Milestones, May 2021
Larry and Tricky Arnold
The Arnolds have seven children, five of whom are over 60.
Larry preaches for the New Lexington Church of Christ in Ohio.
Dr. Charles Edmond Baggett, 81, passed away on March 12, 2021, at his home in Hartselle, Ala., with his family by his side.
Charles was born Sept. 11, 1939, to David Allen and Eva Lee (Shaw) Baggett in Hartselle. He knew he was called to preach when he did his first sermon at the age of 11. At 16, he had his own congregation. He graduated from Morgan County High School in 1957.
Charles preached the gospel for 69 years. He began working in jail/prison ministry in 1984. He was chaplain at Limestone Correctional in Alabama for 22 years. In 2002, Charles was recognized as Chaplain of the Year. After his retirement, he volunteered as chaplain at the Decatur Work Release in Alabama. He also started the Freedom Through Truth program and helped establish Project Rescue in Priceville, Ala. In 2015, Charles and his wife, Martha, were awarded honorary doctorates from Heritage Christian University in Florence, Ala.
Charles is survived by his wife, Martha (Earwood) Baggett, and his sister, Ann Feller. His six children are Terri (Keith) Rigoni, Donna (Johnny) Hope, William Alan (Lisa) Baggett, Alan (Lori) Parker, Sherie (David) Miljanich, and Maria (Steve) Hicks. He is also survived by 12 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Charles’ memorial service was held on Saturday, March 20, at Beltline Church of Christ in Decatur, Ala., where he was a longtime member. The family requests donations be made to Project Rescue, Heritage Christian University or Hospice of the Valley.
Richard Johnson Jr.
Richard Allison “Coach” Johnson Jr., 95, of Searcy, Ark., passed away from natural causes, old age and a worn-out body on Feb. 17, 2021.
Coach was born Feb. 17, 1925, in Nashville, Tenn., to Richard and Gladys Johnson. He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Army while stationed in New Guinea and the South Pacific.
Coach was outstanding in football, basketball, baseball and track and was a Golden Glove Mid-South boxing champion while attending Whitehaven High School in Memphis, Tenn.
He attended Harding College (now University) in Searcy and served as an assistant coach for Harding’s first football team in 1959. After graduation, he and his family moved to Georgia, where he coached high school football, girls’ basketball and baseball. In 1966 Coach Johnson’s Dykes High School Colts won the AAA Georgia High School State Championship. He was voted Georgia High School Coach of the Year.
In 1969 he returned to his alma mater, where he was a teacher, offensive line coach and head baseball coach for 20 years. After a career 289 wins at Harding, a flagpole was erected in his honor at Jerry Moore Field. A bronze plaque in the grandstands, presented by chancellor emeritus Clifton L. Ganus Jr. on April 6, 2019, reads: “His records are many; his influence on the lives of young men is immeasurable.”
During his time at Harding — as a student and as a coach — he preached for several small Churches of Christ in rural Arkansas. He served for 15 years as an elder of the Downtown Church of Christ in Searcy. His wife, Joyce, was secretary for several Harding administrators. Coach and “Mrs. J,” as she was known, were members of the West Side Church of Christ in Searcy for more than 15 years until his death.
In addition to his wife of 73 years and four months, Coach is survived by his son, Bill Johnson (Betty) of Searcy; son-in-law Gregg Ratliff (Janet) of St. Louis, Mo.; four grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by daughter Nancy Johnson Ratliff and grandson Brian Luke Johnson.
William E. Jones Sr.
Dr. William E. Jones Sr., 90, evangelist, music minister and father transitioned to Glory on Jan. 9, 2021.
Born in Birdsong, Ark., to Lewis and Osilene Jones, he became a native of Chicago. Encouraged by a singing father and praying mother, at 15 William was baptized at Michigan Avenue Church of Christ in Chicago.
Because of his talent for singing, Jones discontinued formal education to travel the brotherhood. His ministry began at the Michigan Avenue congregation under the late evangelist Levi Kennedy, who recommended Jones to the late evangelist G.P. Holt as a prospective song leader. During those years, Jones led music for Jimmy Steward, Russell Moore, W.D. Booker and notable gospel preachers. Those experiences brought foundational teaching, music and preaching preparation and cherished friendships.
When young William returned to Chicago, he and his father organized the Christian Stars Chorus at Old Maypole Church of Christ. Jones also sang with the Rising Sons Quartet, a trailblazing a cappella group known for motivating congregations.
Jones married Viola French, the grand soprano. They were blessed with four children. Jones continued preaching the gospel and singing. Kennedy encouraged him to assist another preacher, Norris Foulkes, so the Jones family traveled each week to the Robbins, Ill., congregation.
