Pastor Allen noted: “In September of 1972 1 issued a call to disaffected churches and pastors to come to the Eastern Heights Presbyterian Church of Savannah, GA to consider the formation of a presbytery. This call resulted in the formation of Vanguard Presbytery—I was elected presbytery moderator and I was then invited to serve on the Steering Committee to form a Continuing Presbyterian Church.
The Rev. Todd Allen, born Aug. 25, 1924, was called home to glory the morning of February 25, 2020. Pastor Allen was not only a founding father of the PCA, but he also preceded the PCA. Having grown up primarily in Miami, he served in World War II as a flight radio operator.
Mr. Allen worked in a variety of jobs—including working as a Union organizer—prior to his conversion in January of 1954, while attending an evening worship service at the First Baptist Church in Ft. Worth, Texas. Later, Todd Allen attended Colombia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia—where he was a classmate with Frank Barker, James Baird, Charles Dunahoo, and others who would eventually establish the Presbyterian Church in America in 1973.
He was ordained at Midway Presbyterian Church in Powder Springs, GA, on Dec. 20, 1959, and served both that church as well as the Mars Hill Presbyterian Church in Acworth, GA. He accepted a call to serve the Eastern Heights Presbyterian Church, where he served from 1962-1974. In 1966, prior to the formation of the PCA, Pastor Allen and another Savannah Presbyterian Pastor, Rev. Clifford Brewton, led their churches out of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (colloquially known as the “Southern” Presbyterian Church or PCUS). This led to a protracted legal battle over church property, which was litigated all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. In a landmark case, Pastor Allen led the way to help a number of churches leave the liberal denomination with their property.
Pastor Allen noted: “In September of 1972 1 issued a call to disaffected churches and pastors to come to the Eastern Heights Presbyterian Church of Savannah, GA to consider the formation of a presbytery. This call resulted in the formation of Vanguard Presbytery—I was elected presbytery moderator and I was then invited to serve on the Steering Committee to form a Continuing Presbyterian Church. Later, when the new denomination was formed at the Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama on December 4, 1973 1 was elected to serve as Chairman of the Sub Committee on Judicial Business.”
Mr. Allen served as Pastor of the Shenandoah Presbyterian Church in Miami from 1974-1981, where he was active in the presbytery and the new denomination. He returned to Georgia as the southeastern representative for the World Home Bible League. He was installed (a second time) as Pastor of Midway Presbyterian Church and served from 1983-1996, where he also led that church in an ambitious building program. He also later served as an Interim Pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Atlanta and finally as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Villa Rica, Georgia. He was the first Moderator of the Northwest Georgia Presbytery in 2006.
Pastor Allen married Miss Judith Lynn (Judy) Akin of Acworth, Georgia in 1957. The Allens were blessed with four children: Deborah, Rachel, Rebekah, and Todd, Jr.
He continued to preach fervently and kept the power of the gospel before all. He was honored by the Todd W. Allen Scholarship Fund for ministerial trainees. He was a pastor’s pastor. His witness will continue, and many are the beneficiaries of his faithful ministry. His memorial service will be at the Midway Presbyterian Church in Powder Springs, Georgia, on Feb. 28, 2020.