SPARKS, REV. I.A. - August 21, 1933 - December 14, 2012. I.A. dedicated his life to the service of our Lord, Jesus Christ. He has served as pastor of Gospel Baptist Church in Knoxville since 1971 and could not have done it without the support of his faithful wife of 57 years, Joyce. He would have celebrated his fiftieth anniversary of being ordained next month. I.A. was a faithful husband to Joyce, father to Mickie and Wendell and grandfather to Brad and Bryan. Recently, I.A. became a great grandfather and loved Josiah with all of his heart. He leaves behind a legacy of love and compassion. Throughout his ministry, he always put the needs of others before those of his own. You didn't have to be around I.A. long to realize that his heart's desire was to serve others. He loved the Lord and was proud to have been a pastor. He is preceded in death by parents S.L. and Bessie Sparks, brothers Tom, Frank, Junior, Fritz, John, sister Louise Tinch and beloved son, Wendell. He leaves behind to cherish his memories his wife and lifelong friend, Joyce, daughter Mickie Sparks Hair, grandsons Brad and Bryan Hair and his wife Jayme, great grandson, Josiah and a host of family and friends. His family would like to thank Dr. Chen and the staff at Concord Family Practice along with Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center for the outstanding care that he received. Visitation will be Sunday 4:00 to 7:00 with a service to follow at 7:00 p.m. in the chapel at Weaver Funeral Home with Rev. Bryan Hair officiating, Family and friends will meet Monday at 10:00 a.m. at Weavers to go in procession to Solway Church of God for a 11:00 a.m. graveside service. You may sign and leave condolences for Sparks family on-line at www.weaverfuneralservices.com.
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Published in Knoxville News Sentinel from Dec. 15 to Dec. 16, 2012