February 12, 1942 – September 29, 2021
Once again, the mysterious angel of death has visited our church and has taken from our midst our dearly beloved pastor, Elder Leuty Nelson McDermott, a true servant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and a great preacher, “rightly dividing the word of truth.”
Elder Leuty McDermott, a native of Athens, Tennessee, was educated in the McMinn County School System. He resided in Riceville, Tennessee, and has three daughters from the marriage to his late wife, LaLia Jean McDermott. He started his career as a chef for Morrison Cafeteria while working at the Magnavox Plant in Knoxville. For 19 years Elder McDermott continued his career as chef for Morrison Cafeteria at Tennessee Wesleyan College, Athens, Tennessee. Desiring to become self-employed, Elder McDermott started to work for Clydus Porter, assisting in finishing concrete. Realizing it takes prayer, passion, and persistence in order to make self-employment happen, he became gainfully employed for 7 years with Harold Cousin Construction in Oak Ridge. After mastering the trade, Elder McDermott’s dream came true. In 1984 he branched out on his own as a concrete finisher and continued to work in this capacity until the day before entering the hospital for surgery on November 19, 2020.
The year of 1971 marked a significant turning point in Elder McDermott’s life. He saw the need for a Savior and surrendered his life to the Lord. In 1982, while serving in the United Methodist reformation, he received his calling to the ministry. His pastorship with the United Methodist included three years at Mount Tabour in Bakewell, Tennessee; three years at Burkett’s Chapel in Decatur, Tennessee; and five years at Cook Memorial in Athens, Tennessee.
Elder McDermott was introduced to The Church of God Sanctified in the late 1980’s by Deacon Thomas Gentry of Franklin, Tennessee, and Elder Gilford Hill of Cleveland, Tennessee. After considerable guidance and counseling with the Late Bishop Henry Clay Nesbitt, he was recommended to start a church in Athens, Tennessee. In 1989, Elder McDermott founded The Church of God Sanctified at Athens where the congregation began meeting in homes. In August of 1990, with the aid of the National Body, the congregation was able to purchase a structure for worship services at 413 Chester Street, Athens, Tennessee. Elder McDermott pastored the church at Athens full time until 2001 when he was asked to assist the church at Madisonville, which was without a pastor. On October 13, 2002, The Church of God at Madisonville accepted Elder McDermott as its pastor. Elder McDermott continued pastoring the church at Athens, holding morning service on the first and third Sundays of each month and evening service on the second and fourth Sundays. Morning services at Madisonville were held on the second and fourth Sundays of each month and evening services on the first and third Sunday. While serving the two churches, Elder McDermott always supplied the churches with a minister for morning service on the Sundays he was not scheduled to be there.
An administrative decision was made in August 2003 for Elder McDermott to refrain from the pastorship of one of the churches. To comply with the Board’s decision, on January 4, 2004, Elder McDermott announced his decision to accept a full-time position as pastor at The Church of God Sanctified, Madisonville. Although he was ever willing to serve, Elder McDermott never sought a place of prominence. A loyal servant of God, he served his church with heart and spirit. With genuine humility, he followed the example of the Lord, making him willing to do the humblest tasks as well as important ones, doing both well, yet not seeking recognition for the same. He labored tirelessly for the church at 328 Houston Street that he loved so dearly. It was with sincere regret that Elder McDermott’s failing health caused him to remain away from our church for some time before his death, but he had made such a lasting impression upon our church that we never ceased to consider him our pastor, and his interest in our church never diminished. We never ceased to miss him in our services. He took his sickness well, never complaining, but waited patiently, happily, and in good nature on the orders from his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whom he served so devotedly. He rested in the words of Isaiah 53:5, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Elder McDermott had no fear for he knew that healing was on its way–that healing he so often made reference to where God was going to wipe all tears from their eyes: and there was going to be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither was there going to be any more pain. So, on Wednesday evening, September 29, 2021, Elder McDermott received his healing. His spirit-filled soul took its flight across death’s stream, where at this moment he rests from his labor; but his memory will ever live in the hearts and minds of those who knew him.
