Pastors' Memoirs

Edgar Jameson Nottingham, III, 1911 - 1996

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  "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God" (Matthew 5:9 NRSV). Ed Nottingham was a peacemaker. Throughout his ministry he tried to bring people together and encouraged those in his charge to embrace a way of peaceful living. He worked tirelessly on race relations and on trying to defeat the things that separate people from God and from each other. With great wit, wisdom, and courage he patiently served those in need.

  I first met Ed Nottingham when I was 12 years old and he was my pastor. I was impressed by his genuine interest in me and in who I was. He was the first minister who had ever called me by name. He also allowed the youth of our church to have a say in the life of the church. This often led to controversy, yet he patiently worked it out, and everyone learned from the experience. He sincerely loved and cared for people, and that love and care was lived out every day as he always tried to find good in everyone.

  Ed had a great sense of humor and a quick mind that served him, his family and his congregations well. In South Georgia he served Sycamore, Omega and Rhine. In 1942, he returned to Virginia where he served Cumberland, Nelson, Mathews, Scottsville, Fieldale, Corinth (Sandston), Memorial (Petersburg), and Highland Park (Ashland).

  As Ed approached the end of his fight with the cancer that was to take his life, I asked him about his accomplishments in ministry. He was quick to point out that one of the greatest accomplishments was not his at all, but that he had the "good fortune" to marry Anna Sue Springfield who shared his life and ministry for 54 years. He was proud of the fact that he had a son (Edgar IV) who was helping people through clinical psychology. He was comforted by the fact that he had helped to patiently guide three young people into full-time ministry in the United Methodist Church. Most of all he was proud of the fact that he had led a life that was dedicated to the perfect love of Christ.

  On February 22, 1996, God came and carried Ed home. He was a resident of his beloved Hermitage in his final days where the staff wonderfully supported him and the people who loved him. He continued to inspire those who came to his death bed with unusual ability to put the small stuff aside and to get to the meat of the matter.

  On February 25, 1996, more than 400 people gathered at Corinth United Methodist Church in Sandston to say farewell. The service was conducted by Dr. Ray Chamberlain, the Rev. Charles Swadley, Dr. John Tate, Dr. Bob Throckmorton, Dr. Steve Hundley and the Rev. Jim Hundley. The service was filled with remembrances, tears, laughter and the hope of the resurrection. He was buried in the Masonic Cemetery, in Culpeper, Virginia.

  Ed Nottingham was a peacemaker, a child of God, and an unforgettable Christian whose legacy will be felt by the church he loved for years to come.

— James H. Hundley



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