Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Thomas L. Stephenson, 87, pastor of Unity Worship Center

Thomas L. Stephenson
Thomas L. Stephenson

BOLIVIA — Pastor Thomas L. Stephenson went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on Friday, Dec. 9, 2016, at the Lower Cape Fear Hospice House in Bolivia, N.C., at the age of 87. He was the full-time pastor of Unity Worship Center in Holden Beach, N.C.

Pastor Stephenson is survived by his wife, Valera Stephenson; sisters, Shirley (Jerry) Smith and Doris Griffis. He will be missed every day by his loving children, Lewis (Hope) Stephenson, Randy (MaryLou) Stephenson, Brenda Stephenson Jones (Charles), Darryl (Tara) Stephenson and Kathy Wade. He leaves behind grandchildren, Tommy, Tim, Brian, Ryan, Justin, Tiffany, Kevin, Chad and Blair, seven great-grandchildren and one great-great grandson; and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.

Pastor Stephenson was born in Johnson County, son of the late James and Plassie Jones Stephenson. Five brothers, Willie, Shirrell Ray, George, James and Wilbur; four sisters, Letha, Lucille, Linda, and Barbara; and a grandson, Lee Stephenson, preceded him in death.

Our dad lived a full life; he has left his mark on this world in many astonishing and wonderful ways. He was a man of faith and lived his life serving others. He had a passion for helping anyone less fortunate and tirelessly operated food banks for more than 25 years in Ashe and Brunswick counties. His faith, generosity and compassion touched many lives. He made us very proud to be his children and his legacy.

Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, at the chapel of White Funeral and Cremation Services in Shallotte, N.C. The family will have a gathering of family and friends one hour prior to the service at the chapel. Interment and graveside services will be held Monday, Dec. 12, in Oak Grove Cemetery, Durham, N.C.

In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests with gratitude that monetary donations in his honor be considered to the Gideon’s International P.O. Box 834, Shallotte, NC 28459; or the SECU Hospice House of Brunswick, 955 Mercy Lane Bolivia, NC 28422.

Special thanks and much gratitude to the staff at the SECU Hospice House of Brunswick; your kindness and dignified care of our pastor, friend, husband, brother, uncle and father made saying goodbye bearable.

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