The Rev. Dr. Elisha George Hall, age 87, of 3341 Lancelot Road, Petersburg, Va., departed this life on Tuesday, June 10, 2014. When God sent him into the world, God did not lose him. We are not losing him, for he is in God's everlasting care and will be forever in our hearts.
Dr. Elisha G. Hall was born on Feb.2, 1927, in Seminary in Fairfax County, Va., to the late David and Mary Magdalene Wanzer Hall. To this union, he was born the fifth of 11 children, four girls and seven boys. He was predeceased by a twin brother, Elias Hall, and siblings, Oscar Hall, Nathaniel Hall, Cornelius Hall, Matthew Hall, Preston Hall, Evelyn Hall and Louise Hall Miller. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mrs. Lucille Miller Hall, the love of his life, and Mrs. Margaret Spinner Smith Hall.
He leaves to cherish his legacy, a loving and devoted wife, the Rev. Dr. Antrynette Sydnor Walker Hall; a daughter, Mrs. Rachel Hall Clarke of Edison, N.J.; stepdaughter, Mrs. Tracie W. Kirkland (husband Robert) of Bentonville, Ark.; a stepson, Mr. James Allen Walker and wife, Patricia, Petersburg; grandchildren, Kevin Olivis, Morgan Leigh Kirkland, Maya Lynn Kirkland, Samuel C. Kirkland and Quintin J. Blakes; a sister, Mrs. Dorothy B. Smith and husband, Waldo Smith, of Washington, D.C.; brothers-in-law, Lee A. Fields and Charles R. Fields, both of Petersburg; two sisters-in-law, Isabel Hall and Beatrice Hall; two goddaughters, Rochelle Nightengale and Alice Boyce; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and relatives.
Dr. Hall attended the public school system of Fairfax County, Va., and Randal's Junior High School in Washington, D.C., and graduated from high school at Virginia Seminary and College, Lynchburg, Va.
At the age of 17, he received his call to the gospel ministry in 1945. He was licensed to preach the gospel at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Alexandria, Va., under the pastorate of the Rev. Dr. William H. Triplett. He continued his education at Virginia Seminary and College (Virginia University of Lynchburg) and earned a bachelor of arts degree and a master of divinity degree. He also earned a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education from Virginia State University of Petersburg, Va., and a master of education from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Va. He also received a doctor of divinity (D.D.) from his alma mater and an Honorary Doctor of Literary Letters (LL.D.) from Richmond Virginia Seminary, Richmond, Va.
Elisha was a person who was very active in public activities. While living in Roanoke, Va., he pastored and built a new church, First Baptist Church, Hollins, Va.
Before going to Charlottesville, Va., Elisha served as pastor of several rural churches, including Poplar Springs in Bedford County, Oak Grove in Waynesboro and Star of Bethlehem in Henry County, and one church in the city of Danville, Va., Liberty Hill Baptist Church.
In 1968, Dr Hall was called to be the pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist in Charlottesville, Va. During the 36 years as full-time pastor, much work was done. Being a visionary, Elisha immediately recognized the need for church organization. His first task was to organize the Deacon and Trustee Ministry as a model for the church. He led the church in adopting the National Baptist Convention's financial system. Looking at the interior and exterior of the church, Pastor Hall led the congregation in a program of improvement. New pews were purchased and central air was installed. The front of the church was done with brick replacements where needed. New steps and railings were constructed to make the church more accessible for entering and exiting. It was Pastor Hall's prayer to the Lord Jesus that he would live to see all the projects done. Dr. Hall's last act as pastor was baptizing a family of six who became great workers in the church. The Rev. Dr. Hall had several ministers who became members of Ebenezer. The following ministers worked with the Rev. Dr. Halland were later called to different churches as successful pastors and ministers: the Rev. Dr. Rickey White, the Rev. Dr. Michael Turner, the Rev. Lawrence M. Reed, Dr. Melvin McAllister, the Rev. Alonzo Minor, the Rev. Lewis Lee and the Rev. Adolphus Paige. Other "adopted" sons affiliated with his ministry included Dr. Bernard X. James of Philadelphia and the Rev. Dr. Thomas M. Baker of Louisville, Ky. After serving Ebenezer Baptist Church for 36½ years, the Rev. Dr. Hall retired due to failing health and was named pastor emeritus. The church appointed a committee to plan Dr. Hall's retirement banquet with Deacon Robert Brown as chairman. This was one of the highlights of his ministry with hundreds of members, colleagues, friends and family present.
Dr. Hall always said that he "would rather wear out, than to rust out." His motto was "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4: 13). Dr. Hall often said, "I am not tired yet." Therefore, Dr. Hall started doing much community work.
Dr. Hall served as moderator of the Piedmont District Baptist Association and president of the Virginia Baptist State Convention, and was awarded many awards and citations, namely: Public Housing Authority of the City of Charlottesville, Va., eight years on the City Council of Charlottesville and two years as the vice mayor.
Again, it was with great pleasure and excitement that Dr. Hall had many accomplishments as interim president and as president of such a great institution as the Virginia University in the historical city of Lynchburg, Va.
After working in the public school systems of Pittsylvania, Roanoke and Albemarle counties for 31 years, Dr. Hall retired in June 1988.
Dr. Hall, however, began to serve as an adjunct professor and dean in the School of Religion in 1992. In the same year, the Trustee Board of the school elected him as president. He had some good certified people working with him including: Dr. Leroy Fitts, Mrs. Kathy Franklin, Dr. M.R. Boone and Dr. Antrynette S. Walker, who some years later became his wife. In 1999, Dr. Hall retired and rested for a few years.
Dr. Hall's last public service as pastor was as the interim pastor of the Union Baptist Church, Hopewell, for two years and four months. Dr. Hall decided to fully retire from preaching and to continue to be a mentor and counselor.
Service for the Rev. Dr. Elisha G. Hall will be held 4 p.m. Saturday, June 14, 2014, at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 418 Halifax St., Petersburg, Va.; the Rev. Dr. Robert A. Diggs Sr., pastor, eulogist. Interment will be held 4 p.m. Sunday, June 15, 2014, at the Miller Family Cemetery, Gretna, Va.
A wake will be held at 7 p.m. Friday in the Chapel of the J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment Inc.
The family will receive friends at 3341 Lancelot Road, Petersburg, Va., and may be contacted by calling 804-733-8067.
Family members and friends are invited to pay final tribute to the Rev. Dr. Hall at www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com
In lieu of floral arrangements, contributions may be made to the Tabernacle Baptist Church, Attn: Building Fund, 418 Halifax St., Petersburg, Va., in memory of the Rev. Dr. Elisha G. Hall.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to the staff of J.M. Wilkerson Funeral Establishment Inc., 102 South Ave., Petersburg, Va., 804-732-8911, www.jmwilkersonsince1874.com