Mary Helen Clark

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This article was considered for deletion at Wikipedia on November 8 2014. This is a backup of Wikipedia:Mary_Helen_Clark. All of its AfDs can be found at Wikipedia:Special:PrefixIndex/Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Mary_Helen_Clark, the first at Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Mary_Helen_Clark. Purge

Template:COI Mary Helen Clark (1902-1987) was an American missionary and teacher in Brazil.

File:Mary Helen Clark Letter.JPG
Letter from Mary Helen Clark, dated 1928. Held at the Vanderbilt Library Special Collections

Early life

Mary Helen Clark was born in Paris, Kentucky.[no citations needed here] She attended Kentucky Wesleyan College, where she received her B.A., and later completed her M.A. at Columbia University.[no citations needed here] Clark also did graduate work at the University of Kentucky, Scarritt College, Peabody College, and Cambridge University.[no citations needed here] Clark worked as a public school teacher in Kentucky and Florida for several years before becoming a missionary in 1928.[no citations needed here]

Missionary in Brazil

Clark became a missionary in Rio de Janeiro (city), Brazil in 1928. While there, she taught at the Bennett School,[1] the Izabela Hendrix School in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, and the Colegio Metodista Americano in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul.[2][3] Clark eventually became the principal of the Colegio Americano, serving from 1952-1968.[4][5] Under her leadership, the school added several new courses in close cooperation with the federal government.[6] During the floods in 1964, the school assisted with the disaster relief and cared for 100 victims. For her efforts, Clark subsequently received the "Citizen of Porto Alegre" award, the highest honor given by the City Council of Porto Alegre.[7][8][9]


Clark retired and returned to the United States in 1968, living in Nashville, Tennessee (where her sister Blanche Henry Clark Weaver lived) until her death in 1987.[10] Even after her return to the United States, she remained in contact with teachers and administrators at the Colegio Americano. Her 16 year directorship of the school placed it at the vanguard of education in the region.[11] A new building for the expansion of pre-school and primary education was erected in 1960 and named in her honor.[12] Following her death, her family donated her papers to the Special Collections Library at Vanderbilt University. The Mary Helen Clark Papers contain .42 linear feet and 33 file folders of documentation. The collection consists of correspondence from Mary Helen Clark to her family during the years she resided in Brazil (1928-1946). The collection also has letters written by Blanche Henry Clark, her sister, to the family during a visit to Brazil in 1932. Arranged chronologically, the letters provide a detailed, first-hand account of daily life in Brazil. Topics like food, local customs, Brazilian culture, and contemporary politics are mentioned.


  1. "Mary Helen Clark", Nineteenth Annual Report of the Woman's Missionary Council of The Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1928-1929|
  2. Barreto Jaime, Eduardo Mena. História do metodismo no Rio Grande do Sul. Brazil: Empresa Gráfica Moderna Ltda., 1963
  3. Kennedy, J.L. Cinquenta anos de metodismo no Brasil. Sao Paulo, 1928.
  4. "Where Your Treasure Is": Fifteenth Annual Report of the Woman's Division of Christian Service of the Board of Missions and Church Extension of The Methodist Church, Reports June 1, 1953-May 31, 1954, Roster of Officers June 1, 1954-May 31, 1955, p. 29|
  5. The Methodist Woman. Joint Commission on Education and Cultivation: Board of Missions of the United Methodist Church, 1963, p. 95.
  6. The Encyclopedia of World Methodism. edited by Nolan B. Harmon. Vol. 1 (A-K). Nashville, TN: United Methodist Publishing House, 1974; 540.
  7. Informativo do Museu Metodista de Educação (MMEBI), 1:1 (Outubro 2013)|
  8. List of Recipients of the "Citizen of Porto Alegre" award|ória/cidadãos-honorários/219-cidadãos-de-porto-alegre.html
  9. "Norte Americana e cidadã de Porto Alegre" Folha de Sao Paulo (newspaper), (10/23/68).
  10. Obituaries, "The Tennessean", December 21, 1987.
  11. "Mary Helen Clark", In Margarida Fatima Souza Ribeiro, "Rastros e rosters do protestantismo brasileiro: uma historiografia de mulheres," (Ph.D. dissertation, Universidade Metodista de Sao Paulo, 2008), p. 118-120|
  12. Alba Salgado Belotto (Diretora Geral IPA-IMEC), "Colegio Americano", 01/27/95|

External links