He was born Feb. 1, 1926, in Greenville, S.C., to the late James Mallie and Ida Lou (Buff) Landreth. On Dec. 27, 1951, he married Hazel Powell of Birmingham, Ala., who has for the past 62+ years been his sweetheart and lifelong companion, soulmate and ministry partner. He has been an exemplary and loving husband who lived to serve the love of his life.
While we as a family write this memorial about him, we are unsure as to which of his many titles should be used. He has been referred to as Brother Landreth, pastor, district overseer, state overseer, board member, council member, bishop, administrative bishop, chief, preacher, teacher, leader, and so much more. He excelled in every office that he ever held.
Ministry was not a profession – it was his life and passion. Thousands have been affected by his preaching, his wisdom, his leadership, and his practical and to-the-point problem solving and decision making abilities.
But the roles that he strived to succeed in most were those of husband, dad and papaw. He was often heard to say – many times through tears, “If I win the whole world to Christ and lose one of my family, I will fail miserably.” God has honored the heart of our passionate and committed patriarch. Every member of his immediate family serves the Lord.
Dad is survived by Hazel his wife; five children (along with our companions that he loved as his own): Carroll Evan Jr. and Darlene Landreth, Wanda Rice, Johnna and Jimmy Phillips, Sharon and Ricky Philpot and Kevin and Jennifer Landreth; eight grandchildren: LaTane (Dan) Smith, Philip (Brittany) Landreth, Lauren (Adam) Kendall, Blake Rice, Joshua (Jennifer) Phillips, Justin (Kristen) Phillips, Carter Landreth and Kelly (Kevin) Spencer; 12 great-grandchildren: Ethan, Hayden and Zoe Smith, Keeley Kendall, Emma, Cohen and Mason Phillips, and Tyler, Landon, Brayden, Levi and Cooper Spencer; three brothers and three sisters: Tom Landreth, Elbert (Helen) Landreth, Connor (Judy) Landreth, Frances Owens, Ruth (Curtis) Madden and Linda Landreth; and a host of nieces, nephews and other family members.
He was preceded in death by two brothers: John (Peggy) Landreth and David Lee (Ramona) Landreth.
Our dad received Christ at the age of 15 and accepted the call to the ministry at age 19. While working full time in a cotton mill, he completed his bachelor of arts degree in Hebrew history from Bob Jones University before entering full-time ministry.
He also led both of his parents and all eight siblings to Christ before beginning his full-time ministry. His first position was as associate pastor in Dillon, S.C. He pastored Church of God congregations in Cell River, Newry, Clinton, Lancaster, Dillon and Anderson (McDuffie Street), S.C. He also pastored in Anniston, Ala., and Pulaski, Va.
He was the state overseer (administrative bishop) in Arkansas, Texas, Kentucky and South Georgia. He served every position well and with distinction. He also chaired the Ministerial Examining Board in South Carolina for 17 years. He served several terms on the South Carolina Church of God State Council, other state boards and later served on the Pastor’s Council at Princeton Pike Church of God after he retired.
He preached several campmeetings and traveled to many parts of the world with the World Missions Department.
C. E. Landreth had a real passion to mentor young ministers, many of whom have become distinguished leaders in the church.
Dad’s life can be defined as one of commitment, consistency, integrity, character, wisdom, love, sacrifice and service – not only to those who were privileged to experience his public ministry, but especially to us whom he privately ministered to and nurtured at home.
He will be immensely missed but his legacy and influence will live on through all of us who have been impacted by this wonderful man. He is a true and genuine reflection of Christ. There is no greater accomplishment in this life.
We as a family want to pay special tribute to The Residence at Huntington Court and Glen Meadows for the loving care they gave Dad in the final months that he was with us. The amazing staff at both of these homes went way above and beyond what they were required to do and demonstrated genuine and selfless compassion to him and our entire family. Additionally, we do not have adequate words to express our deep appreciation and gratitude to Kim Sells, who lovingly navigated us through the last and most difficult days of this journey. We will forever be indebted to her. To the rest of the wonderful staff of Tridia Hospice who helped with Dad’s transition, “Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
We have truly been surrounded and supported by the dearest of friends, extended family and the wonderful staff and family of Princeton Pike Church of God as Dad completed everything that God purposed for him and stepped into eternal life with Him. The outpouring of love from so many since Dad went home has far exceeded our wildest imagination. We are blessed beyond measure!!
Visitation with the family will be at the Princeton Pike Church of God at 6101 Princeton-Glendale Road, Liberty Township, Ohio, on Monday, March 10, 2014, from 5 to 8 p.m.
The memorial service and celebration of such an amazing life will be held at the same location on Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at 11 a.m.
The service will be live streamed at live.ppcog.com. Officiating are the Rev. Lane Sargent, Dr. Dennis McGuire, Dr. Sam Luke, the Rev. Barry Clardy and Dr. Tim Hill.
Funeral arrangements are coordinated and handled by Brown Dawson Flick Funeral Home. www.browndawsonflick.com.
You may share your condolences and your memories with the Landreth family at www.jimrushfuneralhomes.com.
This announcement is courtesy of the North Ocoee Chapel of the Jim Rush Funeral Homes.