Arthur Wayne Church - husband, Daddy, Papacorn, pastor, and friend - was welcomed into the presence of Jesus Christ on July 31st, 2020. He was 75 years old.
Brother Wayne was born on October 20th, 1944, in Lake City, Florida, to the late Mr. George Church and Mrs. Edith (Williams) Gilbert (Joseph Gilbert). He was the younger brother of the late Lamar (Myrtle) Church.
He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1965 where he served as a sergeant for four years before being honorably discharged.
Sister Evalee (Lucas) Church was the love of Brother Wayne's life. They were married on December 19th, 1966, and were delighted to welcome their daughter Kimberlee Denise in 1969. They spent 42 years laughing, serving Jesus Christ and each other, and buying too many gifts for their granddaughters until Sister Evalee was called to her heavenly home in 2009.
Brother Wayne was ordained with Congregational Holiness Church for 42 years; he faithfully served the Lord in a multitude of capacities for a total of 51 years. He was a youth camp director, oversaw foreign missions, and pastored for 10 years. At the time of his passing, he'd been serving as the Associate Pastor at Welcome Congregational Holiness Church in Lake City for 25 years alongside his dear friend and brother in Christ, Reverend Lance Crews.
He was also an employee at Hackney Brothers from 1969 to 1980, and then Protection Services Incorporated (PSI) from 1980 until his reluctant retirement in 2018.
Various church functions, countless ministry opportunities, gardening, grilling, reading and studying Scripture, and enjoying time with family filled Brother Wayne's days and years with a lot of love and laughter. He became "Papacorn" when his first granddaughter, Errin Elizabeth, was born in 1987; a second granddaughter, Melissa Lynn, was born in 1989. After that, much of his time was spent on the living room floor with one or both girls crawling all over him and playing with his hair.
He became "Great Papacorn" in 2012 when his first great granddaughter, Kolbee Lynn, was born. Kamryn Grace would follow in 2015, with Emilee Ruth coming along in 2018. He continued to play on the living room floor and also pushed a lot of swings, played with a lot of dolls, and gave a lot of silly tickles.
In addition to his beloved daughter, granddaughters, and great granddaughters, Brother Wayne is survived by the men he entrusted to love and care for them, and treated as his own sons: Rich Deckard, Kyle Descarreaux, and Alex Bullard. Nieces and nephews-in-law, great nieces, great nephews, and a great-great niece also survive, along with his loving church family and many friends (new and old) that Brother Wayne cherished as family.
Brother Wayne never missed an opportunity to share the Gospel with everyone he met, including the team of doctors and nurses who took excellent care of him in his final days at the VA Hospital in Gainesville, Florida. The family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude for this wonderful team of healthcare providers who were no doubt sovereignly ordained by the Lord to care for this special man.
The viewing for Brother Wayne will be held on Wednesday, August 5th, from 5pm to 7pm at Gateway Forest Lawn. The celebration of his extraordinary life will begin at 11am at Welcome Congregational Holiness Church on Thursday, August 6th. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, State and CDC Guidelines must and will be followed.
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