“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: …………” II Timothy 4:7-8
Pastor James H. Gavin, 83, went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, December 3, 2020 at Springfield Regional Medical Center, Springfield, OH. He was born July 24, 1937 in Gavintown, North Carolina, son of Minnie Gavin. He was raised under parental guidance from an uncle and aunt, he had a strong Christian family life and his major influence was his grandmother, Mary G. Gavin.
Pastor Gavin began preparing for his goal at an early age to preach and become a minister. He was baptized at Gavintown church when he was 16 years old. At the age of 22, he began to realize his dream.
Upon graduating from the Red Stone Academy near Lumberton, North Carolina and the J.H. Hayswood High School, Pastor Gavin served in the United States Army for three years and six months and was stationed in Germany. Later, he moved to New York, where he became a resident to attend college. While in New York he attended City College, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in Theology and also taught 5th grade for three years at the St. Mark Lutheran School. He was youth minister at the St. Mark’s church and the St. Matthew’s church in Brooklyn, New York for three years.
Pastor Gavin attended the New School of Social Research in New York, the Trinity School of Theology in Columbus, Ohio and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He returned to Springfield in 1969 and started Classes at the Hamma School of Theology at Wittenberg University, M-Div. Degree. He was partially fluent in German, Hebrew and Latin. Pastor Gavin was at a church gathering at St. John Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, New York under the great Dr. John Newhouse when he heard about the need for ministers in Springfield, Ohio. On the very first trip, he liked Springfield and looked for a church home, he became a member of Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Under the leadership of Rev. William E. Richardson, who referred to Pastor Gavin as “his son,” he became an associate minister for 10 years. He retired from the Springfield City Schools after thirty years of service. He was called to the pastorate of Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church in July, 1980 and served 40 plus years, where he was loved and will be missed by so many. He had a unique preaching style that many often said resembled that of the late
Dr. Martin Luther King and his sermons lingered long after they were over.
Pastor Gavin enjoyed serving the Lord, reading, traveling, especially to New York and Washington, D.C. He had an infectious smile, encouraging words and was very passionate for young people to be successful in life.
He leaves to cherish his memory two grandsons, Ethan Sha’Ki and James Tyrel Gavin; two great-grandsons, Ethan Gavin, Jr., Ky’len Michael and bonus grandson, Xahver; mother of his daughter, Frances N. Gavin; sister-in-law, Marjorie McClarty; brother-in-law, Clarence Nolan of Franklin, LA, nieces, nephews, Mt. Pilgrim Church Family and extended family of the clergy.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Minnie Gavin; grandmother, Mary G. Gavin and daughter, Jimea La’Veta Gavin.
Visitation is Tuesday, December 15, 2020 from 10 a.m. until the time of service at 11 a.m. in Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church. Burial will be Wednesday, December 16, 2020 at 10 a.m. in Dayton National Cemetery with military honors.
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