Pastors' Memoirs

Emory Staley Ellmore, 1915-1994

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Emory Staley Ellmore was born the son of the Rev. Murphy Dulaney Elmore and Lena Grey Rollins Ellmore, March 11, 1915, in Leesburg, Virginia.

He met and married Virginia May Coffman while they were students at Asbury College. They shared a very rewarding life together for 56 years. This life was also shared with their three children, Margaret Ann, Mary Elizabeth, and John Murphy, and their four grandchildren.

Emory graduated from Randolph-Macon Academy, Asbury College, and Emory Theological Seminary, but he had what might have been an even stronger preparation for the ministry in that he came from a family of 17 ministers.

He began his ministry in the North Indiana conference in 1938, serving West Lafayette-Stiddham Memorial. Later, in seminary, he served the Shady Dale Charge in the North Georgia conference.

He started his 44-year ministry in the Virginia conference at the North Frederick Charge, and later Brucetown (Winchester District), Harmony, Hamilton (Alexandria District), Calvary (Staunton District), Princess Anne (Norfolk District), and Mead Memorial-New Hope and Monroe (Lynchburg District).

After his retirement in 1984, Emory served an additional seven years at Sardis-Pleasant Grove and Smyrna-Mt. Tabor in the Charlottesville District.

While in the active ministry, he led Calvary and Henderson churches in significant building programs. Also, while at Calvary, he led the district in members received for one year.

Not only was Emory a loving family man, sharing with them in every way he could, but he extended his caring to other children as well by taking them on outings to share in his hobby which was fishing. He possessed a marvelous sense of humor and was the kind of person who was always warmly welcomed by those who knew him. Even in his final illness, his pastor, Marc Brown, was amazed during a visit that it was he who found strength and encouragement from words spoken to him by Emory, who was still concerned about someone else.

At his memorial service, one minister referred to him as a gentle man. His touch of life was certainly that, a thing so valuable in our violence-prone world.

Emory died April 13, 1994, at his home next door to Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Amherst, Virginia, where a memorial service was held April 16, led by Marc D. Brown, pastor. Other ministers taking part in the service were Samuel E. NeSmith, Charlottesville district superintendent; Bernard S. Via Jr.; Robert H. Lawrence; and Wrightson S. Tongue Sr. Many other fellow ministers attended along with a host of family and friends. It was a beautiful spring day with dogwood and azaleas in full bloom, so apropos of the kind of private smile Emory had his last few days.

The Rev. James C. Sprouse Jr. assisted Marc Brown later in the day at the burial service in Leesburg.

Many in the later years of their lives have said they wished they had spent more time with their families and less at work. Emory reached a very good balance. As tribute, his wife, Virginia, wrote, at his passing, "He was a servant of God all the days of his life."

-Wrightson S. Tongue Sr.



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