BREMEN — Talmadge S. Chandler, age 82, passed away on Tuesday, October 31, and his memorial service was held at First Baptist Church in Bremen on Nov. 4.
Talmadge was a man with an uncompromising allegiance to the Word of God. Eva Grace, a member of one of the churches he served as interim pastor, stated, “In thinking about the things that we should get from his life I realize that we should remember to stay true to God’s Word. Never stop reading, never stop loving, and never stop living it out.”
Reverend Chandler was born on June 23, 1935, in Carrollton. He was a graduate of Carrollton High School in 1953, attended one year at Berry College, then served in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged in 1957. He then graduated from West Georgia College and later attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
The Carrollton native met the love of his life, the former Cloma Williamson, and they were married for 62 years. He served as pastor of Centralhatchee Baptist Church, Davis Chapel Baptist Church (Austell), Beulah Baptist Church (Douglasville), Hill Street Baptist Church (Toccoa), and retired from Franklin First Baptist Church at age 66.
After his retirement from the full-time pastorate he continued to serve the Lord as an interim pastor at many churches in the area. Marc Merritt, missionary with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board in the area of Church Minister Relations, commented, “Talmadge never really retired, because he continue to serve the Lord through many successful interim pastorates. He and I were both in the congregation at First Baptist Church in Bremen last spring when each of us had a rare Sunday off and neither of us was preaching somewhere that particular day.
“I knew Talmadge Chandler was a man of great character and had as much integrity as much as any man I have known in my lifetime.”
‘He genuinely loved the Lord’
Herman Parker, pastor of Bremen’s First Baptist Church, added, “Talmadge was a great friend and an avid supporter of my ministry. He genuinely loved the Lord; and he loved people. He had a lot of wisdom and often gave me wise counsel. I had a tremendous amount of respect for him.”
Chandler continued to serve the Lord and preach the Gospel until he became sick in August.
He served on the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board, Truett-McConnell College (now Truett McConnell University) Board of Trustees, Georgia Baptist Historical Commission, and also served as an associational mediator.
He is survived by his wife, the former Cloma Williamson; daughters Cindy (Steve) Gillham of Carrollton, Delisa (Jeff) Gledhill of Carrollton, Evangeline (Lamar) Starks of Dalton; grandchildren, Priscilla Gillham and Rebecca Gillham, Luke Gledhill and Lauren Gledhill; Chandler Starks and Hampton Starks; brother, Denver Chandler; sister-in-law, Jean Chandler and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Geneva Chandler; sisters, Marguerite Chandler, Charlcie Chandler Inman; brother, Joel Chandler and sister-in-law, Gerlie Chandler.
The memorial service was a beautiful worship experience. James H. Cook, Jr., pastor of Victory Baptist Church in Douglasville, summed it up by saying, “What a glorious service of celebration for a man who touched so many lives for Jesus!”