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Coningsby Matheson Gordon, D. D.

Forest Lawn Cemetery
Location: C, Block 8, Lot 27, Space 3
(January 16, 1876 -- July 29, 1957)

 Coningsby Matheson Gordon photo

Coningsby Matheson Gordon served as minister of the First Christian Church, Disciples, of Norfolk from 1927-1947. He was also interested in civic improvement and instrumental in the establishment of the Norfolk Housing Authority to eliminate slum housing within the city of Norfolk. 

Gordon was born in Alma Plains, South Australia in 1876.  After coming to the United States, he graduated from the College of the Bible in Lexington, Ky., in 1906 and received his certificate of philosophy from Transylvania University, then known as Kentucky University, in that same year. 

He returned to Australia where he served as pastor of the Swanston Street Church of Christ in Melbourne, Australia, for five years.  He was then elected to the faculty of the College of the Bible, Melbourne, where he taught the New Testament and homiletics (the science of preaching sermons) for three years. 

Returning to the United States in 1915, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Butler University.  He then earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree from Harvard University in 1917 and his Masters of Arts from there in 1918.  The degree of doctor of divinity from Lynchburg College was conferred upon him in 1943. 

Dr. Gordon spent from 1919 to 1924 in Australia serving as director of the Strength of the Empire movement, a prohibition organization headquartered in Melbourne.  Returning again to the United States in 1924, he became executive secretary of the Council of Churches, Atlantic City, N.J.  While in this position, he served as supply pastor for some of the largest churches in the United States and Canada, including the First Congregational Church of Washington, D.C., the Emanuel Congregational Church in Montreal, and the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York.

He moved to Norfolk in 1927, at which time he became pastor of the First Christian Church, Disciples, of Norfolk. 

He married Jean Craigie of Melbourne, Australia, in 1910.  They had both later become naturalized citizens.



Community Builders of Norfolk, Norfolk, 1942, p. 83 (source of photograph)
The Virginian-Pilot, “Dr. Conigsby M. Gordon, 81. Widely Known Pastor, Dies” July 30, 1957, p. 14.

Biographical information provided by Norfolk Bureau of Cemeteries. Profile written by Michael Frost, Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation volunteer.

Visitor Information

Visitor Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Office hours: Monday to Sunday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM

Free parking inside cemetery.

Admission Cost: Free

Address: 8100 Granby Street, Norfolk, VA 23505

Official web site for more information:

Norfolk Society for Cemetery Conservation Web Site: