To the Summerville Family:
On behalf of my family and the New Zion Missionary Baptist Church Family, I am writing to express our deepest sympathy in the home-going a sanctified soldier of Jesus Christ, Deacon William T. Summerville.
He was a loving and faithful husband, an exemplary and committed father, a studious and conscientious witness for Christ, an engaging and effective teacher, and a masterful choirmaster and musician. He was the consummate churchman. He influenced several generations of young men and women. He brought joy and laughter into ever room he entered and was somehow able to turn every conversation into a testimony of God’s goodness. His quick wit and story-telling skills were legendary.
Deacon Summerville was not only a pillar in the life of the Canaan Baptist Church but also a statesman and ambassador for the entire community. Through his long tenure in the public school system and at the University of Illinois he distinguished himself as someone who could befriend anyone. We will miss that booming voice, that country wit, those nuggets of wisdom, and that engaging smile. His joyful heart was like good medicine for the rest of the Body.
“A good man leaves an inheritance for his children’s children.” (Proverbs 13:22) Deacon Summerville left an inheritance that thieves cannot steal, recessions cannot diminish, and time cannot tarnish. He left a good name, a model of discipleship to follow, and a lifetime of service that is now being rewarded. As you go through this season of grief let the Word of God comfort your heart as it reassures us that “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. (Rev. 14:13)
With Deepest Sympathy and Enduring Love,
Pastor K. Edward Copeland
New Zion Missionary Baptist Church
Tribute by K. Edward Copeland