Rev. Joe Nathan Ferrell Jr. a native Texas, was born October 17, 1924 in Marshall (Harrison County) Texas, to the union of Rev. Joe Nathan Ferrell Sr. and Mrs. Octavia Jackson Ferrell. He was trained in a Christian environment and publicly confesses the Lord Jesus at the age of 12 at Bethesda Baptist Church in Marshall, Texas. Rev. Ferrell was the older of two sons and always fondly recalled the memories that he and his brother John Henry Ferrell shared in Marshall, Texas. The two came from a musical talented family and Reverend often spoke of the joy that they shared from living next to Bishop College and utilizing knowledge gained from the music department there.
Rev. Ferrell answered his calling to the ministry on February 17, 1947 and preached his first sermon in March 1947 and received his license to preach the Gospel in April 1947. He was assigned to pastor his first church in September 1957 (Bethel AME in Barstow, California). Since that time his seventeen (17) pastoral charges have spanned the states of California, Washington, Arizona, Kansas and Texas. He retired from pastoring in September 1998 but not from preaching and teaching the Word of the Lord.
Rev. Ferrell was a humble, kind, and peaceful lover of mankind. He was very community oriented and always strived to make things better wherever he went. He was always seen around the City which he named "Sweet Alice". He believed in tearing down the barriers within our homes, our families and our communities and persevering in building up each other, our families, our church, our communities, and most of all, God’s Kingdom. This beloved patriarch of the community has received numerous awards and recognition and was additionally honored with a street, Ferrell Ave, named after him in the City of Alice. His first accomplishment in the City of Alice was to initiate the first ever Black History Celebration in the City which was broadcast live on one of the local radio stations. His last and most meaningful accomplishment was in October of 2014 when he initiated and dedicated a bench in memory of Nelson Mandela, which was placed in Brazzell Park on Ferrell Ave.
Survivors are his loving wife: Lonnie Ruth Ferrell of Alice, Texas; his blended children: Daughters: Reverend JoHelen Ferrell-Hilderbrandt (Eugene) of Somerset, New Jersey. Chandra Carrington-Lewis of Alice, Texas. Eva Carrington Brown (Richard) of Round Rock, Texas. Sara Carrington of Pflugerville, Texas; Sons: George Stanley Ferrell of Ft. Worth, Texas; Lawrence Edward Ferrell of Nacogdoches, Texas; Terence L. Mann of Alice, Texas; Cedric L. Carrington (Nichole) of Hutto, Texas; Twelve grandchildren, fifteen great grandchildren, nephew: Todd Ferrell (Heidi) of Virginia Beach, Va. Niece; Sheba Ferrell Simon of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. And numerous other family and friends.
Visitation will begin on Friday, April 8, 2016 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Roberson Funeral Home Chapel in Alice, Texas. Funeral Services are scheduled for Saturday, April 9, 2016 at 11 a.m. at the West Main Baptist Church in Alice, Texas. Burial to follow in the Roberson Collins Memorial Cemetery. Services entrusted to Roberson Funeral Home of Alice, Texas. Online condolences may be left at www.robersonfuneralhomes.net