Ernest J. Arnold

Published 6:09 pm Tuesday, September 22, 2009

He was married to Frances Putnam for 70 years.

He was born July 31, 1913, in Marble Valley, Ala., the seventh son of the late Henry M. and Van Attie Groce Arnold. he was educated at Presbyterian College, Clinton, S.C, and Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Conn.Presbyterian College awarded him an honorary doctorate degree in 1958.

A resident of Decatur, Ga., for more than 50 years, Dr. Arnold, an ordained Presbyterian minister, spent his professional career in the area of ecumenical inter-church communications.

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Following his ordination, he co-founded the North Carolina Council of Churches, located on the Duke Universtiy campus. He served as its director for eight years. This was followed by the position of assistant to the president of Davidson College.

In 1951, while director of the southeastern office of the National Council of Churches, he joined a group of denominational executives in the creation of the Protestant Radio and Television Center in Atlanta, Ga. Here he served as president until 1973. During this same period he co-founded TRAV, the television-radio audio-visual arm of the Presbyterian Church, U.S., and served as its first director.

For more than 48 years Dr. Arnold managed two non-profit charitable foundations established by a generaous family who wished to give world-wide to religious, health and educational institutions. In retirement he remained a member of Atlanta Presbytery, having served one year as its moderator. He was a Rotarian for 41 years.

In 2000, Dr. Arnold and his wife, Frances, retired to Tryon Estates in Columbus. In addition to his wife he is survived by a son, Philip Arnold of Montreat, N.C., a daughter, Judy Moore of Columbus, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

A memorial service is being planned and will be held in the Tryon Estates auditorium. Interment will be later in a graveside servie at the cemetery of the Cameron, N.C. Presbyterian Church. The family requests no flowers. Memorial gifts may be given to Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, 130 Forest Glen Drive, Columbus N.C. 28722 or to a charity of your choice.