Known as a “singing preacher,” Jones followed his passion: to be a servant minister of the 87th St. Church of Christ (formerly Miller/Maxwell Street). During his 38-year ministry, he organized and directed the Campaign for Christ, a citywide gospel meeting with members of Churches of Christ across the Chicago area and surrounding states in 2015. Jones received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Metropolitan Christian University in Louisville, Ky.
Viola Jones, his wife of 63 years, labored beside him until her death. Jones retired from preaching in 2014 due to health problems, but his ministry continued: calling on members, studying his Bible, watching cowboy shows and singing with his children.
He is remembered by children Juanita Lee (Willie) of South Orange, N.J.; Deborah Walker (Gerald) of Robbins, Ill.; William Eddie Jones Jr. (Deborah) of Olympia Fields, Ill.; and John Jones (Sharon) of Troy, Ohio; eight grandchildren; and five great grandchildren.
He is mourned by his 87th Street church family, friends and church members throughout the country.
Jane Johnson Waites
Born in Franklin, Tennessee, Jane grew up on Maple Lawn Farm, graduated from Franklin High School and attended Agnes Scott College, where she met and later married Georgia Tech student, Bill Waites who. He, along with her parents her and brother Dob, preceded her in death.
Her five children “rise up and call her blessed”: LeaAnne (Kevin) Hammond, Mat (Dani) Waites, Dob (Korky) Waites, Ben (Wendy) Waites, and Emily (Mike) Gifford. Other survivors include one sister Anne (Daniel) Ridinger, twelve grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, two nieces, and two nephews.
In August 1946 Jane was baptized in a cow trough because the creek was dry. She spent the rest of her life serving the Lord. Jane worked beside her late husband Bill, a deacon and later an elder of the Druid Hills Church of Christ. She taught Bible classes and used her talents to serve the Lord. She was anxious to share whatever she had — flowers from her garden, food from her kitchen, her car to drive others to Bible class or doctor appointments, cards to cheer and encourage, her phone to check on the sick, and even her beach house or a spare room in her home. She performed countless loving deeds for others, especially widows, the lonely, the less fortunate, and those recovering from substance abuse.
She organized poinsettia sales to support Rainbow Omega, an Alabama faith-based nonprofit that provides vocational and residential programs to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Always focused on helping others, Jane taught at Little Dears in Alpharetta and first grade at the Smyrna campus of Greater Atlanta Christian School. She was a loyal supporter of Christian education all over the world and participated in overseas mission trips.
Truly Jane devoted her time, talents, and material goods in service to God, family and an untold number of others. She did not grow weary in well-doing.
C. Bruce White
Dr. C. Bruce White, former minister for the Madison Church of Christ, passed away March 10, 2021. He served as pulpit minister for the Tennessee congregation from 2001 to 2004 and was an associate minister from 1979-1984 when Ira North served as pulpit minister.
Dr. White was born in Pulaski, Tenn., and was reared in Birmingham, Ala. He was preceded in death by his wife, Judy White, and daughter Terri Parrish.
He is survived by his son, Michael White, brother Dwayne White, grandchildren Hunter White, Bailey White, and Landon Parrish and great-grandchildren Magnolia and Mabel Parrish.
Dr. White taught Bible and psychology at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., from 1979 to 1985. He taught counseling for ministers at Southern Christian University in Montgomery, Ala., from 1991 to 1993. He was a minister for Churches of Christ for 54 years and taught Bible classes at the Madison church into his 80s.
He began his preaching career after spending two years at Auburn University in Alabama, where he played baseball. He transferred to Lipscomb as a junior to study ministry and played one year of baseball there. It was Coach Ken Dugan’s first year as coach there.
Dr. White preached for churches in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Arkansas on a full-time basis. He preached at gospel meetings in 22 states and three foreign countries. He spoke on the campuses of almost every college and university associated with Churches of Christ as well as at 18 state university campuses.
He received his education at Auburn, Lipscomb, Harding School of Theology, the University of Oklahoma and the World-Wide Bible Institute. All totaled, he had a bachelor’s, three master’s degrees, and Doctor of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry. He authored two books, numerous tracts and articles for journals, papers and periodicals. He had a part in three different TV programs and five radio programs through the years.
He was a preacher, educator, counselor, civic leader and a family man. He wore many hats during his career. He was chairman of the board for Childhaven Children’s Home in Cullman, Ala., for many years. He was executive director for the Tennessee Children’s Home in Spring Hill, Tenn., for several years. He had a private counseling practice in several of the locations where he preached and was the first full-time counselor on a church staff for the Churches of Christ, serving in that capacity for the Madison church from 1979 to 1984.
While he had many interests and varied activities, he had the heart of a preacher and always wanted to be known as a preacher. He used to say, “I am not a counselor who preaches some; I am a preacher who counsels some. I always want to be known as a preacher.”
