Pastors' Memoirs

Rufus Elmer O'Quinn, 1928-1998

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  Rufus O’Quinn was born September 4, 1928, in Nicholas County, West Virginia. It was in the Mountain State that he met his childhood sweetheart, Helen Bragg. On August 5, 1950, Rufus and Helen were married — a union that produced three sons, David, Rodney, and a son, Randy, who preceded Rufus in death in 1997.

  Rufus felt God’s call to ministry and served in the West Virginia Conference for four years as a supply pastor. In 1963, he was licensed as a supply pastor in the Staunton District of the Virginia Conference. In the summer of 1969, he completed the Advanced Course of Study at Duke Divinity School. He became a full member of the Virginia Conference in 1971, and his ministry carried him through 10 appointments in various locations throughout the state.

  Throughout Rufus’ ministry, one could always expect, and receive, sound and compassionate pastoral care. No matter where he was or what the circumstances, Rufus always remained the same. There was no pretense in his ministry or in his personal life. People referred to him as "kind," "loving," "easygoing," "a spiritual leader," and "friend." Congregations appreciated his style of dealing with day-to-day situations, knowing that they could always count on him to be there when needed. His style of dry humor always caused smiles when Rufus came into a room.

  Although he retired in 1994, Rufus still accepted preaching engagements until his health prohibited doing so. When his health permitted, he also enjoyed the out-of-doors, fishing and hunting with friends and his sons.

  On October 3, 1998, Rufus was transferred to the Church Triumphant. He had chosen, because of the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains he loved, the Whitmer Family Cemetery in Fulks Run, Virginia, as his place of interment.

  Rufus will be fondly remembered by those who knew and loved him, and especially by members of churches where he had served as a servant of God who enjoyed the ministry to which he had been called. While we will miss him, we also realize that his is the crowning event for which he had given his life in preparation. Rufus was asked about six months prior to his death what his greatest hope would be, concerning heaven. He replied, "Hearing those words, ‘Well done.’ "

— David R. Burrough



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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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