Obituaries and one anniversary in People and Places

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William “Bill” Deakins died May 15 in his sleep. He was 91.

Deakins served in World War II in the Naval Airforce before graduating from Brewton-Parker Junior College and Mercer University to begin a 50-year ministry. During that time he’d serve several churches as well as director of missions in west Georgia. 

Preceded in death by his first wife, Betty Sue, he is survived by his wife, Norma; daughters Angie Helmly, Cindy Thomaston, and Wanda Lee; and eight grandchildren. 


Pastor Billy Dempsey, 82, of Summerville, died May 12 at his residence.

A native of Oxford, Ala., Dempsey served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He entered the ministry in 1962 and served several churches in northeast Alabama/northwest Georgia. Most recently, he was at Midway Baptist Church in Summerville as pastor. He also served at First Baptist in Menlo as pastor from 2000-2006 before going to Pennville Baptist from May 2008-October 2011, during which time he volunteered for Chattooga Baptist Association’s ministry to senior adults. He then returned to First Menlo in September 2012 as an associate pastor through September 2014. He began his tenure at Midway in May 2015.

Preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Lilla, and a brother, Franklin, he is survived by his son, William; daughter, Angie Thomas; a brother, Walter Phillips; and two grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Gideons International, Midway Baptist Church, or Trion Heights Baptist Church Building Fund.


Faye Cadwell

Faye Cadwell, who served alongside her husband, Pastor Gary Cadwell, at several places of ministry, died April 25. She was 73.

A native of Eastman, Cadwell was a cosmetologist and office manager who played piano and organ. Most recently, she served at Brookfield Baptist Church in Tifton as a GA leader, WMU director, outreach volunteer, pianist, organist, and in the prayer ministry. From October 2007-March 2008 she was Women on Mission director for Mell Baptist Association.

In 2000 she served as an RA volunteer for Liberty Baptist Church in Tifton. Cadwell also served alongside her husband at other Georgia Baptist churches, including Baker Baptist in Rentz, Houston Heights Baptist Macon, Macedonia Baptist in McRae, and Poplar Springs Baptist in Eastman.

She is survived by her husband of 54 years as well as a son, Steve, of Tifton; a daughter, Pam Hall, of Tifton; sisters Carolyn Hinson and Kackie Pinkney; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.


Robert “Bob” Ferrell

Robert “Bob” Ferrell, pastor of Providence Baptist Church in Metter, died June 20. 

Ferrell, who served in the U.S. Air Force, served other churches including Hope Baptist in Reidsville. He was instrumental in helping start churches with the Georgia Baptist Association and Southern Baptist Convention. 

Preceded in death by wives Mae Elizabeth and Jacqueline Sue, he is survived by sons Butch, of Cochran, Harry, of Statesboro, and Logan, of Pavo, as well as seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. 


H. Bethea Fielding

H. Bethea Fielding, of Woodstock, died may 2 at Tranquility at Kennesaw Mountain. He was 77. 

Fielding served in the ministry for 53 years in six states. During that time he undertook various roles from students to lead minister. A chaplain for Hobbs Fire Department, he was also a member of Union Hill Baptist Church in Alpharetta

Fielding and his wife, Sandra, were profiled in a series of stories written last year by Index Managing Editor Joe Westbury on Mission:Dignity. 

Preceded in death by a daughter, Sandra “Marketta” Fielding, he is survived by his wife of 58 years and daughters Monica Lawrence and Miranda Stites as well as a granddaughter and two great-grandchildren. 


Longtime Georgia Baptist pastor Phillip Weeks, 61, died on April 23 after a 16-month battle with cancer. 

A pastor for 33 years, he had most recently served at New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Morganton Baptist Association. In Blue Ridge he was also known for having taken Weeks Grocery and turned it into a well-known tier and mechanic shop, running it until 2000. 

Weeks is survived by his wife of 42 years, Lynn; a daughter, Keela Leger, of Woodstock; a son, Jeremiah, of Blue Ridge; his mother, Minnie Weeks, of Blue Ridge; brothers Harold, of Blue Ridge, and Lamar, of Jefferson; a sister, Linda Helton, of Mineral Bluff; and three grandchildren. 


On April 22 Georgetown Baptist Church celebrated 175 years of ministry. Former pastor Jimmy Blanton, associational missionary for Columbus Baptist Association, was the speaker. Dinner followed the morning service. Kermit P. Soileau is pastor.

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