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Mrs. Mercedes (Merdie) Shoemaker, Longstanding Friend of Gordon-Conwell, Passes Away

February 16, 2018

In Memoriam

Mrs. Mercedes (Merdie) Shoemaker of Upper St. Clair, PA, a longstanding friend of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, went to be with the Lord on February 14, 2018.

Through their significant generosity and fierce commitment to ongoing pastoral education, Mrs. Shoemaker and her late husband, G. Albert Shoemaker endowed The Shoemaker Center for Church Renewal at Gordon-Conwell, making the educational resources of the seminary and the larger evangelical community available to pastors, lay leaders and churches to encourage and nurture personal and corporate renewal for decades. Countless individuals have taken advantage of conferences, seminars, sabbaticals, curricular resources and audio and video recordings at Gordon-Conwell.

Merdie was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from Purdue University, she moved to Pittsburgh where she would meet her future husband, G. Albert Shoemaker, at a church they both attended. Merdie developed an interest in Gordon-Conwell during summer vacations on Cape Ann with her parents. “The local churches were supplied by Gordon-Conwell students while the resident minister was on vacation,” she once commented. ”The quality of preaching was impressive. After we were married, I interested Al in Gordon-Conwell.”

After Al’s death in 1990, Merdie continued to support the life-long passions they shared for higher education and the Church. She was a lifelong active church member and leader in the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA). Merdie often visited the seminary, showing active interest in the work of Gordon-Conwell. In 2005, she received Gordon-Conwell’s prestigious Order of Barnabas Award.

Dr. Dennis P. Hollinger, President and Colman M. Mockler Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics, described Merdie as “a wonderful friend of Gordon-Conwell. She and her late husband, Al Shoemaker, have left a significant legacy for church renewal at Gordon-Conwell. We thank God for her generous spirit and faithful commitment.”