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Remembering ‘honored dead,’ God’s ‘extravagant love’

A bell tolled 36 times – once for each of the departed saints from the past year – during the Service of Thanksgiving and Memory at the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church’s 2017 Annual Conference Meeting in Greenville.

Led by Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, about 2,000 conference attendees honored the ministry and work of one active minister, 16 retired ministers, eight spouses, nine surviving spouses and two others who died over the past 12 months.

The Rev. John W. Hipp, superintendent of the Florence District, delivered a heartfelt message of “extravagant love.”

“No one … will ever be left out because of God’s extravagant love,” Rev. Hipp said. “It does not matter color or gender or age or ability or disability. God’s extravagant love is for all. And it never runs out.”

Many in attendance stood silently when the name of a departed loved one was read and a bell tolled during the Act of Remembrance.

Honored dead recognized during the June 6, 2017, service were:

Active ministers

  • James Ronald Cannion (Oct. 20, 1951 – March 28, 2017)

Retired ministers

  • William Francis Anderson (July 4, 1925 – November 27, 2016)
  • Donald Randall Bailey (February 20, 1935 – January 7, 2017)
  • Willie Joe Barr (October 1, 1931 – April 25, 2017)
  • William Kime Coble (January 1, 1930 – June 4, 2016)
  • William Guy “W.G.” Cowart Jr. (July 13, 1934 – December 8, 2016)
  • Joe Gibbs Sr. (July 16, 1942 – March 29, 2017)
  • Carl N. Harris (November 24, 1935 – March 29, 2017)
  • Gene Austin Harris (April 21, 1928 – September 14, 2016)
  • Eugene Covington Holmes (December 17, 1932 – August 17, 2016)
  • William Steve Hughes (July 28, 1944 – November 28, 2016)
  • Clinton Jones “C.J.” Lupo (May 7, 1926 – April 4, 2017)
  • James Michael Morris (August 25, 1946 – September 10, 2016)
  • Billy Ray Osborne (January 8, 1939 – July 11, 2016)
  • Calvin Quarles (September 6, 1930 – October 20, 2016)
  • Thomas Fant Steele Jr. (August 29, 1928 – September 26, 2016)
  • Van Buren Thomas Jr. (September 17, 1944 – June 6, 2016)

Spouses

  • Inez Calhoun Bowser (February 4, 1942 – November 29, 2016)
  • Carrie Bell Evans Geddis (December 20, 1938 – July 20, 2016)
  • Sybil Fuller Hall (December 22, 1949 – November 12, 2016)
  • Sally Currence Hays (March 11, 1953 – November 10, 2016)
  • Gerda P. Hook (December 21, 1942 – May 19, 2016)
  • Cecelia S. McAlister (June 5, 1932 – May 11, 2017)
  • Edith Mildred Reaves Pearson (May 20, 1937 – December 22, 2016)
  • Eartha L. Thompson (August 11, 1931 – November 20, 2016)

Surviving spouses

  • Annie Laurie Bell Atkinson (August 6, 1913 – April 13, 2017)
  • Gladys Belk Blackmon (March 26, 1923 – February 18, 2017)
  • Naomi Louise Breedlove (May 29, 1947 – October 13, 2016)
  • Vergene Jenkins Colloms (April 12, 1917 – August 20, 2016)
  • Caroline “Nina” Martin Couch (June 28, 1928 – August 27, 2016)
  • Virginia James Graves (September 19, 1928 – August 20, 2016)
  • Mary Lee Newton Herndon (November 29, 1924 – November 20, 2016)
  • Ruth Ellen Cox Jordan (September 3, 1927 – April 5, 2017)
  • Sunnie A. Cheeks Voorhees (February 14, 1932 – March 7, 2017)

Others

  • Rosemarie Whitener Nivens (March 5, 1948 – November 19, 2016)
  • Michael C. Watson Sr. (January 15, 1926 – December 20, 2016)

 

Permanent link to this article: http://www.umcsc.org/home/remembering-honored-dead-gods-extravagant-love/

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