Elder McDermott accepted the invitation of the psalmist: “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.” (Psalm 34:3) He knew that faith, belief, and love did not buffer or barricade one’s life from trouble and hardship. Therefore, he praised his God during the good times as well as during the difficult times, and encouraged the church to do the same. He knew that his God was bigger and stronger than his obstacles and Most High over everything. So, on his bed of affliction, he recalled the words of the psalmist in Psalm 150:6. “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord,” and that he did! “In everything give thanks. I’m gonna get my shout out now,” he would say. With his wit, it was amusing to hear him say, “I’m thankful I had beans and potatoes for dinner yesterday, and potatoes and beans for dinner today, and beans and potatoes for tomorrow.” He really knew how to make a point. He had the confidence that he was loved, he was protected, he was secure, he was whole, and he was valuable because God was his heavenly father.
Elder McDermott has been a bulwark of strength to the church family. He stood firm on his beliefs and preached and taught the unadulterated Word of God. It was his heart’s desire to win souls to Christ. He had a great love for and devotion to God, the Church, and the community. Evidence of his diligence can be seen through the accomplishments made during his leadership. Evening worship was fully reinstated. An addition to the previous structure of the church was erected, which included a pastor’s study, clerk’s office, fellowship hall, kitchen, and restrooms. In the sanctuary, hardwood floors replaced the carpet; the lighting system was replaced with recessed ceiling lights; a wood ceiling replaced the sheetrock ceiling; the window seals were updated; a marquee was built by him and his friend in the ministry, Elder Ricky Cade of Knoxville; and two flag poles were installed for the church flag and the United States flag. He will be sorely missed for his power to encourage others in the work of the Lord. Often when people would be disheartened by lack of interest, or passing failure, Elder McDermott would remind them that God never demands success—only faithfulness to His cause. How often in his prayers for the church family, he would call us–one by one–by name, and pray so fervently for our needs that his prayers would do more good for his hearers than many a sermon, to say nothing of the Divine power set in motion on our behalf.
To each of his members he was the Christlike example and the confidence-inspiring, always-encouraging, always-loving counselor and minister to our needs. What love he had for his church family and mankind. How good God is to His children to give us such shining personalities as Elder McDermott was.
Elder McDermott adhered to the words of Apostle Paul in II Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” He stood on the Word of God. He preached it when we liked it and when we didn’t like it. When the church would get quiet during his message, he would say, “I’m not talking ‘bout y’all; I’m talking about them over there.” He reproved and rebuked, but ever in a spirit of love. He had a way with words that would nudge you away from your wrong doing and motivate you to want to be more Christlike. He faithfully preached the Word of God regardless of the size of his audience and sought ever to preach the whole counsel of God which necessitated many hours of Bible study and memorization. He studied God’s Word as instructed in II Timothy 2:15 and was ever ready, willing, and bold enough to speak it when the opportunity presented itself. Like the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:16, he was “not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth . . .” He was determined that nothing would be able to separate him from the Love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
He was our pastor, our shepherd, and our counselor. He had a knack for drawing children and youth, as well as adults, to him. His selfless spirit and kindheartedness won him many friends. He loved God; therefore, he loved others, especially the congregation at 328 Houston Street. No one was too small or too mighty for him to love and serve. He cared for the sick and the sorrowing, and in the community, they were never neglected. Those in trouble knew him as a friend who was always to be counted on, and he was always alert to be wherever he was most needed in these capacities.
He was a missionary; his crowning virtue was his faithfulness in testimony. His life was an example to his church members, his fellow ministers, and all who knew him. He considered himself expendable for his people and the cause of Christ.
Elder McDermott extended his ministry in Madisonville, reaching out to the inmates of the Monroe County Jail. There he shared the Word of God with inmates, introducing them to Jesus and providing them with the opportunity to surrender to the will of God before or after their release. In addition, the inmates were showered with the sharing of testimonies, the utterance of prayers, the reading of the scriptures, and the singing of hymns and spiritual songs. These acts of worship encouraged their hearts and enlarged their awareness that God is a loving and forgiving God who is willing to save to the utmost. Elder McDermott left the inmates with the assurance that upon their release, they had a place of worship at The Church of God Sanctified, 328 Houston Street, Madisonville. He placed emphasis on the fact that the church at 328 Houston Street stood ready to assist and accept them with love and open arms.
Elder McDermott worked in love, wisdom, humility, courage, patience, joy, and self-denial. He did not conform to the pattern of this world, but he was transformed by the renewing of his mind. (Romans 12:2) He was a changed man. He knew that the angels in heaven had signed his name. He had a new walk, a new talk, a new song, a new shout! Only God could have enabled him to serve as he served. He stood up loud and proud as a believer in Jesus and made the most of the moment he was made for! If he had a creed or motto other than to love and to serve his Lord and Savior, it must have been something like this:
Unrelenting amid all obstacles, Elder McDermott adhered to the Scripture: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” (I Corinthians 15:58) His favorite Scripture, found in Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord,” served as an encouragement and strength for his soul to endure the Christian race to the end.
