McCrory, John David


“Call me no dead when I, indeed, have gone, into the company of the ever-living.
High and most gracious poets! Let thanksgiving rather be made. Say: ‘He at last hath won
Rest and release, converse supreme and wife, Music and song and light of immortal faces’. . .”
--Richard W. Wilder

So it is with John D. McCrory. His spirit and deeds were too many and powerful to cease when he breathed his last earthly breath. He has simply moved “into the company of the everliving.”
Can a life be summarized in a few paragraphs? Even when we write in memory of the beloved, we hesitate to try. All the complex values and motives, the depths of the human emotions, the heights of courageous achievement cannot hope to be comprehended in some simple statements. And yet, sometimes the truly great have a divine simplicity about them which may be briefly pointed out, and then nothing further need be added. Such is the case with John D. McCrory, a man who could be described as a good person, full of faith and the spirit of God.
When he moved on to the place of “rest and release” on March 9, 1974, that date marked the end of almost a half century in the gospel ministry and in the service of The Louisiana Conference of The United Methodist Church. He served with courage and distinction, as pastor of several leading churches in the conference as well as District Superintendent.
Among his notable works was the building of Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, where he served more than a decade. Saint Mark was one of the first black congregations in the city of Baton Rouge to undertake a major building program. Not only did he build the building, but his pastoral work enabled the membership to increase. He served pastorates in Monroe, Mansfield, Lafayette, New Iberia, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and served for six years in the capacity of the District Superintendent of the Franklin and New Iberia Districts, where this writer came to know him.
I recall as District Superintendent how he reminded ministers and laymen of the district of the importance of funds in carrying out the numerous programs of the church by saying, “Money is like fertilizer to religion.”
John McCrory prepared himself for the ministry in the schools of Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia. He was formerly married to the late Mrs. S. E. McCrory. God blessed their marriage with five sons. Two of his sons followed his example in the ministry—the Reverend Alvin L. McCrory of the McKowen Baptist Church of Baton Rouge, the Reverend Melvin J. McCrory of the Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, Georgia, Anderson and Leon McCrory, Detroit, Michigan, Willie McCrory of Los Angeles, and Nathaniel A. McCrory, who preceded him in death.
In 1949 he married the charming and gracious Miss Helen Tinsley of Baton Rouge. Their marriage was deeply rooted in the Christian faith. Indeed, her wifely devotion and moth-erly precepts solidified the family chain of her husband and children.
I believe his departing words to us would be the same as those of another saint of another time as he said:
“I am returning not departing; my steps are homeward bound.
I quit the land of strangers for a home on native ground.
I am rising and not setting; this is not night but day.
Not in darkness, but in sunshine like a star, I fade away.
All is well with me forever; I do not fear to go.
All is well with me forever; I do not fear to go.
My tide is but beginning its bright eternal flow.”
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1974; p. 149 By Abraham E. Davis

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