Reverend Hubert McCrary, age 96 passed into life eternal in the early morning hours of Friday, May 10, 2013 in Stanley House Assisted Living. He was born January 23, 1917 in Holmes County, Florida the son of Ralph Frazier McCrary and Annie Lee Nelson Frazier. Hubert worked in many jobs as a young man, in a time very different from today’s America. Jobs were scarce, but Hubert always found work and time to court the love of his life, Ruby. Ruby had been stricken with polio as a child and was confined to a wheel chair but managed to win Hubert’s heart.
By 1944 during the height of World War II Hubert had entered the full time gospel ministry, his first charge as associate at Trinity and for the next thirty four years preached the Word of God in Methodist Churches over three conferences. In 1983, Hubert and Ruby retired to DeFuniak Springs where they immediately became members and got busy serving the Lord in First United Methodist Church of DeFuniak Springs. One of Brother Hubert’s favorite quotes and one he never failed to tell when asked about his ministry was when he served the charge known as Pittsview, Hatchechubee, Euchee, Ossichee and Cottonton. On September 4, 2001 his beloved Ruby was called home. Those who were fortunate enough to have known Reverend Hubert Earl McCrary got an earthly glimpse of The Savior; by Hubert’s gentle caring loving quiet nature, the peace of Jesus Christ became apparent. One could easily recognize the joy of serving The Lord by the “happy heart” Hubert possessed. One of the most telling stories of Hubert’s life, and one he loved to tell was when he was asked to fill the pulpit at First United Methodist Church in DeFuniak, where as a retired minister he had his membership for a number of years. It was on Psalm Sunday and he was filling the pulpit that morning in the absence of the minister. Hubert, along with the youth of the church, carrying palm branches, were to enter the sanctuary from the rear of the church and walked down the aisle to the pulpit area. Standing in the narthex in his robe, one of the children seeing him in his robe, and remembering seeing him every Sunday sitting in the congregation looked up at Hubert and exclaimed “You are no reverend, I know you, and you are no reverend”. Brother Hubert delighted in telling that story and told it often; but the irony is, actually he was “reverend”, and he was reverend his whole life. No doubt at 12:42 A.M. Friday morning Hubert Earl McCray heard an old familiar scripture: Well done thy good and faithful servant……..enter thou into the joy of The Lord.
Hubert is survived by numerous nieces and nephews including a special niece Sue Yearwood who, since Ruby’s death, has seen to his needs. But there are numerous other survivors, those who were touched by the ministry of Hubert McCrary and who will carry the memory of this life well lived as an example.
There will be no flowers, rather memorials may be made in Hubert McCrary’s memory to First United Methodist Church of DeFuniak Springs, or Emerald Coast Hospice or The Activity Fund at Stanley House. Visitation will be Sunday, May 12, 2013 from 1 until 2 P.M. at First United Methodist Church in DeFuniak Springs with the funeral beginning at 2P.M. with Dr. Larry Teasley officiating. Private family burial will be in Darlington Cemetery.
Lamar Spencer, 95, of Pascagoula, MS, the oldest retired minister of the United Methodist Church, Alabama-West Florida Conference, went home to be with his Heavenly Father on March 12, 2013. There he joined his parents, Rev. Samuel Ernest Spencer and Rose Wimberly Spencer; four sisters - Marjorie Hildreth, Virginia Edwards, Ruby Cook, and Pearl Waldrop; and two brothers - Sam Spencer and Rev. Lester Spencer. Also there to welcome him were Rev. Charles Hildreth, William Edwards, Ernest Cook, and Everette Waldrop.
Lamar’s ministry began in 1937. Over a period of 45 years in the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church, he served the following churches: Daleville Methodist Church, Elizabeth Chapel Methodist Church in Milton, Highland Gardens Methodist Church in Montgomery, Columbia Methodist Church, First Methodist Church of Prichard, East Tallassee Methodist Church, Bonifay Methodist Church, First Methodist Church of Hartford, Trinity Methodist Church of Phenix City, First Methodist Church of Greensboro, Chickasaw Methodist Church, First United Methodist Church of Crestview, Forest Park United Methodist Church of Panama City, and First United Methodist Church of Atmore. After retiring, he served the Dauphin Island United Methodist Church for nine years for a total of 54 years of service.
During his time in active ministry Rev. Spencer served on various boards of the Alabama-West Florida Conference. These included the Board of Education, the Board of Ministries and the Board of Retired Ministers, serving as chairman for the latter two. He also served in other capacities, such as camp counselor, workshop teacher, and leader of youth assembly groups. Being a master of finances and funding, he led in the building of many church and educational buildings, dedicating them prior to leaving the service of each church. He also inspired many present-day Methodist pastors to enter into ministry and helped guide them through the educational process.
It was while he was serving Prichard Methodist Church that Lamar met and married his beloved wife of 69 years, Betty. Upon retiring from active ministry, Lamar and Betty moved to Pascagoula, MS, to live near their son, David, and his family. There they became involved with their grandsons’ baseball, soccer, Cub Scouts, and swimming.
