|On November 20, 1983, the Keithville United Methodist Church observed a special day honoring the life and ministry of Dr. W. F. Pledger. He was made “Pastor Emeritus” of the church and the fellowship hall was named in his honor. The sanctuary was filled beyond capacity and letters of goodwill came from all over the world. Just two months later, many of those same people were back in that church for his service of memorial.
Dr. Pledger was born in Smith County, Texas, on May 10, 1910. He was educated at Southwestern University, Duke University, and the Hartford Seminary Foundation. He received the Ph.D. from Hartford in 1944. Among his many and varied accomplishments in the Methodist ministry were his years as pastor, missionary to India, and Professor of Sociology and Religion at Centenary College.
He was a leader in his chosen field of work, and in many ways he was a pioneer far ahead of his time. His concern for tolerance and human understanding paved the way for better relationships wherever he served.
Dr. Pledger will long be remembered in many parts of the world as a good and caring man who gave himself without reservation on behalf of others and who served his Lord with deep devotion.
He was survived by his wife Shirley of Keithville, daughter Cisly Morgan of Keithville, two sons, Talmadge Pledger of San Angelo, Texas, and Dr. Norman Roy Pledger of North Little Rock, Arkansas. He had seven grandchildren and one great grandchild. He was also survived by a host of former students and parishioners whose lives have been blessed by his ministry.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1984; p. 198 By C. Gerald Richardson|