Pastors' Memoirs

Wyndham Nelson Gregory, 1913-1998

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  The life of Wyndham Nelson Gregory was one lived with a singleness of purpose — to know and serve his Lord. His ministry, shaped by his fidelity to that purpose, was marked by a faithful and often individualistic adherence to his own sense of the presence of God in his life.

  Wyndham Gregory was born in Richmond, October 26, 1913, the son of Sherwood Vanderslice Gregory and Julia Clay Tutwiler Gregory, and attended public schools in Richmond. "Wyndy" Gregory was one who came slowly to ministry. He was early taught the precepts of his father, a Baptist deacon. First employed as a power company lineman, he later formed his own electrical contracting company in Round Hill in Loudoun County. It was in the Methodist church there that, after a time, he was called to ministry. With the encouragement of that congregation he was enabled to take up his studies, first at Lynchburg College, where he earned a B.A. in religion in 1952. He studied for ministry at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, where he was awarded the Master of Divinity degree in 1956.

  Ordained a deacon in 1954 and an elder in 1956, he was received into the Virginia Conference in full connection in 1956. His appointments, from 1949 to 1972, included: Bellevue, Bedford County; Goochland; Shady Grove, Henrico; St. John’s, Springfield; Morrison, Newport News; Trinity, Orange; Memorial, Petersburg; Barton Heights, Richmond; Epworth-First, Covington; and Christ, Covington. After a sabbatical year, he retired in 1972. Reactivated in 1973 to serve Brookville-Shiloh, Lynchburg, he was appointed to Brookeville; he then served Concord, Appomattox County, and retired permanently in 1981.

  Wyndham’s marriage to Elizabeth Low produced two sons, Wyndham Nelson, Jr., and John Low. In their years together, Wyndham and Elizabeth brought together their individual natures into a partnership in life and in ministry. His retirement years in Alleghany County were fruitful ones. He and Elizabeth participated fully in the life of Emory Church, Hot Springs, where his kindly consideration for the needs of others endeared him to that family of faith.

  The pain of Wyndham’s life, calling up all the reserves of his profound faith, was the loss by death of Elizabeth in 1984 and both his sons during May 1993. Despite his own loss, his continuing sense of ministry led him to serve as a counselor in a safe home for battered women in Covington; as a library aide in the Falling Springs Elementary School, where he was beloved by the children; as a covenant participant in an Emmaus group; and as a mission volunteer  .

  Wyndham Gregory died October 19, 1998, and is survived by his brother, Henry Clay Gregory of Richmond; a daughter-in-law, Suzanne Gregory, of Chesterfield, S.C.; five grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. His funeral service was conducted by the Rev. Bass Mitchell, and he was laid to rest in the cemetery of Emory United Methodist Church, Hot Springs. Wyndham Gregory knew and served his Lord.

— Henry C. Gregory, as told to Patti B. Russell



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