- February 2, 1980
|I first learned of Reverend John Zerangue when I was living in Kansas. My superintendent at the time had just returned from Louisiana, where he and his wife (Mrs. Zerangue’s sister) had been visiting John and Maude Zerangue in Melville, Louisiana. At the time, I never thought that I would some day be John and Maude’s pastor. But through divine providence, I became Johnny’s pastor for seven years. Since I came from another denomination, he took me under his supervision and helped me to understand the workings of the United Methodist Church. He was a spiritual help to me; he helped me in the Melville church, conducting funerals in my absence and helping me with communion. He always greeted me with a smile and a word of encouragement.
I was sorry to receive the news that he had died in Lafayette General Hospital on February 2, 1980, just a few months after the death of his wife. It was a privilege to conduct his funeral with Dr. Handy’s assistance in the Melville United Methodist Church on February 3, 1980. On that day members of the Melville United Methodist Church and friends of the community filled the church to honor their friend and servant of the Lord.
Brother John Zerangue served as a minister of the United Methodist Church for almost twenty years. Often he would speak with a loving heart, the heart of a pastor, of the churches he pastored. Some smaller churches had a pastor because Johnny Zerangue was willing to serve and to do his best. Mrs. Zeila Rayburn wrote about serving with Johnny at Camp Brewer in the 1950’s when John helped with the young people, and she revealed his main love when she wrote, “Johnny never passed a chance to read and to teach the Bible,” something he tried to do his best at when serving his churches and the young people.
We join with Mrs. Rayburn, who wrote, “We miss Johnny and Maude in our church. He never failed us.”
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, 1980, Pages 167-168, by Kenneth Chapman.|