Wayne Eugene Ward

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wayne Eugene Ward, 90, of Louisville passed away Wednesday, May 23, 2012, at the Palliative Care Unit of Baptist East Hospital in Louisville.

He was born July 28, 1921, in Piggott, Ark., to Kitty Belle Harris and Egbert Grant Ward, a prominent attorney and circuit judge in Clay County, Ark. He grew up with two brothers, Maurice and Ray, and one sister, Alma Mae.

After a childhood of throwing clay pigeons for the author Ernest Hemingway, Wayne became a teacher at age 16 in Hickoria, Ark. He then went on to Ouachita Baptist College in 1938, where he met his "sweet little Mary Ann Heath" the next year. They quickly became engaged but were required to postpone the wedding due to his enrollment and training as a Lt. (JG) in the Naval Air Rescue Service. They were married in the First Baptist Church of Little Rock on June 15, 1943.

Wayne then served as a pilot and navigator for the Navy, flying PBYs, until the end of World War II. In March 1946, he enrolled in Southern Baptist Seminary and was called to minister at Finchville Baptist Church. In 1951, Wayne was elected instructor in Theology and Biblical Languages, and then became the Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Theology until his retirement.

Over the years, he served as interim pastor at many churches, including First Baptist Church of Shelbyville, Immanuel Baptist Church of Lexington, First Baptist Church of Memphis and Immanuel Baptist Church of Little Rock, where he served as advisor and minister to then-governor of Arkansas, Bill Clinton. He also taught and counseled at the International Baptist Seminary in Zurich-Ruschlikon, Switzerland, and the Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem, Israel. He led numerous tours and trips to the Holy Lands over the course of his career. Wayne also remained Pastor Emeritus at Finchville Baptist Church until his death.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Mary Ann Heath Ward after 65 years; his brothers, Maurice S. and Ray H. Ward, and his sister Alma Mae Ward Lokey.

Survivors include his son, Larry Wayne Ward (Peggy) of Yorba Linda, Calif.; his daughter, Rebecca Ann Fulgham (Jimmy) of Chattanooga, Tenn.; his son, David Heath Ward (Mimi) of Shelbyville, Ky.; four grandchildren, Jason Ward Fulgham, Ashley Ann Fulgham Phillips, Jacqueline Marie Ward and Thomas Lee Ward, and great-grandson, Holden West Phillips.

Visitation was from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday, May 26, at the Shannon Funeral Home in Shelbyville, followed by the funeral service by Pastor Jay Tigner at 6 p.m. Visitation was held Saturday, May 27, at the main sanctuary of Crescent Hill Baptist Church in Louisville from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, followed by another funeral service led by Pastor William Johnson and R. Page Fulgham at 12 noon. Burial followed at Cave Hill Cemetery.

The family requests that any memorial gifts go to Finchville Baptist Church, P.O. Box 1, Finchville, KY 40022 or the Mary Ann and Wayne Ward scholarship fund at Ouachita Baptist University, P.O. Box 3754, Arkadelphia, AR 71998-0001.