Teaching Elder Mark A. Tammen has been awarded the C. Fred Jenkins Constitutional Services Award, which honors a person or group that has given wise, prudent and vigilant support to the constitution and polity of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
“Fred made me believe in Mark; he pressed me to try what I was wary of, most often successfully – to his delight,” Tammen said in an email read at Tuesday evening's Association of Stated Clerks of the PC(USA) dinner at the 221st General Assembly (2014). Tammen was unable to attend due to jury duty.
The Stated Clerks present the award, named in honor of the late C. Fred Jenkins, who served as an associate stated clerk of the General Assembly for 11 years before his unexpected death in 2000.
“Fred believed in us, that we, all of us in this room, would catch his vision that our positions existed, our day to day work, for the glory of the Kingdom. For Fred, even minutes review was Kingdom work,” Tammen said.
Tammen, who previously served as director of the General Assembly's constitutional services and is now stated clerk/general presbyter of the Presbytery of Long Island, is “steeped in the words of the Constitution and understands its power and intent,” the citation read.
“Mark understood human nature and governing body frailties,” the citation added, praising his humor, good listening skills and calm presence.
In his response, Tammen said, “C. Fred Jenkins remains a real person for me. For he plucked me out of the chaos of the presbytery and gave me an education that has served me my entire life. I can still hear him quietly singing Welsh hymns in office; I can see him listening to tapes to try to learn yet another language. To have lunch with Fred, was always to go away enlightened and challenged."