Pastors' Memoirs

Max W. Wicker, 1924 – 2007

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After one boy and two girls, the Southern Pines, N.C., printer got another baby boy. It was on Aug. 7,1924, when Max W. Wicker was born to Mary Black Wicker and William Cleveland Wicker. One of Max’s early achievements was that, as a 10-year-old, he ran the press at Aberdeen’s Dixie Printing Company. In 1944 he enlisted in the Navy’s V-12 program, choosing Duke University for accelerated training. This was the beginning of a long and cherished association with Duke.

His time at the university was cut short by orders to the USS Panamint where he printed maps for mine sweepers in the Pacific Theater during the closing years of World War II. After the war he re-entered Duke. Upon achieving his undergraduate degree, he entered the Divinity School. During his last year in seminary he became chaplain to the Baptist Student Union for Duke. This position continued for two years after graduation.

On Aug. 6, 1955, he married Ann Stewart. To this union came Mary Ann Wicker Robertson, Edie Wicker Wibaux, Stewart Wesley, Susan Wicker Yunker and William James Wicker.

His first Virginia Conference appointment was in Richmond as associate at Ginter Park, followed by assignments to Highland Park in Richmond, Brookland in Richmond, Wesley Memorial in Charlottesville, Windsor Hills in Roanoke, Del Ray in Alexandria, Fredericksburg, Springfield and Calvary in Arlington.

In retirement he returned to Del Ray Church to serve as interim pastor. In 1999 he and Ann returned to their beloved North Carolina. He served on numerous conference boards and agencies including The Board of Ordained Ministry and the Board of Pensions.

His 39 years of active ministry were marked by exceptional pastoral care, strong preaching, and loyalty to the connection and its causes. He was full of good works.

He and Ann were much loved by their congregations. The administration of his churches was characterized by common sense, a generous spirit and faithfulness to the program of the entire church. He had a progressive stance on Christian social concerns. No one worked harder to prevent state sponsored gambling in Virginia. Max gave his all to this ill-fated endeavor, inspiring clergy friends and parishioners to join the fight.

The great loves of his life were obvious — Ann and their children, the Lord of the church and his congregations, his friends, Duke University and travel. He and Ann hosted more than 20 tours, mostly overseas. In their travels friendships were enhance and expanded. He was a cherished friend.

A funeral service was held on Sunday, May 13, 2007, at Page Memorial United Methodist Church in Aberdeen, N.C. Internment was in the Wicker family plot at Beulah Hill Baptist Church Cemetery on land given by his grandfather upon which the church was built.

— Bernard S. Via Jr.




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