S.E. Frost, Jr.
Sevier Eratus “Jack” Frost Jr.
Pastorship: September 1, 1929-June 1, 1935,.
Rev. Sevier E. Frost Jr. (1899-1978) served from 1929 to 1935. He was born in Ft. Worth, TX, S. E. (Sr.) and Mary Elizabeth Hammer (Hamner?) Frost. His father (1867-1929) was a history teacher at Sam Houston Normal School and Fort Worth High School. He was also at times a reporter and salesman. Severe was the oldest of three boys, Sevier, Edward E. and Harvey M. His wife, Maude Disbrow (1909-2006), was born in Braddock Ward 4, Allegheny, Pennsylvania in 1909. Her parents were Lloyd Legrand and Maude Keys Disbrow. They had three girls, Carrie, Mabel and Maude. Lloyd worked as an armature winder in Detroit, MI and Allegheny County PA, before returning to Detroit to own a candy store. He and his wife retired to Miami, Florida.
Rev. Frost earned a B. A. from Southern Methodist University in 1922. He was serving also as a minister and was ordained by the Methodist Conference in 1923. Upon graduation from SMU, he entered Yale Divinity School. He received his B. D. in 1924. He entered Columbia University and earned an M. A. in 1925. The picture at right is likely his M.A. graduation from Columbia. The sleeves are in the style of the M.A. The gold tassel is different than that in his senior SMU picture. His mother Maude is with him.
Frost had studied at Texans Christian University and Vanderbilt also. From Columbia he accepted an temporary assistant minister position with the Plymouth Congregational Church in Coconut Grove, Florida. He was to supply for the minister who was going on vacation. Maybe this choice was related to his mother now living in Miami. Rev. The entry quoted below is from the History of Plymouth Congregational Church by Robert Wilson, 1997 on the occasion of the church’s centennial celebration.
“Plymouth parishioners must have been well satisfied with Dr. Kuykendall as their minister, for early in 1925 they responded to a
motion of W. J. Matheson and unanimously voted him a salary increase to $5000 a year. In the discussion Mr. Pierce emphasized
the pastor was not dissatisfied with his current pay and had not solicited an increase.’
“During his 1925 summer vacation at Cloudland, Georgia, Dr. Kuykendall’s place was taken by a youthful, enthusiastic supply pastor, 8. E. Frost, Jr. Mr. Frost was fired with evangelistic zeal to spread Plymouth’s reach as far north as Silver Bluff and possibly establish a branch church there. In a series of letters to the vacationing pastor, Mr. Frost told of canvassing Silver Bluff
housewives to determine if they wanted a Congregational church there. He was rebuffed, but not deterred, when all said they wanted to talk it over with their husbands. He mailed a letter to residents of the area seeking family data, but had no response.
Mr. Frost was concerned that the Methodists were moving into Silver Bluff and might secure a foothold, while two existing churches there had heard of his proselytizing and were taking unspecified countermeasures. He declared their opposition effective, but was optimistic his project would succeed, especially since he had been promised a building lot for a church by the Silver Bluff Estates developers. The Silver Bluff incursion died quietly, but Mr. Frost didn’t waver m energy and enthusiasm. He didn’t neglect the few Plymouth members left during the summer months and reported on a successful hayride as well as a boat ride for 30 people under a full moon at a cost of one dollar per person.’
“Reverend Frost reveled in Miami’s steamy August weather. He told Dr. Kuykendall, “It is very cool and pleasant now. This Miami weather is ideal.”
The young minister sought advice from Dr. Kuykendall on what to do about Mr. Billings who wanted to work at Plymouth as organist and music director. He wanted a stipend of ten dollars a week during the summer and would be willing to serve permanently for $75 a month. Mr. Frost was happy with church attendance and pleased he had performed two weddings.’
“Mr. Frost sold himself to the members, for in October 1925 the church membership responded favorably to a motion by Homer Ferrin, seconded by Mrs. Harlan Trapp, to call Mr. Frost as an associate minister.’
Rev. Frost, found it necessary to supplement his income. One of his jobs was house counselor at a private dormitory at the U. of Miami. Frost spent three years on the editorial staff of the “Miami Daily News” as the religion editor. During his early years in Miami and Coral Gables, he was considered a very eligible bachelor and was quite the social butterfly, attending many parties and social events with a variety of companions.
Rev. Frost and Maude Disbrow were married in 1927. The wedding party above includes his parents at his left, Maude’s mother at right and maybe Maude’s sister Carrie on the end. He had purchased a tract of land in Coral Gables the year before. Maude, when only seventeen, was a society reporter for the Miami Daily News. Her sister, Carrie A. Disbrow, published stories in the News. They had a son, John (1928-2009). Son, John, married Carol Lloyd Ruth.
In 1928, a major tropical hurricane hit South Florida. Rev. Frost was part of an effort to raise money for victims, many of whom were African-American. In 1929, Frost was the Editor of The Miami Outlook.” Following his marriage, Frost left to become Director of Publicity for the Philadelphia Automobile Club. From there he and Maude were called by the First Congregational Church of Austin in 1929 to be their pastor.
Rev. S.E. Frost’s ministry. “Emphasis on student participation continued with an open house on Friday with dancing, which caused dissent from older members. The Fellowship Players was organized and gave four one-act plays each year. When other churches in the area had similar groups, competitions were held. The church invited UT students who had no other church affiliation to attend services and established a special student membership category for them.” In 1934, Frost gave the Baccalaureate Sermon for the U. T. Commencement.
During 1934, Frost was a graduate student in philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. With Professor Fred Eby he wrote a book “Graduate Theses and Dissertations Written in the Field of Education.” He resigned in 1935 to attend Columbia University. In 1937, he published, “Education’s Own Stations: The History of Broadcast Licenses Issued to Educational Institutions. The University of Chicago Press, 1937. In this book he provided short descriptions of all known attempts to establish educational radio in the United States and brief histories of educational broadcasting in individual communities across the country; he detailed as well, the problems faced by such stations.
He received a Ph. D. from Columbia in 1939. In 1945, Dr. Frost taught English at Sewanhaka High School in Floral Park, New York. (see photo below.) His son S. E. Frost III, born 1928 in Florida, was attending the school also. Rev. Frost later wrote Basic Teachings of the Great Philosophers” 1962. Frost later taught in the Department of Education, Brooklyn College, City University of New York. He spent many years in the study and teaching of the history and philosophy of education and was the author of a number of books on philosophy, religion and education. He wrote Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Western Education, Charles E. Merrill International Series in Education, 1966. (Photo above of Dr. Frost is courtesy of Brooklyn College Archives and Special Collections. Special thank to Theresa Ferrara. Archives and Special Collections.)
Reverend Frost died in Laguna Hills, Orange County, CA in 1978. His wife, Maude, there also in 2006.
Rev. Frost’s granddaughter, Barbara Frost Nelson, provided the following comment about her grandfather, “He also changed his religious beliefs several times over his ministry. In his later life he was a Unitarian.”
“He was funny and loved us grandkids a great deal. He told me I was half Italian and told my sister she was Irish. I didn’t find out until I was on ancestry.com that I have no Italian blood whatsoever. I wish he were alive so I could razz him about that.
He would sit me on his lap when I was real little and tell me about his religious philosophies. Much of which I still believe today. He was an enchanting speaker and story teller.”