Beloved pastor Reverend Jerry B. Fleenor of Austin Springs Methodist Church passed away on April 3, 2012, at his home in Johnson City, Tennessee, after a lengthy hospitalization battling congestive heart failure.
Reverend Fleenor ministered throughout the Holston United Methodist conference for 49 years and eight months. His ministries spanned over Southeast Virginia and Eastern Tennessee, serving thousands of Christians and communities near his birthplace of Bristol, Tennessee.
His departed parents were Mildred Mercer Fleenor and Isaac Vernon Fleenor.
Reverend Fleenor accomplished many things over his lifetime. His many achievements start with graduating from Holston Valley High School in 1955. He went on to attend the University of Knoxville and graduated with a B.S. degree in agriculture in 1959. He then attained a Master of Divinity from Emory University in Atlanta, GA, in 1966.
Reverend Fleenor became an ordained “Elder” of the Methodist Church Holston Conference in 1968. He received the Outstanding Service to God and Mankind award from the Elizabethton community in 1992. He also received recognition for his role in leading and shepherding the Assistance and Resource Ministry in Carter County, which was established to help the poor and homeless within the community.
Reverend Fleenor retired in 2004 from the Holston Conference but his desire to serve never diminished, and he continued on as a part-time Pastor at Austin Springs United Methodist Church for the past 8 years.
Reverend Fleenor was a vital part of every community in which he served. His community service over the years included work with the Loudon County Homeless Coalition, Crisis Pregnancy Center, Inter-agency council and as Chaplain to the Loudon County Unit of Tennessee Defense Force. He also coached tee-ball and basketball and worked as a Cub Scout and Boy Scout troop leader.
Reverend Fleenor helped to organize the Lenoir City Community Religious Census and served as a committee member on the Education Task Force and School Board Family Life Curriculum. He was a board member for the Virginia Association of Mental Health. While ministering in Elizabethton, TN, he helped organize and was Chairman of the Board of Directors for Assistance and Resource Ministries (ARM).
He was also on the Carter County American Cancer Society Board of Directors. Reverend Fleenor was a part of the Volunteers in Mission team to Mexico. He was the president of the United Methodist District Ministerial Associations in Wytheville, VA, and Oak Ridge, TN. He was a member of the United Methodist District Council on Ministries in Abingdon and Wytheville, VA, and Oak Ridge and Johnson City, TN.
Reverend Fleenor was a the Chairperson of the Anderson Neighborhood Association Weed and Seed Steering Committee, and he was a member of National Kid’s Day committee in Bristol, TN. This is just a small sample of the community work he did. Reverend Fleenor touched lives in so many ways throughout his career. The breadth of his work perhaps cannot be fully known because he gave so freely and openly to those he saw in need.
Reverend Fleenor was an expert gardener. He also enjoyed coin collecting and poetry. He always shared his bountiful harvests with friends and family. Reverend Fleenor loved the beach, fishing and spending time with his grandchildren. He was also a lifelong fervent UT Volunteer Fan.
Reverend Fleenor was married to his beloved wife, Eleanor Fleenor, for 47 years. They had one daughter, Teresa Gay Fleenor, and one son, John Martin Fleenor. Grandchildren are Kyle Strickland, Katie Fleenor and Matthew Fleenor. He is survived by his brother, Vernon Stewart “Sonny” Fleenor and his wife, Teresa; sister, Mary Ann Santangelo; sister, Ada Prue Oxendine and husband Jim; sister, Doris Jean Lipps and husband, James; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers family members ask all donations be forwarded to Austin Springs United Methodist Church, 726 Austin Springs Road, Johnson City, TN 37601
A Celebration of Life service for Reverend Jerry B. Fleenor will be conducted at 11:00 AM Saturday, April 14, 2012, in the Sunrise Chapel of Tetrick Funeral Services with Reverend Deborah Collins, Reverend Jim Oxendine and Reverend Randy Frye officiating.
The family will greet friends in the funeral home chapel following the service.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family and viewed online at www.tetrickfuneralhome.com or faxed to (423) 610-7177.
Arrangements for the Fleenor family are in the care of Tetrick Funeral Services, 3001 Peoples St., Johnson City, TN 37604. (423) 610-7171