Rev. W. A. Fordham
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Funeral services for Rev. W. A. Fordham will be held at 10:00 A. M. on Saturday, July 6, 2013 at Petal First Baptist Church. Visitation will be on Friday, July 5, 2013 from 5:00 - 8:00 P. M. at Petal First Baptist Church.
Rev. Fordham was born in Chatham, LA on November 13, 1926. He was 17 years old when he enlisted in the Navy to fight in WWII. While in basic training, he was a boxer and won all his bouts. He was later stationed in the Philippines where he was trained in Radio Code School, but he was moved to the motor pool because of his exceptional mechanical ability.
Upon his return home, he came to Mississippi with his brother who pastored Napoleon Baptist Church. On Sunday he met his future wife. W. A. Fordham and Ethel Hover were married on December 22, 1946.
Rev. Fordham surrendered to the gospel ministry at age 25. He attended Clark College and William Carey College. After graduation from WCC, he taught school in Logtown, MS before entering New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he earned a Master of Divinity Degree in 1961. He pastored Napoleon Baptist Church in Napoleon, MS and Oak Hill Baptist Church in Poplarville, MS before coming to Petal First Baptist Church in November 1961. He pastored Petal First Baptist for 30 years before retiring in 1991. After his retirement he was interim pastor at several churches in the Hattiesburg area.
Rev. Fordham mentored many young pastors and was held in high esteem by those who knew him.
Rev. Fordham is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years, Ethel Hover Fordham, two sons: Al Fordham and wife Janet of Hattiesburg, and Gary Fordham and wife Karen of Petal; 5 grandchildren: Amy Fordham of Hattiesburg; David Fordham and wife Dani of Ft. Walton Beach, FL; Luke Fordham and fiancé Dana, Landon Fordham and fiancé Brandi, and Haley Fordham, all of Petal; 3 great-grandchildren: Megan, Tyler and Caleb Fordham of Ft. Walton Beach, FL; and an number of nieces and nephews.
Rev. Fordham was preceded in death by his parents William E. and Lura Fordham, 2 brothers, 3 sisters, and grandson Craig Fordham.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the building fund at Petal First Baptist Church, or to the Fordham-Thompson Scholarship Fund at William Carey University.
Published in the Hattiesburg American on July 5, 2013