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Dr. D. Perry GINN

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Dr.  D. Perry GINN Obituary

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Dr. D. Perry Ginn was born in Athens, GA on December 21, 1928, then moved to Atlanta where he grew up. Dr. Ginn graduated from the University of Georgia, and entered the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, earning his Ph.D. in Old Testament Studies in 1958. Dr. Ginn was ordained at Sylvan Hills Baptist Church in Atlanta on March 29, 1949. He was the pastor of churches in Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia, including First Baptist Church in Gainesville, GA and Peachtree Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. Dr. Ginn preached his final sermon at North Clarendon Baptist Church in Avondale, GA on July 15, 2012, just before his diagnosis of ALS. He joined the Lord on May 17, 2013. Throughout his life and ministry, Dr. Ginn promoted equality, acceptance, love and grace. He taught that God's love and grace is meant for everyone and never let anything - race, gender, status, sexual orientation, where you lived or how much money you had- become a distraction from God's message of acceptance, love and grace. In the 1950's, Dr. Ginn was outspoken about the Christian stance on integration. As the 27 year old pastor of First Baptist Church in Hodgenville, KY, Dr. Ginn preached powerful sermons calling on the community to embrace desegregation of the schools. He took stands combating racial injustices and prejudices throughout his life. He left the ministry for 15 years during which time Dr. Ginn was a Senior Vice President of Management Training at Days Inns, a speaker and lecturer and the Executive Director of the Christian Council of Metropolitan Atlanta. Dr. Ginn returned to the ministry in 1988. Long a believer that women should have an equal role in ministry, in 1996, Dr. Ginn ordained the first African American female Southern Baptist minister in the Southeast. Dr. Ginn set the standard for unconditional love. Dr. Ginn was a scholar, a member of Mensa and the World Future Society. He was creative; always open to innovative approaches and was well loved as a mentor, teacher and coach. Dr. Ginn had an insatiable curiosity, was an avid reader, and loved roller coasters and science. He had a gift for being able to break down complex scripture so that the essence of the message could be easily understood. In 2008, Dr. Ginn endowed the D. Perry and Betty H. Ginn Lecture Series on Christian Faith and Modern Science at Mercer University's McAfee School of Theology. Dr. Ginn retired from full time ministry in 1997 to care for his wife, Betty, but continued his service on a part time basis until he retired again in 2005 to provide fulltime care for her. After Mrs. Ginn's death in May 2007, Dr. Ginn became the pastor of North Clarendon Baptist Church in December. Dr. Ginn also conducted weekly Bible Studies and Prayer Services for 12 years at Clairmont Crest Apartments where he lived. Dr. Ginn is survived by his sister and brother in law, Joyce and Alvin Denman of Morrow, GA; Daughter, Kathy Ginn Brown Colbenson and son-in-law, Pete Colbenson of Atlanta, GA; Son, David P. Ginn, Jr. and daughter-in-law, Rhonda Ginn of Clarkesville, GA; Daughter, Christine Barker and son-in-law, Raymond "Skip" Barker of Dawsonville, GA; Granddaughter, Shannon Brown of Atlanta, GA; and Granddaughter, Hayley Ginn of Clarkesville, GA; the other children he loved, Jay Smithson of Atlanta, GA , Joe Smithson of Atlanta, GA and Nancy Smithson of Gainesville, GA and their families; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, friends; relatives and countless brothers and sisters in Christ and in faith. A Memorial Service to honor Dr. Ginn's life will be held on May 19, 2013 at 2:30 PM at Peachtree Baptist Church, 2108 Briarcliff Road, NE, Atlanta, GA 30329. In lieu of flowers, Dr. Ginn requested that donations in his memory be made to further the work of God by helping children and families through CHRIS Kids which is led by his daughter, Kathy. (CHRIS Kids, 1017 Fayetteville Road, Suite B, Atlanta, GA 30316 or online at www.chriskids.org); or to North Clarendon Baptist Church (P.O. Box 633, Avondale Estates, GA 30002). A. S. Turner and Sons Funeral Home and Crematory.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on May 18, 2013
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