Elder McDermott has fought a good fight, he has finished his course, he has kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for him a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give him at that day. What a sweet relief it is to know that there is no pain or sorrow that comes that will ever touch him again! While grief is so fresh and the sense of loss so keen, it is not always easy to learn as the proverbs teaches, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) But our gracious Lord and Savior will make the lesson clear to us if we look up to Him in faith.
“Forever in Our Hearts – Never Forgotten!”
December 22, 1920 – July 12, 2021
July 18, 2021
WHEREAS, on July 12, 2021, in the wee hours of the morning, it pleased the Almighty God in His wise providence to call from labor to reward, from sorrow to joy unspeakable, His Maid Servant, Mother Elizabeth “Lizzie” B. Stevens, we the Pastor and members of The Church of God Sanctified, 328 Houston Street, Madisonville, Tennessee, do bow our heads in humble submission to His will, Who is too wise to make a mistake, and
WHEREAS, our hearts were saddened by the demise of Mother Stevens, we shall not weep as those who have no hope, and
WHEREAS, the Church of God Sanctified at 328 Houston Street has lost a loyal, consecrated member, we hereby express our appreciation and gratitude for her devoted Christian service and what it meant to the 328 Houston Street, Church of God Sanctified. Hearing the words of “the Preacher” in the book of Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest,” Mother Stevens performed her work on this earth and offered her service to The Church of God Sanctified for the greater honor and glory of God, unreservedly and in a spirit of humility. She served in many capacities of the church: namely, Missionary President, Member of the Trustee Board, Usher, Church Secretary, Musician, Choir Member, Member of the Bible Band, Treasurer, Holiness Young People’s Union President, and Sunday School Teacher. No job was too hard nor too small for her to do, for she put God first. Her work was magnificent, for she remembered the words of the Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:23, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” Mother Stevens believed that one should put his best foot forward in whatever work he did and to do it without murmuring and complaining. That she did, regardless of the job she undertook, and she encouraged everyone else to do the same, and
WHEREAS, the Apostle Paul wrote in I Thessalonians 5:11, “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do,” Mother Stevens was well-rounded in uplifting the congregation of the church. Each of us has been blessed by her presence in our lives and in our congregation. Her life reflection is one of faithful servant, committed wife, dutiful mother, and comforting friend, and
WHEREAS, Mother Stevens was an Evangelist in her own right, she always had such a sweet smile and a warm, personable disposition; but when it came to God’s work, she was serious business all the way. Just as Apostle Paul gave instructions to Timothy to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth,” Mother Stevens accepted those instructions and taught her Sunday School classes and her Bible Study lessons with pride and joy. Her dynamic teachings were evidence that she had fully prepared herself before making her presentations to her pupils, and
WHEREAS, following the instructions of King Solomon in Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it,” Mother Stevens instilled in her children a strong devotion to the Lord and a sense of responsibility to those less fortunate. She was a loving and attentive partner and parent. She encouraged her children to get to know Jesus for themselves. Often, she would say, “Whatever you do, do it to the glory of God.” It was not enough for Mother Stevens to train her children. She had a deep yearning and desire to see other children live a Christ-like life. Therefore, she loved and taught the children in her community, as well as those in surrounding communities. She was a model of the aged women Apostle Paul spoke of in Titus 2:3-5, “. . . that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”
WHEREAS, Mother Stevens was committed to creating more beauty in the church and the world through her piano playing and voice talents. She knew that praising the Lord was good; for in Psalm 147, David wrote “Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.” Mother Stevens was not ashamed to lift her voice in praise to God. One could hear her sanctioning the minister as he preached the Word of God. With a loud voice, she would cry out, “Preach it, preach it, preach it cause it’s right anyhow.” When the Spirit swelled up in Mother Stevens, she would rise from her seat and make her way down the aisle, with handkerchief in her hand, hand lifted high, waving in praise to God. She always gave thanks to God, no matter the reason. Whenever she received a compliment, she would say, “Give God the glory.”
