Title of Collection
Scope and Content Note
This collection contains some of the personal papers of Harvie Mac Pruitt, including manuscripts, books, newsletters, and photographs. The collection is housed in one box.
Biographical is excerpted from obituary at combestfamilyfuneralhomes.com:
“Dr. Harvie Mac Pruitt was born on November 29, 1930 and passed on to his heavenly reward August 5, 2015. He was born at his parents' house located at 717 17th Street in Lubbock, Texas, to Evelyn (McDonald) Pruitt and James Harvie Pruitt. When he was a boy, he worked for the Pepsi Cola Bottling Plant, Sherrod Hardware, as a "soda jerk" at Halsey Drug store on College Ave across from Tech, and picked and chopped cotton for J. E. Hancock during all of his primary school years. He graduated from Lubbock High at the age of 16 in 1947. He had earned a scholarship to Abilene Christian University by winning a speech contest, so he enrolled at ACU in the fall of 1947. During his first semester, many Churches of Christ would call the President of ACU and ask if he could recommend either a temporary or full-time preacher. Many times, the President recommended Harvie. So, at age 16 Harvie began his preaching, teaching and evangelism career that lasted for almost 70 years. In the early years he preached at New Deal, Wolfforth, Meadow, Lorenzo, Dallas, Strawn, Sundown, Glen Rose and many other churches in Texas and other states. In order to preach at these churches while in college, Harvie would ride the train from Abilene to Lubbock every Friday afternoon, spend Saturday with his family, and then hitch-hike to the surrounding towns to preach.
In 1954 he was sent by the Broadway Church of Christ as a missionary to Frankfurt, Germany. He learned the German language very quickly and soon preached his first sermon in German. These early post-war years were very difficult, but Harvie brought many people to the Lord and loved his 3 years of service there. At the time he arrived in Germany, there were still hundreds of thousands of unaccounted for people who were buried under the immense piles of rubble. Harvie went back to visit the German churches many times over the course of his lifetime. When he returned to Lubbock, he began working on his masters degree at Texas Tech and worked as the Education Minister at the Broadway church of Christ. He had a legendary ability to conduct vacation Bible schools and did so for virtually every Church of Christ in Lubbock and in many different states, occasionally being the only adult in a room of 4-500 children. In January of 1958 he married Celia Ruth Ralstin. The two of them had 3 children.
In the early 1960's he was one of the early pulpit ministers for the Greenlawn Church of Christ. In 1965 he became the Director of the Smithlawn Maternity Home and Adoption Agency. Sometime later, he agreed to serve as an elder and the full-time pulpit minister for that congregation. He was involved with and worked for these and other ministries for many years. After earning his Masters degree and doctorate in education at Texas Tech, he was recruited as a faculty member at Lubbock Christian University (then College). He joined the LCU faculty as a professor of Education in 1966 and was named Teacher of the Year in 1971. He served as chairman of the Faculty Senate and transitioned into the role of academic dean and executive vice president before assuming the presidency.
LCU had originally been established as a 2 year junior college. However, in1972 Harvie was given the task of leading the LCU effort to obtain full four year accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities. LCU was successful in its first attempt and became a four year college. This was always a great source of pride for Dr. Pruitt.
In 1976 he officially became the President of LCU and served in that capacity until 1982. When he assumed the presidency, the college was experiencing very difficult financial times. In the late 1970's, Dr. Pruitt, working with George Mahon and J.E. Hancock, obtained for LCU what was at the time, the largest research grant ever given to a private college to study and test the efficacy of using city gray water to irrigate cotton farms. After many successful years and enormous effort, this project generated substantial revenue for LCU. He also spent years negotiating the sale of LCU's undivided interest in the El Poso Ranch in New Mexico to the Jicarilla Apache Nation, again raising large sums for the school at a time of great financial hardship.
Even after his retirement, he remained on the Board of Trustees of LCU and continued to teach classes and take active roles in helping the university whenever he could. He was well known throughout Lubbock and the entire state of Texas for his enthusiasm, optimism, infective smile and talented speaking ability. He was, perhaps, more well known for his humble spirit and his willingness to help those in need, often at great cost to himself. He taught Bible classes at Broadway Church of Christ, Sunset Church of Christ and other congregations until just a few years prior to his death. He performed hundreds of weddings and funerals throughout the country and his hard work in preparing for each occasion was a source of wonder and admiration from the family and friends of those concerned.
He was preceded in death by his second wife, Charis Young Pruitt, his brothers Donald Pruitt and Bill Pruitt, his sisters Faye Morgan, and Joyce Pruitt.”
Harvie Mac Pruitt
The processors retained the original order as received as much as possible.
[First Folder] Finding Aid
“The Play's the Thing,” Abilene Drama Week program, January 25-30, 1925
“Eli Gustus Gray, 1836-1885,” by Harvie Mac Pruitt
“Two Special Times in my Life,” by Harvie Mac Pruitt
“Doctor Grunewald: The Spoof,” by Harvie Mac Pruitt
Photocopies of Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 1967, on 75th Anniversary of Churches of Christ in Lubbock
Prickly Pear, 1918, 1918, 1920, 1924
Photographs from 1951 Prickly Pear Files and Pruitt family newsletter
Extent of Collection
1 linear foot (1 box)
Center for Restoration Studies Manuscripts #104
Center for Restoration Studies
[identification of item], [file or folder name], Harvie Mac Pruitt Papers, 1918-1967. Center for Restoration Studies MS #104. Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives, Brown Library. Abilene Christian University, Abilene, TX.
Open to researchers. Contact Abilene Christian University Special Collections and Archives to make an appointment.
Finding Aid created by
ACU Staff, Kayla Sanderson, Pruitt, Butchner, Mac Ice, Amanda Dietz