James Abston – Obituary

by Lynn McMillen
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Mr. James Abston, 77, of Vina, Ala., passed away June 2, 2013, at Red Bay Hospital. He was born June 21, 1935, in Nashville, Tenn., the son of Haskell Eudell and Ethel Landrum Abston. He was the husband of Lula McKinney Abston for 56 years. Mr. Abston was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Bryan Abston. He was a member of First Baptist Church, Vina, Ala.
Mr. Abston was a graduate of Hillsboro High School in 1953. After graduation, he enrolled at Belmont University and graduated in 1957 with a bachelor of science degree in education. Although he graduated and was ready to become a teacher, he felt he was called to become a minister. Mr. Abston enrolled in the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and graduated in 1961. After becoming a teacher and pastor, he returned to college and obtained a master’s degree in administration from the University of North Alabama. He accepted his role as pastor at West End Baptist Church, while attending Belmont University. Throughout his ministry, he became the pastor at Trinity Chapel in Elizabethtown, Ky., Cottontown Baptist Church, Cottontown, Tenn., Belgreen Baptist Church, Belgreen, Ala., and retired from ministry at Spruce Pine Baptist Church, Spruce Pine, Ala. He devoted his life to ministry for over 50 years. While fulfilling those duties as a pastor, he also worked for the Red Bay News for approximately 30 years as a photographer, staff writher and had his own weekly column entitled, “Profiles”. Mr. Abston also had a love for teaching. He taught at Vina High School, Vina, Ala., for 26 years. He taught high school English and was the school’s Title I teacher. Mr. Abston also held other duties throughout his lifetime such as: a member of the Navy Reserve, worked for the state of Kentucky in the Department of Welfare, worked for the Baptist Sunday School Board in Nashville, Tenn., chairman of the Franklin County Human Resources, and was president of the Franklin County Teacher Association. He was also a member of the Alabama Education Association and the National Education Association. Most importantly, he was a loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Mr. Abston is survived by his wife, Lula Abston; children, Barbara Kay (Allen), Lynette James (Jerry), and Billy Abston; grandchildren, Leslie Russell (Jason), Deanna Hester (Chris), Heather Schwartz (Meyer), Jill Abston, Neesha Scott (Derek), Emily Hagood (John), Katie James, and Sara Gillentine (Joseph); 13 great-grandchildren; sister, Barbara Abston Lamb (Clarence); and many aunts, nieces, cousins and friends.
The viewing for Mr. Abston will be held at Deaton Funeral Home, of Red Bay, Ala., on June 3, 2013, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The funeral will be held at Vina First Baptist Church on June 4, 2013, beginning at 11 a.m., with the Rev. Ray Kirk and Brother Larry Dover conducting the service. Mr. Abston’s body will line in state at Vina First Baptist Church on the day of his funeral from 10 a.m. until the service. Burial will be in Sparks Chapel Cemetery, Vina, Ala.
The family requests that donations be made in his memory to Vina First Baptist Church Building Fund or to the Gideons.
Pallbearers will be Andy Cansler, Kent Walker, Sammy Taylor, Eddie Wix, Michael Moomaw, Marshal Rogers, Zollie McKinney and Curtis Sutton.

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