WHEREAS, Mother Stevens served the community of Madisonville all of her life by her Christ-like spirit, her presence, her teachings, and her kindness. Her lifelong dedication to the Monroe County Jail, the Town of Madisonville and its residents, and her selfless giving of her talents to enrich the lives of others was noteworthy. She dispensed spiritual guidance, conversation, care, and concern to all mankind. She was generous in sharing her crops from her garden and inviting others to dine at her table. Her family size didn’t matter when it came to helping someone who was less fortunate. She was always willing to lend a helping hand. Mother Stevens was a kind, compassionate, and loving human being. Her life and faithful commitment in the service of the Lord shall serve as a worthy example for us to follow, for generations to come,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED:
THAT, we embrace this bereaved family in our common bond of grief and remembrance of a beloved soul;
THAT, we pray continually for the strength of Mother Stevens’s biological and spiritual families during this time of transition of the life of a soldier of God from labor to reward;
THAT, we pray that the works she has done, the services she has given, and the lives she has touched will speak for her. “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” 2 Corinthians 5:1;
THAT, a copy of this resolution be given to the family and that a copy becomes part of the permanent files of The Church of God Sanctified;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That a period of official mourning shall be observed for 30 days by the presence of an empty seat in Church services to acknowledge the passing of our esteemed Church Mother, Mother Lizzie Stevens.
Done by the order of: The Church of God Sanctified, this 18th day of July 2021.
Written and Submitted by Willie S. Benton, Secretary
Elder Leuty McDermott, Pastor
“Forever in Our Hearts – Never Forgotten!”
April 28, 1928 – February 15, 2021
328 Houston Street,
Madisonville, Tennessee 37354
February 24 2021
We are today comforted by the words of Our Lord in Revelations 21:4 which says: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
Whereas, in God’s holy wisdom, on Monday, February 15, 2021, at 2:02 p.m., God called Sis Warnell Davis home to dwell with Him in the glories of Paradise, the officers and members of The Church of God Sanctified, 328 Houston Street, Madisonville, TN, offer their sincere condolences to the family. Your sorrow is our sorrow; your loss is magnified by the loss of a dear soul from our congregation, and
Whereas, Sis. Warnell Davis has rendered a great service to The Church of God Sanctified at Madisonville, serving in many capacities to include church secretary, missionary worker, choir member, Bible band member, and member of the Pastor’s Aide. She has provided a multitude of meals for the Pastors and their families. The Church could count on her to read poems and sing solos for various programs of the church. Sis. Davis has always been steadfast in financially supporting the undertakings of the church. A strong believer in tithing, she was adamant that her tithes were sent to the church even when she did not attend services, including up to the week before her passing. Many times she would send a truck load of rocks to the church to spread over the parking lot so that parking was suitable for church attendees. She had a strong interest in the youth of the church and gladly provided transportation for them to attend district events. Even when she was not going with the congregation on church trips, she would think of others and pay for seats so that anyone who wanted to go, could go. Sis. Davis was a helper to those in need in the church, as well as to those in the community. She is to be commended for her unselfish, faithful, and devoted service to the church and the community, and
Whereas, In her disapproval of an action, she would never argue but would tactfully ask, “What are you doing that for?” and would kindly offer a solution that she felt was better, followed by the words, “Um, um; aye, Lordy.” She was a strong believer in people showing respect for their elders and peers. If she felt a person was out of line, respectfully she would say, “Listen here now, you need to be quiet.” If the behavior wasn’t corrected, she would then say, “You need to sit down somewhere and shut your mouth,” and
Whereas, The works of Sis. Warnell Davis demonstrated her obedience to the God who commanded that we love one another, that we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those who are sick and in prison, and that we minister to those who are without the household of faith, no one was too low or too small for her to serve, and
Whereas, John wrote in Revelations 7:15-17 of those who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb, that “they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple; and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes,” Be it
Resolved, That The Church of God Sanctified, 328 Houston Street, Madisonville commend the soul of Sis. Warnell Davis to the only just and merciful God, our Father and our Judge, and be it further
Resolved, That we the members of The Church of God Sanctified pray for the souls and the healing of all who mourn the parting of Sis. Davis, whose friendship we so richly cherished, whose love we so graciously shared, and whose memory so greatly inspires us; finally, be it
Resolved, That these resolutions be entered into the archives of The Church of God Sanctified and also be presented to the family of Sis. Warnell Mattie Davis.
By order of The Church of God Sanctified, 328 Houston Street, Madisonville, Tennessee, on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.
Written and Submitted by Sis. Willie S. Benton, Secretary
Elder Leuty McDermott, Pastor
“Forever in Our Hearts – Never Forgotten!”