Pastors' Memoirs

Emory N. Tarpley, 1891-1992

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Emory was born April 22, 1891, in Fannin County, Georgia, to George and Amanda Tarpley. He had three brothers: Jarvis, Monroe and Elmo. Also seven sisters: Luna, Clare, Bonnie, Florence, Pearl, Ophie, and Leola.

In 1910, he married Stella Elizabeth Stanley and had five sons: Cecil, Clarence, Carl, Claude and Crippen.

For nine years prior to entering the ministry he taught school and later attended Vanderbilt University and Athens School, now Tennessee Wesleyan, to prepare himself for the ministry.

His first appointment in 1919 was as assistant pastor to the Spring Place Circuit in Murray County, Georgia. In 1920, he was appointed to the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Tallapoosa, Georgia, where he served five years. In 1925, he was transferred to the Holston conference and received an appointment to the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Salem, Virginia, where he served another five years.

During the 66 years as a minister, he served the following United Methodist churches in Virginia: Second Church of Salem, now Central; Cave Spring, Roanoke; Goodwin Memorial, Glenvar; Tazewell Avenue, Roanoke, now Calvary; Villa Heights, Roanoke, now Southview; Grace, Roanoke; Bethany, now Norview, Hollins.

In retirement he was pastor emeritus of Central United Methodist Church, Salem. Virginia.

Our home was a Christian home, with our father conducting morning devotions before we boys were off to school. He loved to read and prepare his sermons that he delivered four times on Sunday for many years during the Depression: Sunday, 10:00 a.m. at Villa Heights Methodist Church; 11:00 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. at Tazewell Avenue Methodist Church; and 3:00 p.m. at four chapels, three in Franklin County and one in Roanoke County.

He spent the last 15 years living at the Roanoke United Methodist Home. The last four years were spent in the infirmary where he received the loving care of all the nursing personnel. He never failed to say "Thank You, even when he felt his worst. He was a kind and gentle Christian.

Emory passed away on May 15, 1992. The funeral services were led by the Rev. A. Howell Franklin, pastor of Central United Methodist Church, assisted by Dr. John Newman, chaplain for the Roanoke United Methodist Home and his grandson, Emory Ned Tarpley, pastor of Grace United Methodist Church. Many in attendance were his colleagues in the ministry from around the Roanoke District

He was preceded in death by his wife, Elizabeth S. Tarpley and two sons, Cecil P. Tarpley and Clarence W. Tarpley. He is survived by three sons and daughters-in-law: Carl E. and Etta Mae Tarpley, Claude L. and Irene J. Tarpley, and W. Crippen and Genevieve C. Tarpley; one daughter-in-law, Violet P. Tarpley, all of Salem. Virginia. Also surviving are two sisters, Ophie T. Cockran, Dalton, Georgia: Leola T. Garland, Fairmont, Georgia; nine grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, three great-great-grandchildren, four step grandchildren and three step great-grandchildren.

He was interred in Sherwood Memorial Park, Salem, Virginia. "For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

-Carl E., Claude L., and W. Crippen Tarpley, Sons



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