Pastors' Memoirs

Hudson T. Hornsby, 1923-2002

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  Hudson T. Hornsby was born on May 27, 1923, at home in Warwick County, Va., which is now Newport News. Hudson graduated at the age of 16 from Morrison High School, now called Warwick High School. At this time, he felt the call to the ministry and attended Ferrum Junior College.

After serving in the U.S. Army as a chaplain’s assistant during World War II, he earned a degree at Randolph-Macon College and later received a Masters of Theology degree at Emory University. He was ordained in 1951, but served in churches before that time.

His first assignment, at Parkview United Methodist Church in Newport News in 1946, began with the congregation meeting in a rented house. He was responsible for building up this church. He served at Denbigh Methodist Church 1951-1953, then was assigned to St. Andrews in Portsmouth until 1959. After six years of service in Loudon County, serving Pleasant Valley Church, he spent a little over a year at Arlington Forest Church in Arlington. From 1966 to 1970, Hudson served St. Mark’s Church in Manassas, then moved on to serve Swain Memorial Church on Tangier Island from 1970-1973. About this time, Hudson decided to buy plans to build a sailboat until one of the Tangier men saw the plans and said, "Mr. Hornsby, ye are goin’ to drown." Always active in the youth fellowship, he helped establish a skating rink on Tangier Island.

After Tangier, Hudson took a sabbatical and went to Australia. Returning after a few months and residing in Fairfax, Va., he was asked to serve at Roanoke Methodist Church after the death of the young pastor there. The following June, he was assigned to Tappahannock Memorial Church, having the longest tenure of any pastor in that church. He then moved to Calvary Church in Richmond. This is when his train hobby started on a grand scale. After this assignment he returned to Tappahannock in retirement.

   Hudson couldn’t stay idle for long. Along with his train hobby, he started woodworking, became a member of the community chorus and the Tappahannock church choir, was an officer in the credit union, and substituted for other ministers. He took an interim charge at Grace United Methodist Church in King George County, and later, another at Shepherds at Millers Tavern; then he became ill.

   Hudson was a man of many facets. After our mother passed away in 1938, our father remarried and Hudson, a young man of 16, was our father’s best man. He was not only a brother, but a stronghold in our lives. He performed family funerals and weddings and we will miss him dearly.

   "May he rest in peace. " In God’s Love,

— Hudson’s brothers and sisters



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