He was born in Loveland, Ohio, on July 18, 1955, the son of Thomas G. Ward Sr., and Coletta Margaret (Lagemann) Ward. His parents preceded him in death, along with two uncles and his first child.
He is survived by his wife and best friend, Lisa Colette (Meadors) Ward of Cleveland; a son, Christopher Lee Ward; a daughter, Tonya Ann Venable; a grandson, Mason Ward; a sister, Margaret Ward; a brother, Thomas Ward Jr. and his wife, Janice; two aunts, all of Cincinnati, Ohio; three “in-laws” and their families: Lynette (Meadors) DeVine, of Middletown, Ohio, Travis Meadors and his wife, Kimberly, of Hamilton, Ohio and Tracy (Meadors) Steelman and her husband, Michael, of Fairfield, Ohio; and many nieces, nephews, and friends, all of whom he dearly loved.
He was an avid golfer who also enjoyed racquetball, softball, bowling, cutthroat marathon games of Monopoly and Scrabble, reading good books and cooking his famous “Pastor Mike’s ham.” Above all, he cherished time spent with family and friends.
“Pastor Mike,” as he was known by his church family, was a truly humble man whose passionate pursuit of God was the hallmark of his life. His chief desire — whether preaching, teaching, singing on the praise team, doing “practical” ministry, or discussing the Bible to all hours—was to be a faithful “Friend of God,” reconciling men and women to God throughout nearly 40 years of ministry.
Missing him, but resting in the blessed hope of the resurrection of the saints, his family received friends at Jim Rush Chapel on North Ocoee Street in Cleveland Saturday.
A celebration of his life will take place at East Cleveland Church of God today, Nov. 10, 2013, at 2 p.m., with Dr. John A. Lombard Jr., pastor, officiating.
On Tuesday, the family will receive friends from 11 to 1 p.m. at Rivers of Life Church of God in Hamilton, Ohio, where he previously served for many years as associate pastor.
The celebration of his life will continue with a service immediately following at 1 p.m at the Rivers of Life Church of God, with Dr. Wilma J. Jackson, pastor, officiating. Burial will be at Rose Hill Burial Park in Hamilton.
Contributions in his memory may be made to the East Cleveland Church of God or to the Rivers of Life Church of God.
Lisa, Chris, Tonya, and their family extend appreciation to the pastors and members of East Cleveland Church of God, the Rivers of Life Church of God, Waterville Baptist Church and so many others for their prayerful support throughout Pastor Mike’s lengthy illness.
Special appreciation is extended to the Wards’ care and prayer team members at East Cleveland: Dr. Gerald “Jerry” and Phyllis Daffe and Dr. Ayodeji and Grace Adewuya.
We encourage you to share your memories and or condolences with the family by going to www.jimrushfuneralhomes.com.