L. L. Clover

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Leander Louis Clover, known as L. L. Clover (April 4, 1902–May 3, 1975),[1] was an American Baptist Association minister who in 1951 established Louisiana Missionary Baptist Institute and Seminary in Minden, Louisiana. He founded and served as editor of the Missionary Baptist News for nearly twenty-three years.[2]


Contents

Background

Clover, who was of Choctaw descent, was born in rural Curtis in Clark County near Arkadelphia in southern Arkansas to Josiah Manley Clover (ca. 1859-1916) and the former Agnes Walton (born ca. 1882; date of death unavailable). Josiah Clover died when Leander was still thirteen. Leander also lost a younger brother, Joe Cole Clover, who died in 1906 at the age of two. Reared in Clark County, Clover attended public schools and subsequently received a Bachelor of Theology degree from Missionary Baptist Seminary in Little Rock, the successor to an earlier institution in Sheridan in Grant County, Arkansas. The seminary was established in 1934 by the pastor and evangelist Ben M. Bogard through the auspices of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church of Little Rock. Clover was the pastor of five Missionary Baptist churches in Arkansas, including the New Prospect congregation in Colt in St. Francis County near the Mississippi River.[2]

In 1948, he moved to Minden, Louisiana, to succeed Julian Pope at Calvary Missionary Baptist Church. On September 26, 1957, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the former Eastern Baptist Seminary in Somerset in Pulaski County in southeastern Kentucky, which had been established by the evangelist and author I. K. Cross. On May 19, 1958, Clover obtained a Doctor of Theology degree from Texas Baptist Institute at Henderson, Texas.[2]

Seminary president

In 1951, Clover instituted Bible classes for Christian workers.[3] In 1952, he officially launched LMBIS with two students, then instructed from his own home.[4] Among the first graduates was Jimmy G. Tharpe, later the founder of Louisiana Baptist University and Theological Seminary, an Independent Baptist entity in Shreveport.[5]

Clover was LMBIS president for nineteen years and president-emeritus for the remainder of his life. As president, he established a print shop and the Missionary Baptist Bookstore. He launched and for more than a decade edited the Missionary Baptist News. He was succeeded as the Calvary pastor by Irvin Russell Roshto (born 1934), later of Lufkin and Vidor, Texas, who also subsequently followed Clover as the LMBIS president. The current long-time LMBIS president is another former Calvary Baptist pastor, Donald McCormick.[6]

Clover's books included the scholarly study, The Church: Her Origin, Purpose, Doctrine, and History.[7] He also wrote Evil Spirits Intellectualism and Logic, and Our King Is Coming. In the latter, Clover warns that the world is slowly becoming unconscious of sin and its detrimental effects: "Sin is a scavenger that preys on the souls of men. . . the sorrow-poisoned arrow that is producing heartache and tears ... the author and finisher of sickness and death . . . the barricade between God and man . . . the architect and builder of hell. The world will not be rid of sin and its disastrous results before the Lord comes to rule and reign."[8]

From 1956-1961, Clover worked closely with LMBIS dean A. T. Powers, a native Texan who like Clover had pastored several Arkansas congregations. In 1957, Powers became the second pastor of Eastside Missionary Baptist Church in Minden, originally a mission of Clover's Calvary congregation.[9]

In addition to his administrative and fund-raising roles, Clover taught courses in the philosophy of religion, ancient history, Bible analysis, and ethnology.[10] In 1966, the LMBIS yearbook The Key dedicated its first ever edition to Clover, citing the minister's "love for God, his sincere interest and concern for his fellow man, and his sacrificial giving of himself."[11] After leaving Calvary church, Clover was the interim pastor of Forbing Woods Missionary Baptist Church in south Shreveport. In 1972-1973, The Key reported thirty-three regular and twenty-one part-time students at LMBIS.[12]

Clover was an ectomorphic, bespectacled, red-haired, and ruddy-complexioned man.[13] After his initial retirement, the Clovers relocated to Arkadelphia, Arkansas, which is listed in the Social Security Death Index as his final residence, but they had returned to Minden, where he had resumed teaching at LMBIS for the last two years of his life. He died at the age of seventy-three in the home of Wilton Wager, then pastor of the Trinity Missionary Baptist Church in Camden, Arkansas, where Clover had been preaching weeklong revival services, a then customary practice in most Baptist churches but largely since abandoned.[14]

