Pastors' Memoirs

Robert Lee Nuckols, 1913-1988

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R. Lee Nuckols was born June 30, 1913, near Stuarts Draft, Augusta County, Virginia, the son of the late Edward Franklin and Mary Taylor Nuckols. He was an early employee of the Staunton Furniture Company. After his marriage to Miss Marjorie Louise Hall of Staunton, he was engaged in his father's mercantile business. He served with the U.S. Navy in World War II. He later became an employee and salesman for the Staunton Steam Laundry. It was in these days of early adult life that he was closely associated with the Beverley Street Methodist Church (today, Christ United Methodist Church) and came under the influence of the Rev. Dewey N. Weiford, for many years his pastor. It was under Brother Weiford's ministry that Lee felt the "call to preach." With limited background and training, he was soon off to Emory University for four successive summers and then two additional summers at Duke, supplementing his training and greatly enriching his background. He first took work in 1948, assigned to the Blue Grass Charge in Highland County. Soon he was at Craigsville in Augusta and then back in Highland at McDowell for three years. His subsequent years in the Virginia conference were at Huddleston (1954), Gretna (1956), Sherando-Lyndhurst (1959), Parish Court, Covington (1962), Lafayette (1967), Patrick Springs (1968), Mead Memorial (1970), Trinity, Lynchburg (1972), and Natural Bridge (1975). He retired in declining health in 1978, having given the conference 30 years

of constant and faithful service.

In business he took his father-in-law's business and prospered. For many years he was in charge of tent evangelism for the conference, setting up tents, conducting revivals and leading in singing. In many of his churches, there was construction. The former Leftwich Church was replaced with the new Huddleston Church. Mt. Horeb was rebuilt. On the Gretna Circuit, Zion received a new edifice after a fire. Siloam was also rebuilt.

Parish Court in Covington was perhaps his most significant achievement. Leading a tiny congregation at Edgemont to build a new edifice in Parish Court (which became the foundation for the present strong church), was accomplished in his five-year pastorate.

Lee Nuckols was a "people's person," known for his human understanding, his ability to identify with people in their need. Many in Staunton yet speak of his profound influence in their early youth at Beverley Street. Others remember him as a great storyteller and how he charmed little children.

The country people loved him because he "spoke their language." He "preached the Bible." He counseled with every couple he ever married, and he knew the special secret of bringing comfort to the bereaved. In situations of human stress and turmoil, his presence was always one of calming, reassuring effect.

Here was a man who loved his work and was loved in turn by his people. He was also a faithful husband and family man. Robert Lee Nuckols died in his 76th year, Thursday, November 3, 1988, at Roanoke Memorial Hospital. His funeral was on the

following Monday at Christ Church, Staunton, Virginia, led by the Rev. Roy O. Creech, pastor; and William C. Logan, district superintendent, with interment in the Thornrose Cemetery, Staunton.

He is survived by his wife, Marjorie Hall Nuckols; two sons, Ernest E. Nuckols of Staunton and W. Steve Nuckols of Roanoke; six grandchildren, two of whom are children of a deceased daughter, Norma Lee Rexrode.

Known and loved by so many far and wide, our brother, Robert Lee Nuckols, will ever remain in the hearts of our people as God's special representative.

-John Wynn Myers



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