Albright, Rev. Dr. H. Pat
The Rev. H. Pat Albright, long-time pastor of Mt. Lebanon and Erie: First United Methodist churches, died peacefully on Sunday November 9, 2014, at Providence Point in Scott Twp. He was 83.
Dr. Albright was born in Bluefield, WV on September 8, 1931. After graduating from Beaver High School in Bluefield, Pat attended Asbury
College in Wilmore, KY, returning to West Virginia to serve three small churches and to complete his college education at Marshall University. He earned his Masters of Divinity Degree from Boston University School of Theology with honors, and did further study at Harvard, Oxford, and the University of
Salamanca in Spain. He was awarded a Doctor of Divinity by Allegheny College.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Betty Lou (Furr) Albright. He was the son of the late William E. and Bertha (Thompson) Albright; brother of the late Rev. William E. Albright, Jr.(the late Catherine) and the late Atty. Charles Albright (Doris, surviving); brother-in-law of Sylvia Wentz (the late Sherman); loving uncle of Lynne Tuckwiller (Ron), Beth Liggett(Lew), Dr. David Albright (Jeanne), Dr. Charles Albright, Jr. (Judy), Anita Campbell (Clyde), John Albright (Kari), Peggy Haddix (Tom), Nancy Snyder (Jerry) and the late William E. Albright, Jr.; also survived by his great-nieces and great-nephews.
Hearing the call to ministry as a teenager, he preached his first sermon at 15. Ordained in West Virginia in 1956, he served three Methodist churches over his 38 years of active ministry: Wesley United Methodist Church in New Castle,PA from 1956-64; First United Methodist in Erie from 1964-1978 and Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church from 1978 until his retirement from active ministry in 1994.
During eight years in New Castle, the church doubled in size, adding an education building. As an active civic leader there, he received the Jaycees' Young Man of the Year Award. During 14 years in Erie, the church established an inner-city nursery school and day care; built a 14-story apartment building for seniors and installed a new organ, dedicated in his honor. Dr. Albright continued to be active in civic organizations, serving on the Board of the Erie Foundation and was also very active in Rotary.
During his 16 years as pastor at Mt. Lebanon, the church prospered, adding a new parking lot and Weekday Ministries for children.
He achieved notoriety through his costumed portrayals of historic personalities, such as St. Paul, Martin Luther, J.S. Bach, Christopher Columbus, John Wesley and his favorite, Thomas Jefferson.
He served on the Board at West Virginia Wesleyan College and chaired the Board of Ordained Ministry of the Western PA Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Not content with retirement in 1994, he continued to serve churches in the area until his health failed several months ago, preaching his last sermon at Masonic Village in Sewickley on August 3, 2014 (he had preached there monthly). He served as interim pastor at Chippewa and Natrona Heights United Methodist Churches. He was interim Head of Staff at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Upper St. Clair and was on the staff at Southminster Presbyterian Church in Mt. Lebanon for several years providing pastoral care.
Much in demand as a guest preacher, he was asked to officiate at many weddings at Heinz Chapel and Old St. Luke's. His last wedding
was in May for his great niece, Liz Albright. While Preacher of the Week at Chautauqua he spoke to a congregation of 5000.
He was an adjunct Professor of Homiletics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary where the Albright-Deering Lecture Series was established in his honor 13 years ago. Always a scholar, Pat endeavored to support education for others and was instrumental in establishing scholarships at West Virginia Wesleyan and one in honor of Bishop George and Carolyn Bashore at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH. As world travelers, Pat and Betty Lou visited 75 countries, mostly on study tours.
Pat's ministry was one of total dedication, not only to scholarship and exemplary preaching, but also one of serving his congregation through his presence with them for all of their needs. He loved people and was deeply loved in return, but most of all he loved Betty Lou, his wife of 61 years, with a love that knew no end.
No viewing hours were planned. Relatives and friends are invited to attend his memorial service at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church, on Saturday, November 15 at 1 p.m.. The family will receive guests at the church following the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Pat and Betty Lou Albright Fund for Missions at Mt. Lebanon United Methodist Church, 3319 W. Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15216.