Death and legacy

For fifty-two years until his death, Clover was married to the former Tommie Brooks (1905–2002), a native of Ellis County, Texas, near Dallas. The couple had no children.[15] Other than his wife, Clover's only survivor was a half-sister by his father's previous marriage, Mattie Lee Coleman (born 1891; date of death unknown). Mrs. Clover remained in Minden for the remaining twenty-seven years of her life. A devotee of exotic birds, she died at the age of ninety-seven in a Minden nursing home. The couple is interred at Gardens of Memory Cemetery in Minden.[14]

LMBIS operated under Clover at 903 Shreveport Road in a separate facility across from the Calvary Church, then located at 1000 Shreveport Road in Minden. In 1996, Calvary Church voted to relocate its facilities to 1400 Homer Road in the far eastern side of Minden. Construction began late in 2002, and the new facilities, including a modern LMBIS, building on Seminary Road were dedicated on November 2, 2003.[3] Numerous Missionary Baptist pastors in the Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas region are LMBIS graduates, including Richard Derek Methvin (born 1960), the pastor since 1998 of Eastside church in Minden. A degree from the institute is unaccredited but recognized by all Missionary Baptist congregations within the denomination. [16]

The LMBIS yearbook The Key in its "In Memoriam" section in 1975 lauded the departed Clover’s "conservatism, determination, ability, and longsuffering that inspired and inaugurated a fortress of biblical truth in Minden." Clover wrote in the yearbook: "We are living in a world that is turning from doctrinal truths, rejecting the Bible, and forgetting about God. Therefore, I wish for each of you the power to think deeply and to respond nobly to the responsibilities that rest upon you."[17]


Publications

[18]

  • Our King Is Coming[18]
  • Frederic P. Miller has authored the biography entitled L.L. Clover, published in 2010.[19]

References

  • 1.^ "Leander Louis Clover". Social Security Death Index. http://ssdi.rootsweb.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/ssdi.cgi. Retrieved December 4, 2010.
  • 2.^ a b c "L.L. Clover". http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~clover/vr/la.html. Retrieved May 3, 2009. "Having “fought a good fight,” Dr. L.L. Clover “finished” his course and departed this life on May 3, 1975 at the age of seventy-three. Dr. Clover was born in Curtis, Arkansas on April 4, 1902. He was an active minister within the ranks of the American Baptist Association for 40 years. ..."
  • 3.^ a b ""History of Calvary" Missionary Baptist Church, Minden, Louisiana". Calvarybaptistminden.com. http://www.calvarybaptistminden.com/pages/aboutcalvary.html. Retrieved May 3, 2009. "In 1951, Calvary Church, under the leadership of Dr. L.L. Clover, began bible classes for Christian workers."
  • 4.^ Billy Hathorn, "Austin Toliver Powers and Leander Louis Clover: "Planting the American Baptist Association in Northwest Louisiana during the Middle 20th Century," North Louisiana History, Vol. XLI (Summer-Fall 2010, p. 138
  • 5.^ Hathorn, Powers and Clover, p. 139
  • 6.^ Hathorn, Powers and Clover, p. 141
  • 7.^ Bibliography: Books and Pamphlets: The Church: Her Origin, Purpose, Doctrine, and History. geocities.com. Archived from the original on 2009-10-27. http://web.archive.org/web/20091027145507/http://geocities.com/prbryan.geo/charleston/dis/dis-bib1.htm. Retrieved May 3, 2009.
  • 8.^ "In Memory of Dr. L. L. Clover," Missionary Baptist News, June 1975
  • 9.^ Hathorn, "Powers and Clover", p. 144
  • 10.^ The Key, LMBIS, 1969 yearbook
  • 11.^ Hathorn, "Powers and Clover," p. 141
  • 12.^ LMBIS, The Key, 1972-1973 edition
  • 13.^ Hathorn, "Powers and Clover", p. 141
  • 14.^ a b Hathorn, "Powers and Clover," p. 142
  • 15.^ Tommie B. Clover obituary, Minden Press-Herald, November 11, 2002
  • 16.^ Hathorn, "Powers and Clover," p. 143
  • 17.^ LMBIS, The Key, 1975
  • 18.^ a b c Hathorn, "Powers and Clover," p. 141
  • 19.^ Frederic P. Miller, L.L. Clover, Alphascript Publishing, 2010, 88 pages, paperback ISBN: 9786134096584

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L._L._Clover" on April 12, 2011, with permission of the author, Billy Hathorn

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