Rev. Woodfin Kirk Grove

Obituary
7 entries
  • "Don and I send our sincere sympathy and love to Dot. ..."
    - Doris & Don DeZutter
  • "Our thoughts and prayers are with you Dot , and thankful we..."
    - Reed Clarkson
  • "I enjoyed my years at First Methodist. Woodfin and Dot..."
    - DiAnne Hamilton
  • "There is a small group of people that were always fondly in..."
    - Bob Hammond
  • "To Dot and family, Woodfin will be in our hearts forever. I..."
    - Joan Eccleston
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The celebration of life service for Reverend Woodfin Kirk Grove, Pastor Emeritus of Anniston First United Methodist Church, will be Wednesday, October 19, 2016, at the church, 1400 Noble Street, Anniston, Alabama at 1 p.m. The family will receive friends in The Bridge immediately following the service. Private entombment at Forestlawn Gardens. Reverend Grove was born into this life on October 23, 1918, and was born into eternal life on Sunday, October 16, 2016. We will come together to pay our tribute and our respect to a man of God. His devotion to his family and friends, as well as his earnest belief in God, supported him through the years and has now given him peace. He has departed and he has arrived. While we mourn his passing, we also joyfully celebrate his life and his homecoming in Heaven. Reverend Grove's early childhood was spent at the family home in Warsaw, Alabama, on the banks of the Tombigbee River. In late childhood and youth, he lived in the western part of Birmingham and attended public schools in Birmingham. He was a graduate of Birmingham Southern College and received his graduate degree in theology from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. His church ministry began in the summer between his junior and senior high school year, filling in for a disabled minister, and continued for nearly 50 years. Arriving in Anniston in 1970 as the newly appointed Senior Pastor of Anniston First United Methodist Church, he remained in that position for eleven years and was subsequently honored with the distinguished title of Pastor Emeritus in 1981. His retirement date was simply and only that - a date. His ministry continued as a trusted advisor, a published author, an intellectual conversationalist, a spiritual leader and teacher, an ambassador for his church, a mentor for the young and old, a faithful servant and a representative for Jesus Christ. One of his most cherished and challenging responsibilities in retirement was to serve as interim pastor to Goshen United Methodist Church following the violent tornadoes on Palm Sunday morning of 1994 that took the lives of many church members, including the sitting pastor's young daughter. In the years prior to his service at Anniston First United Methodist Church, Reverend Grove served United Methodist Churches in Hanceville, Falkville, Forest Lake in Tuscaloosa and three churches in Birmingham, Central Park, East Lake and Vestavia Hills. His business acumen and leadership ability served as a steady, warm and loving catalyst for church growth. Not only did he build communities of love and understanding in each church he served, but he also literally built by hand some of the churches he served. In a time when neighbors spoke less often and life became fragmented by work and worries, Reverend Grove created a place where his congregations found safe harbor. He had a welcoming and non-judgmental demeanor. He was considered by all to be a consummate southern gentleman. Conversation with Reverend Grove was never about him, but always about you. His service to the churches within the North Alabama Conference spanned a total of 43 years. Knowing the vital and necessary link between a community and a church, Reverend Grove also was active in civic affairs in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Anniston. Reverend Grove married the love of his life, Dorothy Rowland Grove, who survives him. He affectionately said that he rescued her from an administrative position in 1943 when they married and has 'walked comfortably in her shadow' ever since. They were together in all things - service, family, travel and love. After their arrival in Anniston, Reverend Grove took his place in the pulpit and the counseling room. His Dorothy took her place in other areas of the church and went to work with wit, wisdom and a happy demeanor. To many, she is Dot. To Woodfin, she was always his Dorothy. The Grove Sunday School Class bears the Grove name in her honor. The Grove Dining Hall at Camp Lee honors them both. In his own words, he said his family accomplishments are one wife, Dorothy Rowland Grove; one daughter, Anne Mitchell (Jack), of Birmingham; one grandson, John Stiff (Teresa), of Trussville, and one niece (and God child), Lizanne Thomas (David Black), of Atlanta. Having lost his parents at a very young age, Reverend Grove made Dorothy's family his family. There are countless others who would claim him as family - students, parishioners and more, all of whom were privileged to see him as their pastor, counselor, surrogate parent and friend. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that memorial donations be made to the Children's Place (Hannah Clem Scholarship Fund), P.O. Box 1789, Anniston, Alabama 36202 or Interfaith Ministries, P.O. Box 1414, Anniston, Alabama 36202. Online condolences may be made at www.klbrownmemorychapel.com K.L. Brown Memory Chapel 620 Golden Springs Rd. Anniston, AL 36207 (256)-231-2334
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K.L. Brown Memory Chapel
620 Golden Springs Road
Anniston, AL 36207
(256) 231-2334
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Published in The Anniston Star on Oct. 18, 2016