Jean and her younger sisters, Billie Gray and Adina Dean recalled that it was not always easy growing up as a “preacher’s kid.” Their father had a good sense of humor, but he also believed in Old-Time Holiness and was somewhat strict. The girls were always expected to be in church, and many times were not allowed to participate in outside school and community activities. Mr. and Mrs. Morris loved music and he would often share that he had paid for piano lessons for over 27 years for his three daughters. Across the church and conference, Jean, Billie and Deane were known for their musical abilities.
Before long, Wiley and Jean’s paths diverged as Wiley left for Holmes Bible College and Jean attended Emmanuel College. However, they did continue their courtship during college – sometimes against the rules at Holmes!
Jean found herself most inspired by her mother’s role of ministry in the home and church, and it was apparent that Jean’s one and only passion in life was to marry Wiley Clark and become a minister’s wife. They were finally married in 1954 and embarked on a life of ministry together. Wiley became an ordained minister in 1955 and Jean proved through the years to be a true anchor and helpmate to Wiley in his life’s calling. She delighted in supporting Wiley, the children and the grandchildren in all of their endeavors, and took great pleasure in watching them all blossom and succeed.
The newly married couple, young and inexperienced, began their first pastorate at Hodges Chapel Church. From Chocowinity, they spent over six years in Bethel where they were blessed with three children, Marilyn, Curtis and Steve. In 1962, the family moved to Whiteville where many close relationships were formed and have lasted more than 50 years.
Wiley and Jean accepted the appointment to become NC Conference Christian Education Director in 1967. The family moved once again–this time to Falcon. Wiley and Jean are fondly remembered across the conference for leadership of the Falcon Youth Camps. During this assignment as CE Director, Wiley was elected by a national delegation to the position of General Sunday School President. The family moved west and quickly adapted to the big city life offered by Oklahoma City. In Oklahoma City for 12 years, Jean and Wiley saw their children graduate from high school and college, and start their own families. They returned to Falcon in 1988 and assumed the responsibility of Superintendent of Falcon Children’s Home.
Retirement started in 2001 and Jean loved having Wiley close to the home front. She enjoyed her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren filling her home–many on a daily basis, and always on special occasions. She was always eager to welcome you into her home. You would always see her in the kitchen modeling lessons learned from her mother or sharing a big laugh that resembled her daddy. Soon after retirement, Wiley was appointed director of the Retired Ministers, a ministry that he has directed for almost 14 years. A team for over 61 years, they have taken every challenge as an opportunity and touched lives everywhere they have ministered.
So, reflect with us as we remember Jean and what she meant to so many people. Rejoice with us as we only try to conceive of her joy when she met her Lord face to face. And, pledge with us to live your life in such a way that you will one day have the opportunity to see her again in Heaven and share in the riches our Lord has for all of His faithful servants.
A funeral service will be held Sunday at 2 p.m. at J.A. Culbreth Memorial Auditorium in Falcon. A viewing will be held Sunday from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. Arrangements by Skinner & Smith Funeral Home of Dunn.
[Editor's Comment: It literally takes a team to produce Hugh's News. There were lots of telephone calls, emails, going to the Internet, and help from Glen Carter who notified me of the death of Jean Clark on Tuesday evening. I talked with Steve. Curtis and Wiley. Karen Lucas has been a great resource person. She did so much in writing and calling me to make this project a great success. She is in graduate school at Campbell University. Then, I want to thank my webmaster, Mel Tinney, who resides in Pepin, WS for sizing all the photos.
Melvine, my wife of more than 51 years remembers Wiley Clark, Jimmy Gardner, and Don Sigmon coming to her home church, Draper Pentecostal Holiness Church from Holmes Bible College. The next year she enrolled in Holmes Bible College. I arrived at Holmes Bible College in the fall of 1957. Somehow I was drafted to sing in a male quarter with Rolland Harrell, Eddie Wood, and Willard Wagner. Daneel le Roux was a school teacher and filling in a pastorate in Appomattox, VA, at the request of Dewey Yeatts, Superintendent of the Western North Carolina Conference, and Daneel invited our quartet to come for a weekend revival. It was there that Melvine came with Daneel's steady date, Betty Von Moore, and her parents, Melvin and Callie Moore. It was during a snow storm. But that night as I stood to play a trombone solo, "How Great Thou Art," I saw Melvine in the congregation and fell in love with her at that moment. I set out to marry that beautiful young Christian lady.
It is my joy to serve the Clark family during these days of great loss. Their grief will not go away, they will work through it, and one day, we all hope to see Jean Clark again in heaven. What a great Christian lady she is.