Howard Samuel Swann, age 89, passed away Jan. 22, 2013, at Alive Hospice, St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville.
Born on April 3, 1923 in Soperton, Ga., Mr. Swann was preceded in death by his parents, Sidney Blackston Swann and Lula Gay Swann; four brothers, Robert, Moody, Harry and Jack Swann, and two sisters, Golda Swann and Lillian Swann Lowe.
He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Mary Alice Hartsfield Swann; two daughters, Sandra (Louis) Butterfield, and Brenda (Larry) Griffith; seven grandchildren, Renee (Chris) Wells, Robyn Butterfield, Bryon (Geri) Griffith, Kimberly (Jason) Eddy, Ryan (Paula) Butterfield, Regina (Zach) Proffitt, and Alicia (Joshua) Douglas; and 15 great-grandchildren, Jake, Luke, and Nick Wells; Coleman and Parker Proffitt; Mason and Riley Griffith; Hanna Holifield; Sam, Jack, Vivian, and Max Butterfield; and Gavin, Brady, and Amelia Douglas.
Mr. Swann received the associate of arts degree in Bible from Freed-Hardeman College in Henderson, Tenn., in 1963, and while a student there, preached for the church of Christ in Enville, Tenn. Mr. Swann dedicated his life to the teaching of the Word of God, working primarily to establish congregations of churches of Christ in Georgia. Moving to a city where there was no local congregation, he would begin his work by securing a meeting place, advertising the beginning of a new congregation and setting up Bible studies by canvassing neighborhoods. Following this approach, he and Mary were successful in establishing thriving congregations of churches of Christ in Newnan, Ga., Dallas, Ga., Cochran, Ga., and Hazlehurst, Ga. After moving to Tennessee in 1996, Mr. Swann became an associate minister at the Woodbury Church of Christ, overseeing mission efforts in Southeastern Tennessee and Georgia.
In addition to his life’s work in Georgia, Mr. Swann also served as minister for churches in Steens, Miss., and Boaz, Ala. In addition to these works, he participated in extended mission trips to Africa (Ghana), India, Jamaica, and Guyana. His lifelong love of the Word of God and his passion for teaching it to others has had immeasurable influence on the lives of many, many people.
The family would like to give special thanks to the compassionate caregivers of Alive Hospice at St. Thomas. The funeral will be held at 1 p.m. Friday, Jan. 25 at the Stewart Funeral Home in Vidalia, Ga. Visitation with the family will be from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the funeral home. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations in Howard’s memory can be made to Sojourners (Georgia) at 5554 Cooks Road, Marshall, Texas, 75670-9130.