Larry Ronell Thomas
Pastor Larry Ronell Thomas, 67, of Metter, formerly of Waycross, departed this life Tuesday (July 24, 2018) at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center in Americus.
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14
He was born Nov. 13, 1950 in Waycross. He was the son of the late Aretha Harris and Coley Thomas.
He served in the United States Marine Corps where he worked as an intelligence specialist. He attained the ranking of sergeant during his time of service. After an honorable release, he transferred to United States Army as a vehicle mechanic. He received an honorable discharge.
He accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior early in his life. Later in life, he re-dedicated his life to the Lord after an encounter with the beloved Mother Dorothy during a Mothers Board Church meeting.
He was a long-time member of New Life Community Church of Truth, Inc. He accepted the calling on his life a short time afterward and joined the ministry. He was extremely passionate about his membership as he served as a chairman deacon, superintendent, pastor’s aid committee member, praise team, men’s day president and elder. He was ordained as a pastor Oct. 28, 2013. He was the pastor of New Life Oasis of Hope Worship Center in Metter.
He was united in holy matrimony to Terri D. Rowe on April 23, 2005. He was blessed with four children from previous relationships. He was blessed with three step-children within his marriage.
He worked as a semi-truck driver for more than 20 years, most recently with Triangle J Drivers. He was well loved and respected by his co-workers and friends. He loved to tell others of the love of Jesus Christ whenever he could.
He enjoyed life and believed you should live life to the fullest. He was a strong, hard-working man who lent a helping hand to anyone in need. He always thought of others before himself. His love for family extended far beyond his natural family. It was common to see him offer words of love and advice to children and young adults. His genuine kindness to others earned him the respect by everyone that met him. He will truly, truly be missed.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a daughter, Elizabeth Thomas, and granddaughter, Nijae Thomas.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife, Terri D. Thomas; four children, LaSharda (Cornelius) Douglas, Teree (Joseph) Sanders, Freddie Orr Jr. and Micheal Orr; nine grandchildren, Wardrick Whitfield Jr., Tisian Whitfield, Danaija Douglas, Justin Douglas, Malachi Wagner, Paige Wagner, Joseph Sanders, Jr., Ma’Kenzie Orr and Aleyah Orr; three brothers, Pastor Jackie (Lenora) Harris, Leon Thomas and Reginald (Doretha) Harris; two sisters, Connie (Bradley) Robinson and Antoniette Harris; and a host of other loving family members.
The family will receive friends from 1 until 2 p.m. today at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, 702 Arnold McKinney Drive, Waycross.
A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. today at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Waycross where the Rev. Fer-Rell Malone is pastor. Bishop Cheeks will offer words of comfort.
Interment will follow in Shiloh Cemetery, Moore Street, Blackshear.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.raingememorialchapelinc.com
Rainge Memorial Chapel Funeral Home of Blackshear is in charge of arrangements.
Mary Louise Welch
Mary Louise Welch, 92. died Sunday (July 29, 2018) at Appling Healthcare following a brief illness.
She was an Atkinson County native but lived in Baxley for many years. She was a longtime member of St. James A.M.E. Church in Baxley where she served in different capacities.
She was the daughter of Benjamin Welch and Rebecca McBride Welch and the granddaughter of the Rev. M.L. Welch and Ada Welch. She was also preceded in death by brothers and sisters, Isaiah Welch, David Barns, Elizabeth Welch and Daniel Welch.
She is survived by one daughter, Connie Croff and Lesley Barnes, of Baxley, Lloyd Eugene Welch, of Las Vegas, Nev., two sisters, Bonnie Hayes, of Orlando, Fla., and Evelyn Graham (Warren), of St. Petersburg, Fla.; and a brother, Luther Welch, of Omaha, Neb.; one step-son, Daniel Barnum, of Baxley; five grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends.
Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until 12 p.m. Saturday at St. James A.M.E. Church in Baxley.
The funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at St. James A.M.E. Church, 418 N. Comas St., Baxley. Interment will follow in the Baxley Cemetery.
Arrangements are with Welch&Brinkley Mortuary.