Lynch, Jr., Wesley Otis "W.O."


August 19, 1924 - August 16, 2005
Rev. Wesley Otis Lynch, Jr., died of a cerebral hemorrhage at Shreveport Medical Center on August 16, 2005, three days shy of his 81st birthday. Born in Deatsville, Alabama on August 19, 1924, to Rev. Wesley Otis Lynch, Sr. and Josie Catherine Stoudenmire Lynch, he grew up in Methodist parsonages in Elmore, Alabama, Westminster, Maryland, Haynesville and Logansport, Louisiana.
He was a fourth generation Methodist minister. W. H. Lynch, Scribner H. Lynch, and his father, Otis Lynch, were Methodist Protestant ministers in the Alabama Conference. His family moved to Haynesville in 1935 and was appointed to Logansport after the Uniting Conference in 1939. He received degrees from Louisiana Tech (BS), where he was a member of the football team, LSU (MS), Post-Graduate Studies at Auburn University and Candler School of Theology at Emory (MDiv).
During WWII, he was a Lt. j.g., serving in the U.S. Navy as a Line Officer on the aircraft carrier USS Tarawa. After the war and college, he served as Sewell Memorial Jr. High School Principal (Titus, Alabama), and Auburn University Men's Dorms and Student Union Director. In 1956, at the age of 32, he answered the call to ministry and enrolled at Emory, where he served as Music Minister at Wesley Memorial in downtown Atlanta. He was licensed to preach in 1958 by the Alabama-West Florida Conference, transferred to the Louisiana Conference in 1959 as Deacon and was ordained Elder in 1961.
His thirty-two years of Louisiana church appointments included Shongaloo-Whitehall, Cotton Valley, Pleasant Valley, Sarepta (organizing pastor), Lakeview, Minden, Grace-Wesley Chapel in Ruston, Lafayette First, Noel, Shreveport, and Aurora, New Orleans. His last appointment before retiring in June, 1991 was as Superintendent and later Chaplain of the Methodist Home of New Orleans. In retirement, he served as a Minister of Visitation for Older Adults at Munholland and as interim pastor at First, Algiers.
W.O.'s passion was for evangelism, missions and worship as evidenced by his service on those conference boards. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Conference for ten years and was the final Secretary and Editor of the Journal for Conference A in 1969 and 1970. In his early ministry, he was active in youth ministries - high school camping at Caney Lake and the Wesley Foundations at Louisiana Tech and the University of Southwestern Louisiana.
He was known wherever he served for his humor, compassion, unselfishness, and positive outlook. W.O. was a visionary pastor who demonstrated what John Wesley called "practical divinity." He sought to reach the younger generation with the timeless gospel of Jesus Christ. He would quote St. Paul in Philippians: "We don't brag about what we have done, although I could. Christ has shown me that what I once thought was valuable is worthless. Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ and to know that I belong to him." (Phil. 3: 7-8).

He was married to Jeanne Hall in Titus, Alabama, in 1951. Theirs was a shared life of commitment to each other and to the ministry of Jesus Christ. In 1994 they retired to Ruston where they continued to be active in their church and community, and enjoyed their hobbies of genealogy, Tech sports, travel, and RV camping.
Survivors include his wife, Jeanne Hall Lynch, and their four children – Wesley Otis Lynch, III, and Deborah of Ruston; Libbi Lynch Ellis and Jeff of Columbiana, Alabama; Alicia Lynch of Ruston; David Lynch and Cheryl of New Iberia. Siblings include one sister, Phoenell Gingles of Shreveport and one brother, Joseph S. Lynch of Ruston. Six grandchildren also survive him: Wesley IV, Johnathan, and Stephen Lynch; Emily and Olivia Ellis; Adelai Lynch and two step-grandchildren: Tabby Luquette Self and Mindy Menard.
Wayne Evans

Source: Louisiana Conference Journal, 2006

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