Conference remembers 'all the saints'

LAKELAND -- With Bishop Ken Carter and Rev. George A. Buie presiding, and Rev. Phil Roughton preaching, Friday morning’s Service of Remembrance began with the opening hymn “For All the Saints.”
Worshippers were comforted by the bishop’s Call to Grieve, in which he prayed that God would provide understanding that would relieve aching hearts, as well as an understanding of what it is to live and die in God’s sight.

Roughton’s sermon centered on Jesus’ call for his followers to become servants.  He drew from Mark 9:33-37, in which Jesus asks his disciples what they had been arguing about as they walked.

“They had been arguing about who was the greatest but would not answer Jesus’ question… which was a sad moment for Jesus,” Roughton said. 

Rev. Phil Roughton
Rev. Phil Roughton remembers the faithful servants of the Florida Conference at a memorial service during Annual Conference 2013. Photo by Dave Walter.

He explained that the disciples' silence signaled that ”they had least some understanding that the things they were talking about stood in direct opposition to the kind of kingdom life Jesus had modeled … the kind of people he wanted them to become.”

In contrast to these poor disciples and their failures, Roughton offered an example of Bishop Ed Garrison. In addition to being a voice for justice during the chaotic 1960s, Garrison had served in various jobs, including helping the inexperienced Roughton in his early role as a pastor. Roughton said that Jesus had offered Garrison a better way --to be a servant of all.

“This morning we’re remembering and celebrating the lives of people who heard that very same offer, and like Bishop Garrison and so many others who have gone before, they said yes," he said.

Most of those remembered during Friday’s service were clergy and clergy spouses who died during the year since last annual conference. There was one exception noted in the list below:


  • Raymond Frederick Grossman, 
  • Virgil Wesley Sexton,
  • Guldmar Jackson Blair,
  • Luis Oscar Diaz de Arce,
  • Nicholas Godun II,
  • Ralph Bowers Huston,
  • Michael Jean Kelly,
  • Jaynie Nell Hickman,
  • Donald Ray Comer, 
  • Terrell Taft Brown,
  • Thomas Earl Pittard,
  • Donald Mason Mackey,
  • Eddie Lee Murphy Jr.,
  • William Gordon Mullinax, 
  • James Robert Messer,
  • Walter Davidson Jr.,
  • Alfonso Thomas Delaney.

Diaconal Minister

  • Barbara Lee Hudgel Hooks

Clergy spouses

  • Pauline Goad Evans (who died in 2011),
  • Doris Dollar Brackman,
  • Mildred Louise Haskins Daniel,
  • Nellie Marie Cook VanSickel, 
  • Mary Anne Fortier,
  • Dorothy Lee Jones,
  • Sadie Gerald Appleton Howe,
  • Harriett Hammond Kribbs Kurtz, 
  • Ruth Emily Ross Rider,
  • Mary Elizabeth Harris Hanks, 
  • Jeane Russell Buell,
  • Joan Elizabeth Dalton,
  • Nina Jane Lysitt-Gibson,
  • Thelma Hall Tatum,
  • Lillian Vee Elkes Martell,
  • Thelma Ina Bean Riley Charnley, 
  • Martha Emily Dwyer Hansen,
  • Grace Rosalie Hermann Soka,
  • Hazel Louvenia Tripp Almand,
  • Betty Clo Alday Gibbs,
  • Sara Elizabeth (Jane) Chupp Compton,  and
  • Sarah Kromer Sherman.

In addition, Rev. Buie announced that the following faithful servants died within the last few weeks leading up to Annual Conference:

  • Catalina Magoli Borbon,
  • Harris Cleveland Jones,
  • Curtis W. Norton Sr.,
  • Hilda Elsbree Barrett,
  • Elizabeth Modell Sharp.

-- Anne Dukes is a freelance writer based in Atlanta.

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