Remembering H.T. Maclin, a missionary pioneer

The Rev. Harry Tracy (H. T.) Maclin, Jr., missionary pioneer, educator and founding president of The Mission Society (, passed away on Monday, April 14, at the age of 88.

 photo Maclin_HT_zpse109cb56.jpg

Maclin served on the mission field in the Congo and in Kenya for two decades. While in Kenya, he trained students in radio broadcasting and audio-visual aids used in Christian education. He also developed a highly effective radio and television training center that is still available throughout Africa.

Along with his wife, Alice, the family returned to the US in the early 1970s. Maclin served as an executive with the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church for nine years. He became the founding president of The Mission Society in 1984, where he served until his retirement in 1991.

Dick McClain, current president of The Mission Society, remembers the organization’s early days and Maclin’s tireless efforts to get TMS off the ground.

“H. T. and Alice’s basement became The Mission Society’s first office, and a hollow core door covered in fake wood adhesive paper was H. T.’s first desk,” said McClain. “Tutored by his son, Greg, regarding how to use his newly acquired personal computer, H. T. soon produced his first ‘Dear Christian Friends’ letter, making hundreds of photocopies at a nearby store and responding to each person who wrote, thanking them for their interest and asking for their prayerful support.”

Maclin made a decision to follow Jesus Christ in 1944 while on-board an aircraft carrier in the Pacific Ocean. After his marriage to Alice, the couple felt the Lord’s call to serve on the mission field, where they ultimately served for the next 20 years.

“It would be impossible to overstate the gift H. T. and Alice have been to The Mission Society, not only for their leadership and friendship, but also for the example of their lives — their commitment to serve and love God with their whole hearts,” McClain said.  “H. T. is one of my heroes.”

Maclin is survived by Alice and their children Susie (John Whitmire), Cathie (Don Boyles) and Greg (Marilyn Williams). The couple’s youngest daughter Ruth (Frank Golley) is deceased.

– The Mission Society


  1. Charles Whittle says

    H. T. and I were fellow students at Perkins School of Theology. We were asked to stand and tell what school we had attended. H. T. stood, with Bible in hand and said, Dallas Theological Seminary.
    H. T., I later learned had grown up attending First Methodist in Fort Worth with his grandmother. His parents lived in the Diamond Hill community where I was pastor. They worked on Sunday – he at Buddies’ Supermarket and Mrs. Maclin at the Texas Coffee Shop in the Texas Hotel. Since we had Sunday night services the join Diamond Hill MC. We became good friends. I remember Mr. Maclin’s concern when H. T. told his parents he had been called to go to Africa and take their only (4) grandchidren to the Congo. They were proud of their son – and his wife, Alice. I cherished his friendship and the honor of being one one the founding pastors of th4e Mission Society. H.
    T. was a ‘mighty man of God’ and great is his reward in heaven.


  1. […] The Rev. Harry Tracy “H. T.” Maclin Jr., educator and founding president of the Mission Society, died April 14 at the age of 88. […]

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