Reverend Erwin Leon “Pappy” Black, 64, of Staunton, died Tuesday, August 30, 2011 at Augusta Health in Fishersville.

Pappy was born August 19, 1947 in Bath County, Virginia to the late James A. and Clara B. Black. He was married to his wife of twenty seven years, Betty I. Black, formerly of White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Pappy was educated in the Bath County School system beginning with Union Hurst Elementary School and graduated from Watson High School, “Home of the Mighty Hornets”, with the class of 1965. He was a graduate of Bloomfield Technical College in Bloomfield, New Jersey, and Virginia Seminary & College in Lynchburg, Virginia. He was licensed and ordained to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ at Piney Grove Baptist Church in Hot Springs, Virginia. He was the former Pastor of Mt. Oliver Baptist Church in Healing Springs, Virginia for six years; the former Pastor of the Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Warm Springs, Virginia for 15 years; and was currently the Pastor of Promiseland Baptist Church in Staunton, where he served for eighteen years. He was the immediate Past Moderator of the Berean Valley Baptist Association; a representative for the Virginia Seminary and College Alumni Association; a member of Hampton University Minister’s Conference; a former president of the Covington – Clifton Forge and Vicinity Minister’s Conference where he served for three consecutive years; a member and assistant treasurer of the Staunton-Waynesboro and Augusta County Minister’s Alliance; a former president of the Virginia Western District Baptist Church School Convention; and the current Regional Vice President for the Baptist General Conference of Virginia. He served as a bus driver for the Bath County School system for twenty eight years. He was the former director of the Bath County Parks and Recreation Department, where he coached Bath County youth for many years in football, baseball, and basketball. He coached JV basketball at the high school level. He also played Old -Timers League Basketball and Softball.

Pappy is survived by his wife, Betty of Staunton; an aunt, Frieda Henry; and cousins, Pat Spencer and Eloise Taylor; special friends, Reverend Elaine Rose, Richard McElwee, Paul Jacques, B.G., Rachel and Christy McElwee, Jake Cleek, Billy Coles, William Warren, John Pretlow, Lawrence Campbell, Warren Craven, H.R. Clark, Rick Griffen, John Adderton, Hall Owens, Jeff Rose, William and Jeffrey Toye, Brandon Rose and Reverend Dr. Samuel Anderson, Linda Goins, Frieda Stone, Allen Larner, Gary Mullins, Gary Swats, Leroy Wingo, Sherryl Behrens, Mr. and Mrs. Randy Swisher, AMC Transportation, Amber Davis, Helen Farrar, Robert Merchant, Teresa Wilhelm, Susan Robinson, Amy Lewis, and all of his family.

A celebration of life will be held at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, September 3, 2011 at Bath County High School Auditorium with Pastor Elaine Rose officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service at the school. Interment will follow at the Pinehurst Heights Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m., Sunday, September 4, 2011 at Promiseland Baptist Church, 850 Maple Street, Staunton, Virginia, 24401. In Lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to Promiseland Baptist Church.

Pappy said, “It’s not about me, it’s all about Jesus, working through me to touch the lives of other people. – Pappy -The ol’ country boy.  P.S. I love the Lord!!!  Amen, Amen, & Amen!!!”

McLaughlin & Young Funeral Home in Hot Springs is handling the arrangements.


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