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The Association of Stated Clerks

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

The C. Fred Jenkins

Constitutional Services Award

Awarded annually in memory of C. Fred Jenkins to an individual or group that has given wise,

prudent, and vigilant support to the Constitution and polity of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

C. Fred Jenkins served his Lord as Associate Stated Clerk from 1990 until his death in 2000.  During his tenure, Fred was available always to those who sought his counsel and wisdom, and demonstrated in his responses, in wonderful ways, a love of the church and a grace in the face of our frailties.  In his memory and in an attempt to preserve and nurture the values for which he stood, the Association has established this award.

Teaching Elder Mark A. Tammen

Mark A. Tammen loves the Church and this denomination. Initially as Manager of Polity Guidance and then as Director of Constitutional Services, he wrote or consulted on articles that still guide the church implementing specific Constitutional provisions. As an Associate Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, he responded to a multitude of phone calls, emails, and letters, interpreting the Constitution and polity of the Presbyterian Church (USA). He served as staff to committees, including the Advisory Committee on the Constitution.  Steeped in the words of the Constitution, Mark understands its power and intent.


Having been trained in secular law and theology, Mark understood human nature and governing body frailties.  He acknowledged the tension between the letter of the law and its application.  Mark’s counsel was wise and prudent because of his knowledge and experience. As an Associate Stated Clerk some of Mark’s characteristics that served him and the church well were humor in the face of stress, good listening skills, a calm presence when a situation was tense.  He had an ability to commiserate with a questioner eventually guiding the conversation into a constitutional application, recognizing the realities of the church as it lives.  He helped clerks find assistance among their own colleagues.

Mark had a personal relationship with C. Fred Jenkins. Fred was Mark’s supervisor, teacher, and mentor.  Mark’s respect and love for Fred were obvious.  He carried on Fred’s legacy and his love for the Presbyterian Church (USA).  He had Fred’s own words emblazoned in his memory, shaping the way he answered questions – “who has the right to be wrong?” or “who will complain?” or “sure you could do it, but why would you want to?”  Undoubtedly Fred himself smiles as Mark receives this award in his name:   a tribute to Mark’s years of service and recognition of his own gratitude for Fred’s love of and impact on the church.  

Mark’s service to the church include:

Ordination to Ministry of the Word and Sacrament by Chicago Presbytery in 1983

Stated Clerk of Blackhawk Presbytery from March of 1993 to April of 1994

Associate Stated Clerk of the General Assembly from April of 1994 to June of 2011, first as Manager of Polity Guidance, then director of Constitutional Services

Executive Presbyter in Long Island Presbytery from June of 2011 to the present

With gratitude and great admiration, the Association of Stated Clerks is privileged to present the C. Fred Jenkins Constitutional Services Award to Mark A. Tammen on this 17th Day of June in the year of our Lord 2014, at the meeting of The Association of Stated Clerks at the 221st General Assembly (2014) in Detroit, Michigan.

                                                                                                                                                                      Rev. Doris Arnett Whitaker  

President, Association of Stated Clerks