KITTRELL - Dr. William H. Garner, of Kittrell, NC passed from this life into the waiting arms of the Savior on Tuesday, December 29, 2015. He was born on October 4, 1933 to the late Lorenzo and Daisy Griffin Garner, in Franklinton, NC. He professed his belief in Christ at an early age and became a member of Franklinton Christian Church in Franklinton, NC.
During high school, Dr. Garner excelled as a student. He served as a student assistant and in other leadership roles. Dr. Garner served as the captain of the basketball team and also won oratorical contests. In 1952, he graduated third in his class from Albion Academy and continued his studies at Shaw University in Raleigh, NC. While there, he was a lead vocalist with the university's chorale society, served as a student leader, and was a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated. He left Shaw University to serve in the United States Army, but returned to complete a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. Continuing his education at North Carolina Central University, Durham, NC, he completed a Master of Arts degree in Sociology and History. Having the desire to effectively serve in the Christian ministry, he earned with Honors the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from the Howard University School of Divinity, in Washington, DC.
Dr. Garner engaged in numerous educational pursuits. He served in the following positions: teacher and chairman of the Social Sciences Department, John R. Hawkins High School, Warrenton, NC; principal of Cedar Street and Youngsville Elementary Schools in Franklin County, NC; Social Sciences Coordinator, Kittrell College, Kittrell, NC; Mathematics Center Director and Director of Veteran Affairs, University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC; Associate Director of Development and Adjunct Professor, Shaw University, Raleigh, NC; College Instructor, Duke University, Durham, NC; College Instructor, Louisburg College, Louisburg, NC; Professor, Maple Springs Baptist Bible College and Seminary, Capitol Heights, MD; teacher, Kittrell Job Corps Center, Kittrell, NC; and Vance-Granville Community College, Henderson, NC. After returning to North Carolina, Dr. Garner taught alternative school classes for Warren County Schools in Warrenton, NC.
Ordained as a pastor by the United Church of Christ and the Evangelical Association of Reformed and Congregational Christian Churches, Dr. Garner used his religious training to serve a number of congregations. His dedication to the ministry continued. He and his wife of 56 years, the late Evelyn Kittrell Garner, were the founders of New Birth Christian Church, Franklinton, NC. Dr. Garner also served as pastor of the following congregations: St. Paul United Church of Christ, Middleburg, NC; Hickory Grove United Church of Christ, Raleigh, NC; New Birth Christian Church, and First United Church of Christ, both of Franklinton, NC. His associate pastorates included: Lincoln Temple United Church of Christ, Washington, DC; Providence Baptist Church and Trinity Church, Washington, DC. Dr. Garner's ministry also extended to inmates at the former Lorton Federal Prison located in Lorton, VA.
Dr. Garner leaves a legacy of love and cherished memories to: his daughters, Iris Garner of Kittrell, NC, and Angela G. Davis (Harold) of Henderson, NC; a granddaughter, Angelica R. Davis of Charlotte, NC; his sisters, Brenda Thrower (Dexter) of Raleigh, NC and Rita Yarborough of Baltimore, MD; and other loving relatives and countless friends.
A memorial service honoring his life and legacy will be held on January 9, 2016, 2:00 pm at Spring Street Missionary Baptist Church, 511 Orange Street, Henderson, NC 27536. Online condolences can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org. The family is receiving friends at the home of his daughter Iris Garner, 344 Kittrell Road, Kittrell, NC 27544.