Martin Luther (M.L.) McCormick Jr.
"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10. The Reverend Martin Luther (M.L.) McCormick, Jr. departed his earthly home for his Father's home on December 12, 2012.
Born in Hamburg, MS, Rev. McCormick was the son of a Methodist minister, Rev. M.L. McCormick, Sr., and his loving mother, Vada Lee McCormick. He graduated from Gardnier High School in Laurel, MS, Copiah-Lincoln Junior College, Millsaps College and completed graduate work at Emory University.
Rev. McCormick served four years in the Navy aboard the U.S.S. McConnell. He was privileged to participate in the Honor Flight for WWII veterans on September 22, 2011. After his military service, he returned to Millsaps, and while finishing his degree, he lettered in baseball and served as Vice-President of his senior class. After finishing college, M.L. and his wife, Tommie Lee, moved to Meridian, MS where he was secretary-comptroller at Hardin's Bakeries Corporation. Active in the community, M.L. was president of the Meridian Junior Chamber of Commerce, director of the Meridian Chamber of Commerce and national director of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. He was president of the Meridian Lion's Club and national director of the Mississippi Jaycees. M.L. was a faithful member of Central United Methodist Church. In 1955, he was named Meridian's Young Man of the Year.
Rev. McCormick said that he felt the Lord call him into ministry in his early years. He stayed active in the church but didn't yield to the call until later. He began his ministry at Kingston United Methodist Church in Natchez, MS and continued his services at Richland UMC, Justice Heights UMC (Laurel, MS), Magnolia UMC, Prentiss UMC, Caswell Springs UMC and Gautier UMC. Rev. McCormick intended for Gautier UMC to be his final pastorate. In 1992, Orange Grove UMC and Pecan UMC asked him to be their supply (part-time) minister. Rev. McCormick worked toward merging the two congregations and by 1994 the congregations had organized and constructed Midway UMC. Rev. McCormick faithfully served Midway UMC for 12 years and was honored when the church named the new family life center the M.L. McCormick Family Life Center. Rev. McCormick's official final retirement was in June, 2004, but he continued to serve when called. He truly loved people.
During his ministry Rev. McCormick received many awards and served on various committees within the United Methodist Church. At Gautier he was selected as Outstanding Clergy of the Year and was the recipient of the Harry Denman Award for evangelism. He served as chairperson of the Board of Global Ministries for the Mississippi Methodist Conference, Council on Ministries, Mission Priority Committee, Program Coordinating Committee, Budget Review Committee and on the Board of Ordained Ministry. Rev. McCormick served four churches that were recognized as Church of the Year in their districts.
In addition to his church leadership, Rev. McCormick was active in community and service organizations. He coached Little League, Dixie Youth and Babe Ruth baseball leagues. He was a member of the Pine Burr Council of the Boy Scouts, vice-president of the Jones County Chapter of the Red Cross, president of Rotary Clubs in Prentiss and Richton and president of interfaith ministerial associations in Laurel, Magnolia and Prentiss. Rev. McCormick was on the Salvation Army advisory board and the Chamber of Commerce in Prentiss. In 1984, he was named Jefferson Davis County's Outstanding Citizen of the Year. He served for two years as chaplain for the Gautier Civitan Club and was on the Jackson County Foster Care Review Board.
Rev. McCormick is survived by his children Richard (Dick) McCormick and his wife, Elaine of Dyersburg, TN, Laureen Chandler and her husband, Larry, of Gautier, MS and Tom McCormick and his wife, Susan, of Biloxi, MS; his brother, Dr. James McCormick and his wife, Patricia, of Cumming, GA; and his sister-in-law Mary LeGrande Wiggers of Tupelo, MS.
Other survivors include grandchildren Alison (Mark) Schneider of Dyersburg, TN, Stephanie (Scott) Flynn of Arlington, TN, Tiffany (Billy) Riggins of Olive Branch, MS, Alan (Kimsey) McCormick of Flowood, MS, Robert (Shaunna) McCormick of Gulfport, MS and Laral Chandler of Gautier, MS; great grandchildren Ethan and Jake Schneider, Tyler Flynn, Kyle (Megan) Flynn, Colin, Sivana and Sadie Riggins and Lydia McCormick.
Preceded in death by his wife Tommie Lee McCormick, his parents, Rev. and Mrs. M.L. McCormick, Sr., his sisters Doris Smith, Mary Saunders and Emma Jean McCormick, and brothers-in-law Hugh Smith, the Rev. Charles Wiggers and Tom Saunders.
A visitation will be held Sunday, December 16th from 6-8 p.m. at Holder Wells Funeral Home, Moss Point, MS. The memorial service will be at First United Methodist Church of Gautier, located on Hwy. 90, Gautier, MS, at 11 a.m. with visitation from 10-11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made in Rev. McCormick's name to the Building Fund at First United Methodist Church of Gautier, P.O. Box 127, Gautier, MS 39553.
The family wishes to thank the staffs of River Chase Village, Gautier, MS, 2nd Floor West at Ocean Springs Hospital and Hospice of Light.
Holder-Wells Funeral Home of Moss Point, MS is in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences may be shared at www.holderwellsfuneralhome.com