On May 24, 1918, Mon-roe and Myrtle (Wood) Knupp gave birth to their eighth child. Clarence Jean Knupp (CJ) in Warren, Pennsylvania. CJ was the second youngest of six brothers and three sisters. CJ grew up in a house near Warren in the village of Starbrick. He then met the love of his life Mildred Marcella Beck (Milly).
During their courtship, they started attending the Pilgrim Holiness Church (now Wesleyan) in Warren, where Rev. and Mrs. Leo-nard Drury were the pastors. It was during this time, after deep concern over their spiritual welfare, that they sought and found Jesus Christ as their personal Sa-vior. They both spent their entire lives seeking to honor Him and place Him first. They were married on June 22, 1938, and shortly after , they felt the call to the ministry.
On October 31, 1939, Robert Clarence was born. Around this time Milly and Clarence moved next door to the greatest friend a fam-ily could have in life, Mary Farr (Mary Farr is soon go-ing to be celebrating her 104th birthday). While in Warren, Marcella May was born on May 26, 1941.
Clarence studied for the ministry and after four years, he and Milly took their first pastorate in Cly-mer, Pa., and it was here Walter Leonard was born on June 13, 1944. After three years in Clymer they moved to Ogdensburg, NY, where they pastored for another three years and it was here Stephen Monroe was born on December 29, 1946. Soon after, Clarence Jean Knupp was ordained on July 8th, 1947, in the Pilgrim Holiness Church.
Their next pastorate was in West Newton, Pa. After a few years there, they moved to Lisbon, OH. At Lisbon they felt the call to contin-ue their ministry in a foreign country as mis-sionaries. In the summer of 1954, Milly and Clarence took their four young chil-dren and moved to George-town, British Guiana (now Guyana), and later to Dutch Guiana (now Suriname), and various islands in the Caribbean.
Clarence took his daughter Marcella on many of his trips to jungle com-munities. The younger two boys were attending school, and the oldest son, Robert, had returned to the United States after three years overseas, in order to complete his education. Marcella has many fond memories of these one-on-one trips with her father (she claims to be his favorite daughter). Clarence was an extremely talented artist; many times illustrating his sermons for the people he ministered to.
Clarence was a great lover of the jungle. He loved to fish and hunt. He particularly enjoyed spear fishing. He was also a lover of orchids, which grew in the jungle. He would find wild orchids growing in the jungle and bring them home to his spectacular or-chid garden, which he kept at their home. He also was a gifted carpenter; he is responsible for building numerous churches and buildings in Guyana, Suri-name and the Caribbean. Clarence started the Bible School in Guyana, and lived to see the completion of this fine facility. Clarence had many similar-ities to his Jesus; he was a carpenter and was a great fisher of men. Many people have attested to their lives being changed because of the teaching and love of CJ. Countless people now have a personal relation-ship with Jesus Christ, be-cause of the influence of Clarence. His example was always Christ like.
On October 12th, 1961, Clarence and Milly re-ceived a big surprise; Timothy James was born in Guyana, S.A. He was the last of their five children.
Upon returning to the U.S. after all these years of service, Clarence and Milly spent a great deal of time traveling throughout the U.S. promoting missions.
The couple retired and moved to Phoenix, Arizo-na, where three of their five children live. Clarence and Milly were married for 65 years. They were not only lovers, but also the best of friends. They raised five children, and took great pride in their 13 grandchil-dren, 29 great-grandchildren (two of which have preceded him in death), and 3 great-great- grandchildren. Milly went to her reward in November, 2003, leaving Clarence here to carry on his work.
CJ went to join (as best put by his great-granddaughter Emily) his two greatest loves, Jesus and Milly, on May 22, 2012 in Youngtown, Arizo-na, two days shy of his 94th birthday. He will be greatly missed by family and friends, but leaves a tremendous legacy behind.
If you wish to advance the cause to which CJ and Milly dedicated their lives, memorial gifts may be given and be made payable to Global Partners and la-beled "Memorial to CJ Knupp for Wesleyana Camp Guyana". Please send contributions to: Glo-bal Partners, PO Box 50434, Indianapolis, IN, 46250. There will be a memorial service in Scotts-dale, AZ on June 16, at the Scottsdale Wesleyan Church.