody else, He might feel distaste, antipathy and disapproval for some special person, but the surest way to disarm him of that feeling was for that person to go to him and ask his help. Everyone has a weak spot. Here was one of Mr. Sturtevant's weak spots; he could not resist loving the man who needed his help. Take that kind of a man, and add to him another quality, a genuine religious life, a simple tenacious faith in God, an exacting unsparing fidelity to the will of God, a habit of prayer and trust and confidence, and we get a man who was just made for the ministry. That is something everyone felt about Mr. Sturtevant. "As a preacher he was universally accepted. People liked to hear him. They discovered that they liked him in spite of his indifference to all pulpit arts and graces. He employed a free, dignified conversational style. He had no mannerisms, either of voice or gesture. He was never guilty of bad taste and never descended to sensationalism in any form. His preaching was just 'Mr. Sturtevant talking to us.' He was ready to defend any assertion that he made. His preaching was helpful because it was an honest, religious, helpful man thinking out loud. Because he was a good man it was physically impossible for him to preach a bad sermon. And that is the point that sticks up in our memories; not what he said, not what he did, but the man himself. It is a lucky world that can contain such men; and it is a mysteriously wonderful human nature that can occasionally embody itself in such a brother to all mankind, in such a son of the most High God. Dr Snow recalled his boyhood school chum in the following light: "In thinking of some men we think of a particular feature or quality for which they are distinguished. In thinking of Raymond Sturtevant we think of no such particular or special interest. He was a natural athlete his body close-knit with good coordination of muscle and grain, clear of vision with natural grace of movement. He was an out-doors man. But these interests did not keep him from his books, from satisfying the craving of the inquiring mind. He was a superior student who won prizes for his achievements in school and college. He was not what men call a great preacher. He was not called hither and yon, like some actor, to perform. But many in this house tonight who have heard him, not once or twice, but for years, can testify to the satisfying quality of his preaching. They knew him so well that they knew what he would say on any occasion. He was not known as a psychologist, But he possessed an understanding heart. In dealing with others, there was a gentleness in his manner that was his chief charm. His leadership was fully recognized in his community. Being what he was, a well rounded man, he could not be other than a good citizen. His work with his people was such as to make his church a place for community good. I think such men as Raymond Sturtevant, whose personalities exemplify, not the unusual, but the usual, well-rounded normal human beings, about the heads of such men no one is tempted to place a halo. But they are remembered gratefully as good men always are remembered, by those who counted them as friends. Many have tonight remembered him as a friend. He was easy and pleasant to be with. My own memories of the man in remembering him tonight are filled with the echoes of happy laughter, of revelations, sometimes of deep things that come not through argument and assertions, but through the exercise of the attributes of poking fun. This is one way that men such as he help to keep life safe and sound for all," Dr. Snow said in terminating his recollections of his friend. A hymn and benediction closed the service. Mr. Cushing played Handel's "Largo" as the organ postlude. A declaration of homage to the memory of Rev. Francis Raymond Sturtevant, passed by the Joseph Priestley Conference at its meeting in Baltimore, May 2, 1935. Francis Raymond Sturtevant became the minister of our church in Baltimore and a member of the Joseph Priestley Conference in the rich maturity of his power. His previous ministry in Dorchester and Taunton, Massachusetts, brought his thoughtful and studious mind to an exquisite cultivation, and his observation of industrial and social conditions in factory towns had ripened the sympathies and generosities of a naturally sensitive and chivalrous heart. He entered our Conference wise with the insight of twenty years of experience, but still eager with the youthfulness that love for human beings never fails to bestow. As our comrade in the Conference and as minister in Baltimore he carried forward the last phase of his appointed earthly labor to a beautiful completion. It would hardly be possible to find a nature more gentle, a mind more tolerant, a counselor more kindly discerning. Religiousness with him was no assumed profession; it was an inward habit, an inherent life, a growing forth of quick and gracious energies deep-rooted in his soul. He could not descend to any artifices calculated to draw attention to himself. Simply, modestly, faithfully, he served the cause of the spirit as one who had taken for the rule of his life Paul's admonition to Timothy, that "the end of the commandment" is charity out of a pure heart, and a good conscience and faith unfeigned." In devout remembrance of a life and example of so high a quality the Joseph Priestley Conference places upon its records this expression of admiration of Francis Raymond Sturtevant and of sorrow at his departure from us. To Mrs. Sturtevant the Conference offers its profound sympathy, with the assurance that it also shares her pride in the memory of her husband's noble life. The Conference directs that a copy of this declaration be sent to Mrs. Sturtevant and to the church in Baltimore. Respectfully submitted, William L. Sullivan, George E. Nitzsche.
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