A Historical Perspective; Member Spotlight on Dr. A.V. Huff

On February 19, over 200 local residents–including one delightful young man dressed as Alexander Hamilton–ventured to the Hughes Main Library to hear Dr. A. V. Huff discuss the life of Alexander Hamilton as part of the Chautaugua Series. A distinguished author, award-winning teacher, and public servant, A.V. always draws a crowd, even when the weather is wet and cold. On this Tuesday night, he presented details about the personal and political life and times of Hamilton that sparked questions and conversation extending an hour after his presentation ended. All attending enjoyed a time of energy and engagement in the details of Hamilton’s life as well as their implications for our current times.

In his introduction, the crowd learned of A.V.’s strong commitment to history and education. Having taught history and served as the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Dean at Furman University, he has inspired students as well as community members through his teaching and administrative leadership. His PhD is from Duke University. He is passionate about southern history and is author of Greenville: The History of the City and County in the South Carolina Piedmont. In his commitment to education as public service, A. V. served on Chautauqua’s Board from its inception in 1999 and is director emeritus.

A.V.’s service within the United Methodist Church is also long and distinguished. As a young man, he was active in the Methodist Youth Fellowship, eventually serving as Conference Youth President. He also served as a member of the National Conference of Methodist Youth, a youth delegate to the 1956 World Methodist Conference, and member of the General Board of Temperance. He continued to distinguish himself at Yale Divinity School. As did Bishop J. O. Smith, a former pastor of BSUMC, he won the senior prize in preaching. After graduation, he served as associate pastor of Washington Street Church in Columbia where he met his wife Kate, who was director of Christian education. They have two children, Vernon and Mary, and are the grandparents of four treasured grandsons.

The author of A Short History of South Carolina Methodism,
serving as the current South Carolina Conference Historian, A.V. is a beloved friend and treasured Sunday School teacher and preacher at the Trinity Campus. He always inspires thoughtful considerations of complex issues, refuses to accept simplicities, and encourages others to discern how we can live best as citizens and Christians.

by Carol Wilson, BSUMC Trinity Campus

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