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Rev. Neal Wilds, age 80, currently of Columbus, Ohio passed from this life to join his Heavenly Father on May 21, 2019.
Neal was a graduate of Michie High School, Michie, TN. He was called to serve God as a Pastor at a very young age.
Neal pastored various churches in and around the State of Ohio. At one time he pastored three churches at once, which took up lots of his time. The last church he pastored was Brooklyn Memorial United Methodist Church of Cleveland, Ohio until his retirement in June, 2004.
Neal grew up at Michie and always took great pride in where he was from. Prior to earning his Master of Divinity at The Methodist Theological School in Ohio, Neal graduated from Lambeth College (University of Memphis) in Jackson, TN where he met his lovely wife of 60 years, Jane Curlin. From this union two children were born: daughter, Rebecca (Ron) Heitz of Columbus, Ohio, and son Chris Wilds also of Columbus. He also has two grandsons, Nathan and Nicholas Heitz of Columbus.
Neal is survived by his entire immediate family; two sisters, Mary Bagley of Counce, TN and Phyllis (Ernest) Carpenter of Ft. Smith, Ark; sister-in-law, Betsy Wilds of Selmer, TN; twenty-two nieces and nephews; twenty-eight great-nieces and nephews; and many great-great nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents Rosie Black Wilds and Luther Carl Wilds, two brothers Dennie H. Black, and James Wilds, and six sisters Grace Bickley, Lewell Lee, Leona Strother, Ermal Rorie, Pattie Jean Wilds, and Vonnie Villanueva.
Neal loved serving God and bringing people to know Christ, helping people join the work he was involved in for peace, and at his church where he fed the poor and hungry. In retirement he gardened at Ben Franklin Community Garden during the summertime where he donated produce to The Hunger Center (West Side) to feed the inner city of Cleveland.
It was said at one time Neal’s Mission was caring for his flock and his wife Jane’s Mission was to care for him; which she did for 60 years. She was also a good helpmate with her singing ability for Christ, in addition to being a family provider working twenty years at the HUD government agency.
We know God has gained a great worker and know He will say at those pearly gates, “Well done my good and faithful Servant; Enter in to my delight!”
Neal’s favorite saying when he left was always, “May God be with you and yours!” He was always striving to be more like Christ.
Memorial service to be held in Michie, TN on Saturday, June 1, 2019.