Reverend Paul and Myrtle Carlson of Montrose
Paul and Myrtle Carlson met in 1946 at week-long evangelical services held in the little church on the Meshoppen Creek Road, between Brooklyn and Dimock.
At the time, Paul was a senior at the Brooklyn High School, while Myrtle had already graduated on the Honor Roll from Montrose High School in 1945 and was then employed by the Department of Public Assistance. Paul graduated from Brooklyn High in 1947. In 2007, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Mountain View High School, the regional successor to Brooklyn High School, as well as other local schools.
Following their marriage at the Bridgewater Baptist Church on August 5, 1950, the newlyweds set out for Providence Bible Institute in Rhode Island.
After graduation, the Carlsons went on to further study. In 1974, Myrtle received her Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, with a double major in sociology and psychology from Queens University, Flushing, NY. Paul earned the Master of Divinity degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and a Masters in Public Administration from the State University of New York at Albany, and his Doctorate of Education from New York University.
Myrtle retired in 1978 as the Utilization Review Coordinator for the 420-bed Flushing Hospital in New York City. She earlier served as secretary to the dean of the School of Law at The University of Pittsburgh and as a cartographic draftsman for the US Army Map Service in Providence, RI.
In retirement, Myrtle served as Regent of the Montrose Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution for six years and also participated in DAR activities at the district level.
A highlight of her DAR membership came in 2005 when she was named that years' winner of the organizations National Essay Contest. The prize was based on her essay of Sergeant Elijah Whiting, her forbearer and Revolutionary War patriot through whose service she became eligible for DAR membership.
While a student at Providence Bible Institute, Paul was the Rhode Island correspondent for the Boston bureau of the United Press. Following graduation he served as a newscaster for radio station WNBH in New Bedford, MA before joining the staff of The Pocono Record in Stroudsburg, where he received the top prize for spot news, as well as second prize for feature writing in the Pennsylvania Publishers Association Better Writing Contest of 1956.
Paul began his career in journalism in 1947 as the Susquehanna County correspondent for the old Binghamton Sun. He was moved to the city staff as religion editor and covered city hall at the time of his marriage.
In 1955 he became a correspondent for Religious New Service, an affiliation that was to continue for 30 years.
Because of his background as a newsman, Paul was offered and accepted the post of Secretary for Publicity with the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland, following graduation from seminary. In 1961 he supervised the press room for English-speaking journalists at the WCC's Third Assembly in New Delhi, India. He later held public relations posts for the United Presbyterian Church, the United Church of Christ, and Union Theological Seminary, all in Manhattan. A highlight of his career was to be co-opted by the National Council of Churches as one of five public relations executives to escort a group of Soviet clergymen on a tour of the United States.
He was an adjunct instructor at the University of Scranton, a Jesuit Institution, while he served as the Executive Director of the United Churches of Northeastern Pennsylvania. He is also the author of eight books, including Christianity After Auschwitz: Evangelicals Encounter Judaism in the New Millennium; Faith and Fanaticism: Radical Islam’s Crusade Against Israel, the Church and he West; and The Empty Pew: Why Americans are Abandoning the Churches. He remains a retired member of the Religion Newswriters Association.
The Carlsons also served churches in New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, while pursuing graduate study and their respective careers. Paul was named Pastor Emeritus of the Silver Lake Presbyterian Church after serving that congregation for five years in retirement.
Long active in ecumenical and interfaith activities, Paul was awarded the Education Award of the National Conference of Christians and Jews in 1978. He presently serves as one of three vice presidents of the National Christian Leadership Conference for Israel.
The Carlsons have two sons. Timothy is a graduate of Penn State University and is employed by the CT Corporation in Manhattan as a software designer. His wife, Elizabeth, received her baccalaureate degree from the University of Hawaii and a master's degree from NYU.
Paul, Jr. and his wife Laura Anne both received their PhDs in marine biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They are employed as research scientists for the Florida Department of Natural Resources in St. Petersburg. They are the parents of two sons. Daniel is a Fulbright Scholar now completing his PhD in physical oceanography at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovoth, Israel. Their younger son, Aaron, is a student at the Mayo School of Medicine in Rochester, MN.