Lovingly remembered as “Mar” by his grandsons and great-grandchildren, Lamar rode his bicycle along the beach and picked up cans to sell as his “second mile giving fund”, contributing to local people and groups who were trying to spread the Word of God by helping others in need. He also volunteered with the American Red Cross, worked the election polls, worked for 15 years as an auxiliary volunteer at Singing River Hospital, was a faithful member of the Crusaders Sunday School Class at First United Methodist Church of Pascagoula, and starred on television as the “Old Reliable” whittler in the Foster’s Air-Conditioning & Heating advertisement.
Lamar is survived by his wife, Elizabeth “Betty” Krueger Spencer; his son, Dr. David L. (Mary) Spencer of Pascagoula, MS; his three grandsons, Dr. David L. (Amy) Spencer, Jr. of Ocean Springs, MS, Dr. James C. (Anke) Spencer of Madison, MS, and Edward Spencer of Auburn, AL; and his five great-grandchildren, Brannon Spencer, Taylor Spencer, Samuel Spencer, Johannes Spencer, and Luisa Spencer. Also to mourn Lamar’s death is his sister, Ernestine, and other members of the Spencer and Krueger families. He will be sadly missed.
A celebration of life service will be held at First United Methodist Church, 2710 Pascagoula Street, Pascagoula, MS, on March 15, 2013, at 10:00 AM with visitation for one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at Memorial Gardens in Mobile, AL, following the funeral service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Lamar Spencer Endowed Scholarship Fund at Huntingdon College, 1500 East Fairview Avenue, Montgomery, AL, 36106.
Rev. Roy Millard Spikes passed away Friday, March 1, 2013 in Birmingham, AL. He was 92.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, March 9, 2013 at Black United Methodist Church with Rev. Jordan Gervin and Rev. Robert Marley officiating. Burial will follow in Black Community Cemetery with Jimmy Bottoms of Bottoms Garden Chapel Funeral Home of Hartford directing. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the funeral service at the church.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to Fountain of Love, in care of Fair Haven Retirement Community, 1420 Montclair Road, Birmingham, AL. 35210.
Rev. Spikes was born August 8, 1920 in Black, AL to the late William Roby and Willie Mae Coates Spikes. He served as a Methodist Minister in eleven churches and charges over 39-1/2 years in the Alabama-West Florida Conference.
In addition to his parents and two sisters, he was preceded in death by his wife, Alta Edna Spikes.
He is survived by one sister, Jessie Lou Windham; one son, Rev. Jimmie Roby Spikes (retired); one daughter, Gloria Jane Adams; five grandchildren; six great grandchildren; a host of other relatives and friends.
Gary Turner Frey, 83 of Jacksonville passed away Friday, January 18, 2013.
Gary was born in Birmingham, Al on April 29, 1929 to the late Andrew and Ruth Frey.
In the 60's he was active in the Jax Jaycee's and FL politics and was a retired Methodist minister.
He is survived by his wife, Audrey; Sons, Dan and Don Frey; daughters, Lynda Reynolds, Debbie Whittier and Sonja Tanner; 12 grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren.
A celebration of Gary’s Life was January 22, 2012 at Hillcrest Baptist Church 7673 Collins Road.
In lieu of flowers contributions requested to Community Hospice-NE FL 4266 Sunbeam Rd. 32257.
Frank Thomas Hyles Jr., 76, of Marianna, died Tuesday, January 15, 2013, at Jackson Hospital.
Always aware of his calling, Frank began his ministry at a very young age, being licensed to preach in 1952 with his first appointment in the Alabama-West Florida Conference at age 18. Graduating from Huntingdon College in 1957 and Candler School of Theology in 1960, he earned his Doctor of Ministry from Emory University in 1981. Frank served nine appointments to churches, plus three years as Conference Missionary Secretary and eight years as District Superintendent of the Andalusia District. Frank was known for his love of books, music, fine arts, crossword puzzles, sports and good food. A man faithful to his Lord, his commitments and his family, Frank spent his life giving to others - loving, praying, encouraging and seeking to help wherever he saw a need.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank Thomas Sr. and Willie Frances Hyles and half brother, Morris Hyles. He is survived by his wife, Martha Hyles; one son, Marcus Hyles and wife, Anna, of Montgomery AL.; three daughters, Karen Culverhouse and husband, Jessie, of Wedowee, AL., Kathreen Ashline of Haymarket VA., Jennifer Salter and husband, French, of Madison, AL.; nine grandchildren, Christopher Culverhouse, Lex McLelland Jr. and wife, Rebecca, Chelsea McLelland, Joshua Hyles, Bayleigh Fraser and husband, Andrew, Caleb Hyles, Kaitlin McLelland, Summer Culverhouse, and Trent Salter and one great-grandson, Justin.
Memorial service will be at 11 on Friday, January 18, 2013 at First United Methodist Church of Marianna, with James and Sikes Funeral Home Maddox Chapel directing. Family will receive friends one hour prior to memorial service at the First United Methodist Church of Marianna.
In Lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to, United Methodist Children's Home at, 3140 Zelda Court, Montgomery, AL. 36177-9257
Rev. Donald Jay passed away December 14, 2012. Visitation was held Sunday, December 16, 2012 at Faith Chapel Funeral Home (Pensacola, FL). Funeral services were held December 17, 2012 at St. Andrew United Methodist Church (Pensacola, FL). Internment followed at Evergreen Memorial Gardens (2403 Harrison Ave, Panama City, FL 32405). He is survived by his wife, Noreen.