The Rec. Dr. Russell Cartwright Stroup, 42, minister emeritus of the Georgetown Presbyterian Church and a former moderator of the Washington City Presbytery, died at Georgetown University Hospital Friday as a result of diabetes.
Dr. Stroup became minister of Georgetown Presbyterian, which was formed in 1780, in 1950. During the 20 years that he served there, the congregation more than doubled to nearly 1000 members. He supervised the restoration of the church, which is located at 3115 P St. Nw, to its original neoglassical simplicity. He started numerous art and educational programs. Among them was what is believed to have been one of the first side wald art shows in Washington.
When he retired in 1970 and became minister emeritus, members of the congregation installed a plague in his honor on the pulpit which reads in part: "You were gentle among us, willing to impart to us not the gospel of God only, but also your own self, because we were dear unto you."
In 1961, Dr. Stroup completed a term as moderator of the Washington City presbytery, the church's ruling organization in the city. HE was cited at the time for having been "one of the most effective moderators that body has ever known."
He also served for many years on the Interfaith, Interracial Council of Washington and as a member of the Georgetown Ministerial Association.
Dr. Stroup was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He was educated at Stanford University and at the University of Southern California with a view to entering the diplomatic service. He then decided to become a minister and attended Drew Theological Seminary in New Jersey. He was ordained a minister in the Southern Conference of the Methodist Church in 1927.
His first pastorates were in Murietta and Newport Beach, Calif. During this period he made an unsuccessful run for Congress. In the early 1930s, he managed a family farm in Glasgow, Va. In 1937, he switched to the Presbyterian denomination when he became minister of the First presbyterian Church in Lynchburg, Va.
During World War II, he was a chaplain in the Army. He served with infantry units in the Pacific and recieved the Bronze Star Medal for assisting in the evacuation of wounded men "with total disregard for his own safety," according to the citation.
He returned to Lynchburg following the war and remained there until moving to Georgetown Presbyterian. In 1947, he received an honorary doctor of divinity degree froom Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., where he frequently had preached
Survivors include his wife, Louise, of the home in McLean; a sister, Lady Margretta Jamieson, of Washington, and a nephew, the Rev. Richard C. Austin, a former assistant minister at Georgetown Presbyterian and now of Dungannon, Va.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the Endowment Fund of the Georgetown Presbyterian Church, 3115 P St. NW, Washington, D.C., or to a charity of one's choice.