Rev. Joel MontgomeryApril 23, 1946 ~ November 22, 2017 (age 71)
Joel David Montgomery (fondly known as J.D.) was born April 23, 1946 in Lexington, Mississippi. Joel was born to parents Ruth Elizabeth Smith and Tommie Lee Montgomery. At a young age, he relocated to Chicago, Illinois where he received his education. Joel served in the U.S. Army where he earned the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and a Purple Heart. On March 24, 1973, Joel married Terri Reese. Together they moved to South Haven, Michigan and spent many beautiful years together. There, Joel worked for the State of Michigan Department of Military affairs until retirement.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
Joel accepted Christ at a young age in Chicago at New Christian Fellowship Baptist Church. His faith continued to shape how he lived his life both inside and outside of the church. Putting that faith into practice, Joel joined First Baptist Church in Covert, Michigan where served as president of Laymen’s of Chain Lake District Baptist Association. After some time, he was ordained to preach the gospel under the leadership of Pastor Sherman McClain. Later, he joined Gospel Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church in Covert, Michigan under the leadership of Pastor Henry Allen. Joel faithfully served at that church and in various ministries until the decline of his health.
Family was central to Joel’s life. Family members could see how Joel let his light shine and glorified God through his interactions with family. His sons fondly remember the ways he showed his love for them whether it be by saying, “I love you” to them, or by humbling himself to apologize if he felt he had been too harsh-- both actions distinct for his generation. It was easy to note the love he had for his family in the activities he took part in. Joel enjoyed travel with others, showing family the programs on his computers, gifting his grandchildren with gadgets he ordered, or just eating a delicious meal with his loved ones. Food was always a way that Joel showed love and compassion. Frequently, he would think of others and be sure to ask if they had something to eat when visiting. Everyone around Joel could see he truly was a light that shined bright for all to see.
Joel Montgomery passed away on November 22, 2017 in his home. Joel was preceded in death by his mother and father, brothers Tommie and Patrick, and a daughter, Nelvia (Mimi). Joel was widely loved and cared for. Left to cherish his memory are his loving wife Terri, sons Anthony of Lansing, Michigan, Charles (Rose) of Abington, Pennsylvania, Joel (Jody) of Caledonia Michigan, and sister Wauleda Montgomery of Richton Park, Illinois; additionally, a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Wake will be held from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at the Gospel Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church. Funeral services will follow the wake at 12:00 PM with Pastor Henry Allen officiating. Kindly share your thoughts and memories on the family's online guestbook.