Family Login:

Edwin Clinger Urban III

Obituary for Edwin Clinger Urban III

April 26, 1930 - September 20, 2016
Wilmington, Delaware | Age 86

Beloved Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather, and Pastor


Rev. Edwin Clinger Urban III, 86 years old, graduated to heaven's glory and was received into the arms of Jesus on September 20, 2016. He was in care at St. Francis Hospital in Wilmington, DE. Edwin concluded his journey holding the hands of loved ones and was welcomed into eternity by his beloved wife Gwendolyn and infant son, Tommy.

Born in Philadelphia, PA, April 26, 1930, Ed was the son of Edwin Clinger Urban Jr. and Edith Mae (Clements) Urban. Edwin served faithfully for 68 years as a minister, missionary to Taiwan, church planter, Bible teacher, and Christian School principal. He loved discussing history, philosophy, theology, and their applied uses via a Christian world view. He was the founder of the Leesburg Christian School in Leesburg, VA. He loved teaching Bible classes and interacting with students. He also wrote radio scripts for Chuck Colson's, Break Point.

As a boy, Edwin was taken to the Gethsemane Presbyterian Church by his mother Edith. His conversion to Christ occurred while attending Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA. During a student led revival, Ed surrendered his life to Jesus Christ and subsequently felt called to the ministry. Ed was a very gifted athlete who played varsity soccer in high school and became a "Titan" playing varsity soccer and basketball at Westminster College. While at Westminster, Ed was elected president of four organizations: The Evangelical Student Organization, the Inter-Fraternity Council, his Sigma Phi Epsilon athletic fraternity, and the Senior Class of 1953.

Upon graduating college he attended Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, PA. Afterward, a ministerial internship in San Diego, CA, brought Ed under the supervision of the Rev. Edward Kellogg. There he met Edward & Eleanor Kellogg's eldest daughter, Gwendolyn. They were married in 1957. Ed & Gwen planted their first church in Wheaton, IL: Bethel OPC. They then attended language school at the University of Oklahoma, heeding a call to the mission field. Soon they with their baby daughter Melanie traveled to Taiwan as missionaries. Ed studied Mandarin in order to preach and also worked as a Bible translator for tribal mountain peoples. During their time in Taiwan, Gwen gave birth to their younger daughter, Melissa.

In 1968, Ed & Gwen started a Christian school in Leesburg, VA. Ed had a wonderful vision for Christian education, having taught at the Fairfax Christian School, and receiving "Teacher of the Year Award" for his excellent Bible classes. Leesburg was a small rural town then and Ed rented an old Victorian mansion where they could hold church services and expand into a K-12 Christian day school. Ed planted Bethel OPC in Herndon, VA, and then moved the church to Leesburg as momentum grew. Later both a church building and a school building were built on Evergreen Mills Rd. Today Bethel Church is thriving and the school still operates! In 1985, Ed planted Sterling OPC in Sterling, VA, and enjoyed many years of service and fellowship there, retiring as pastor in 2010.

During retirement, Edwin preached regularly and served on the session of Elkton OPC in Elkton, MD, and preached for Manor church, PCA in Wilmington, DE. Ed & Gwen loved to travel, visiting some 20 countries. Edwin's grandchildren loved their Grandfather's lively, entertaining stories, caring instruction, fun boating and fishing adventures, organizational skills, and powerful prayers.

Edwin is survived by his two daughters: Melanie Ruth Bird and husband David of Wilmington, DE; Melissa Beth Craig and husband Bryce of Phillipsburg, NJ; and sister Joan Coppola and husband Jim of Boothwyn, PA. Edwin dearly loved his eight grandchildren and their spouses, and his seven great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his wife Gwendolyn Ruth Kellogg Urban and son Thomas Edwin Urban.

All are welcome to come and celebrate the life of Edwin as we say our goodbyes. A 10 a.m. memorial service will be held on Friday September 30, 2016 at Bethel Presbyterian Church, 19856 Evergreen Mills Rd., Leesburg, VA 20176. Directly following, an 11 a.m. graveside service will be held at The Union Cemetery, 323 N. King St., Leesburg, VA 20176.

Recommended Local Florist

Message from the Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time.
Please enhance this tribute to Edwin by adding your memories and photos.

Arrangements By

R.T. Foard & Jones, Inc.

122 W. Main Street
Newark, DE 19711
Map  | Profile

View Phone Number