Memorial gifts may be made to Tennessee Children’s Home: www.tennesseechildrenshome.org.
William Alex (Bill) Yasko was born Dec. 26, 1935, in Chattanooga, Tenn., and died March 29, 2021, in Lawrenceville, Ga. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Dorothy C. Yasko, two children, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
In 1972, Bill and Dot enrolled in the Sunset School of Preaching (now Sunset International Bible Institute) in Lubbock, Texas. Upon graduation, Bill was asked to be one of the ministers of the Sunset Church of Christ in Lubbock and was also offered an instructor’s position at the school.
In his life Bill served as an evangelist at The Maricamp Road Church of Christ in Ocala, Fla., and the Westbury Church of Christ in Houston. In 2005 he retired.
While retired he preached for the Church of Christ in Trinity, Texas; the Oak Grove Church of Christ in Soda, Texas; the Shepherd Church of Christ in Texas; and the Needville Church of Christ in Texas.
Even after leaving the Sunset institute, Bill and Dot worked tirelessly in recruiting men to come and train to be preachers.
After retiring from full-time pulpit ministry, Bill worked as a field representative for Sunset and hosted an annual dinner in the Houston area that raised thousands of dollars for the ministry.
In January 2020, Sunset gave the Grey Eagle Award for an outstanding alumnus to Bill.
“Only God knows how many people were introduced to their Lord because of what God did through Bill for so many years,” administrators at Sunset said in a social media post. “We want to echo the words spoken to Bill, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’”
There will be a memorial later in the summer at the Westbury Church of Christ in Houston.
In lieu of flowers, Bill requested that contributions be made to Sunset International Bible Institute, 3723 34th Street, Lubbock TX 79410 or online at www.sibi.cc.
Naomi Ruth Malick
‘Wife of Noble Character’
Ruth Malick was born on Dec. 8, 1938, in Glendale, W.Va., and grew up in nearby Moundsville, W.Va. She was a registered nurse and graduated with her degree from the Ohio Valley General Hospital School of Nursing in 1959. It was at this hospital where she worked for two years before marrying and moving to the Trenton, N.J., area with her husband Gordon. After working at Mercer Hospital and Saint Francis Hospital, she retired to raise her two children. In 1980, she became a library assistant at the College of New Jersey and retired from there in 2000.
Ruth was a loving wife, mother and grandmother. Throughout her life she was known for her compassion to family and all who she became acquainted with. Throughout her life, she provided care and support to elderly neighbors and friends, many times using her nursing background to assist.
During graveside services on Feb. 25, 2021, minister Bruce Wadzeck of the Princeton Church of Christ proclaimed Ruth as the Proverbs 31 “Wife of Noble Character.”
A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
She selects wood and flax and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night: she provides food for her family and portions for her female servants.
She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
When is snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.
Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Ruth is survived by her loving husband of 59 years, Gordon Malick; son Thomas Malick of Manassas, Va.; daughter Linda Brooks and husband Glenn of Jackson, N.J.; grandchildren Ashley Gurganus of Las Vegas, Robert Malick of Centerville, Va., and Olivia Malick of Centerville.
Naomi Ruth was predeceased in life by her parents Donley and Mildred Glover and older siblings Doris and Norman Glover.
Ruth Malick was a longtime member of the Princeton Church of Christ in New Jersey.
Pioneering missionary to India
Ronald Alan Clayton, age 76, of Hamilton, Ala., passed away March 3, 2021, at his residence. He was born in Vernon, Texas, on Aug. 12, 1944 to William Franklin Clayton Jr. and Sara Ellen Cabe Clayton.
The oldest of four children in a military family, he moved frequently and lived on military bases across the U.S. and the Panama Canal Zone. He dedicated his life to the Great Commission and served as a pulpit minister for Churches of Christ for 20 years before moving to India, where he and his wife, Karen, directed India Missions for 42 years. The ministry resulted in millions of baptisms and thousands of church plants.
A memorial service was held March 8 at the Hamilton Church of Christ with Robert Hall and Ben Renegar officiating. The Hamilton church supports India Missions, and Ron Clayton was an active part of the congregation for 45 years, making regular visits and reports on the work in India.
He was preceded in death by his son, Gregory Allen Clayton, and parents William and Sara Clayton.
He leaves to cherish his memories his wife, Karen Clayton; sons Jeff (Karen) Clayton and Kyle (Madhuri) Clayton; grandchildren Page, Sammy, Brendon, Prema, Grant, Jordan, Preethi and Maddie; great-grandchildren Bo and Silas; sisters Cathy Burgess, Laura Mosier and Pat Jenson; and a host of nieces, nephews and friends.
Memorial gifts may be sent to India Missions, P.O. Box 1448, Hamilton, AL 35570.
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