|Lonnie Melvin Sibley was born in Jackson, Louisiana, in 1923, and died at home with the love of his family surrounding him on April 19, 2004, one month before he would celebrate 58 loving years with his wife, Eleanor Yeargan Sibley. Lonnie Sibley loved ministry, loved the church of Jesus Christ, and loved people. He embraced those who came his way with a love that was affirming of individual personalities and strengths, and gave encouragement to those pursuing their own gifts in the service of God and the church. Lonnie was faithful to the Holy Scripture and faithful to the United Methodist Church. He loved the liturgy of worship, and his sermons reflected his faithfulness to the Gospel, as well as his academic training, always prepared and ready to offer a true gift to his congregations. He was an avid reader, and never ceased learning, even after earning bachelor’s degrees and a master’s degree from LSU, a master of theology from Perkins School of Theology, and a doctor of ministry from Drew University.
Lonnie Sibley was a servant in ministry in United Methodist Churches as a seminarian in Denton and Pilot Point, Texas, then as an elder at Pulaski Heights, Little Rock, Arkansas, and in Louisiana at Clinton, Caddo Heights in Shreveport, Plaquemine, North Highlands in Shreveport, Blackwater and Ingleside in Baton Rouge, Bogalusa, Denham Springs, and as an associate at First UMC, Baton Rouge. He retired from the Louisiana Conference in 1989. His ministry had expanded, however, even beyond the United Methodist Church to include hospital chaplaincy, chaplain to the Louisiana Women’s Prison, and a variety of mental health associations. In his later years, he loved spending time at the family camp called “Dogwood,” and loved celebrating his Scottish heritage in cultural organizations. Lonnie loved life, he grieved for injustices, and he worked with spiritual courage to create what he could envision in the world as a more just and humane society for all human beings.
Lonnie Sibley is survived by his wife, Eleanor; three sons, Dr. Lonnie M. Sibley, Jr., Dr. Randall Sibley, and Dr. Mark H. Sibley and his wife Mary Lacour Sibley; five grandchildren, Chandler Kai, Ashley Romaine, Jamison Kyle, Haley Catherine, and Hannah Lauren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
We will remember Lonnie Sibley: scholar, preacher, churchman, lover of life, lover of people, lover of Jesus Christ.
Linda Clark, friend
|Source: Louisiana Conference Journal, 2004|