Pastors' Memoirs

William Leonard Scearce, 1908-1988

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One was always glad to see Bill Scearce. His presence involved a sincere warmth, a big smile, and usually, a humorous story. His life was lived out for over 40 years as a faithful pastor in the Virginia conference.

William Leonard Scearce was born March 20, 1908 in Danville, Virginia. His father, William L. Scearce Sr., died before his son's birth. Bill never used the junior in his name.

His high school education was completed at Ferrum where he was valedictorian of the Class of 1929. From there he went to William and Mary College, graduating in 1932. His theological degree was received from Duke Divinity School.

On April 28, 1933, the Rev. E.R. Collie performed the ceremony that united Alice York and William Scearce. Their union lasted 55 years. Their daughter, Emilie Sue, now lives in Richmond. During the last decade of his life, when he was the victim of Alzheimer's disease, Alice committed her life to his care in an act of devotion that was characteristic of their long life together.

His appointments were Denbigh-Morrison. which he served while a student at William and Mary; Richmond Circuit, Decatur Street in Richmond; Onancock, Marquis Memorial, Culpeper. Granbery Memorial. Main Street in South Boston, Broad Street in Portsmouth, Main Street in Danville, Berryman, Bon Air in Richmond, and Washington Street in Petersburg. Five of his 13 appointments had "Street" in their names. Like his entire ministry, his preaching was energetic, filled with a good spirit and reflective of the keen mind that he possessed. He had few hobbies, his ministry and family being quite enough to fill up his life. Bill did like ball games. crossword puzzles and poetry, which occasionally allowed him a diversion.

Funeral services were conducted at Berryman United Methodist Church November 3, 1988 by the Rev. Norman G. Preston Jr. and Dr. Earl W. Paylor Jr. Interment was in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Richmond.

Good friend goodbye

Your laughter remains in memory's long halls

That lead to vistas. now shadowed Where once your coming Brought a welcomed light.

-Bernard S. Via Jr.


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Background photos courtesy of VDOT.

The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606
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