James Burton Gayler, 84, of Wildwood, passed away on Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at his residence in Wildwood. James Burton Gayler was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to Burton and Sadie Mae Gayler. He attended elementary school in Boynton Beach, Florida. At the age of 14 he went to Emory University Academy where, at the age of 15, he was called to preach and he graduated in 1946. This course of study usually requires 4 years to complete but Jim accomplished it in 2 years. He then attended Emory Jr. College in Valdosta, GA where he received his AA. From there he attended Emory University in Atlanta and graduated in 1948 with a B. A. degree. His next step was at Candler School of Theology at Emory graduating in 1953 with a Masters of Divinity degree. While living in Wilmore, Kentucky he audited classes at Asbury Seminary. He received a Doctor of Ministry degree in 1977 at Luther Rice Seminary in Jacksonville, FL. Jim and Betty have served many churches in Georgia, Florida, and Kentucky. He is a member of the Florida Annual Conference joining in 1954, retiring in 1994 from Community United Methodist Church in DeBary, FL. Since that time he has been a part-time pastor in several churches and is frequently asked to be a guest speaker on special Sundays. Jim is an avid reader since his retirement and enjoys calling, visiting and praying with friends and family. Survivors include his wife of 62 years Betty Gayler, sons David (Winnie) Gayler and Stephen Gayler, daughter Joy Gayler (Leslie) Wise, and granddaughter Josephine Kathryn Gayler. Jim was one of six children: sisters Nancy Amestoy husband Martin both deceased, Winfred Wade Gayler, deceased in World War II, William Gayler and wife Joan deceased, B.W. "Bob" Gayler and wife Jeanne, JoAnn King and her husband David, deceased; numerous nieces and nephews. A funeral service will be held at 2pm on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at Oxford United Methodist Church, 3906 E CR 466, Oxford, FL, 34484. A visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Oxford United Methodist Church, or The Florida United Methodist Children's Home. Online condolences may be sent at www.hiers-baxley.com.
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Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on Mar. 22, 2014