Texas officials honor longtime church member, ACU graduate Jack Pope on his 100th birthday
State officials — led by state Rep. Dan Branch, an elder of the Preston Road Church of Christ in Dallas — honored Pope in a ceremony on the House floor.
“His profound reputation for judicial integrity and principled decision-making prompted former Supreme Court colleague Thomas M. Reavley to call Chief Justice Pope the greatest jurist with whom he has served,” Branch, who served as a law clerk for Pope, said in a concurrent resolution read during the April 18 ceremony.
Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson said: “This occasion is a milestone, for Chief Justice Pope and for Texas. But this is more than a birthday celebration. This is an event to honor one of the country’s great legal legends.”
Pope is a 1934 graduate of Abilene Christian University, where he served as student president. He attended the University of Texas Law School. Branch described Pope as one of ACU’s staunchest supporters.
Branch’s resolution noted that Pope also served as president of The Christian Chronicle’s National Council, an advisory body that preceded the newspaper’s current national governing board.
“Judge Jack Pope is a dedicated Christian and longtime supporter of the Chronicle,” said Lynn McMillon, the paper’s editor, president and CEO. “He is greatly loved and respected.”
University Avenue minister Eddie Sharp said Pope has been a faithful member of the congregation for decades. “He’s in church in his seat every Sunday,” Sharp said. “He is bright and dearly loved.”
Pope retired in 1985. His 38-year tenure as a Texas jurist was notable for his lasting imprint on state water rights, for accomplishing formal judicial education for Texas judges, for advocating a voluntary judicial-ethics code when judges had none and for succeeding in making that code mandatory and enforceable, and for streamlining and simplifying how cases are pleaded and tried, judicial officials said.