On April 28, 2021, God called His long-time and faithful servant, Willie Dell (W.D.) Flowers home to eternal rest with him. Willie Dell Flowers was born on March 23, 1934, to the late Ida Mae Flowers and Alto Haynes, Jr., in Coffee County, AL. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 53 years, Ruby Rance Flowers; both parents, maternal grandparents Will Garfield, Lilla Lampley and Willie Dee Flowers and paternal grandparents Ellener and Alto Haynes, Sr.
Rev. W. D. Flowers was raised in Brundidge, AL, by his grandparents. He accepted Christ at an early age and joined St. Paul A.M.E. Church, Brundidge, AL. Upon graduating from Pike County Training School, he attended Alabama State College with a strong desire to earn a degree in music. He completed one year before transferring to Lawson State Technical College, Birmingham, AL. He earned a certificate in dry cleaning and laundry used his certificate to join his late uncle, Joe Flowers at the Flowers Dry Cleaners. During this time, while delivering dry cleaning to the home of his future in-laws, Rev. L.W. & Norma Rance Russell, he met his future wife, Ruby L. Rance. They were married in March 1959. They were the proud parents of two children, Alvin Lydell and Rosalind Denise.
In 1963, he accepted God’s call to preach the Gospel, and delivered his trial-sermon in 1964, at Friendship A.M.E. Church Ozark, AL. He was ordained as an itinerant deacon in October of 1965. He was ordained as an itinerant elder in the AME church in 1966. After being called to the ministry, he studied at Daniel Payne College in Birmingham, AL and the South Alabama In-Service Institute of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, Dothan, AL.
Over the course of his forty years in the ministry, Rev Flowers was pastor of Mt. Moriah A.M.E. Church, Sconierville, AL; Hartford (AL) Circuit, Florala & Lockhart (AL) Circuit, Abbeville (AL) Circuit; Mt. Zion & Clio (AL) Circuit; Pinckard (AL) Circuit; Hines Chapel, Dothan, AL; St. Luke, Eufaula, AL and his home church, St. Paul A.M.E., Brundidge, AL. He retired in 2004 after 40 years of dedicated service to Christ and many wonderful congregations. Post retirement, Rev. Flowers remained active in spreading the Gospel and served as interim/supply pastor at several churches in the south conference of the AME church including the historic Cherry Street AME Church, Dothan, AL.
His pastoral journey allowed him time to travel to many states in support of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He attended many General Conferences, State Conventions, District Conferences, Sunday School Conventions and area meetings where he was blessed to be among many Christians and supporters of the AME Church. He was also blessed to represent his conference as a delegate to several General Conferences. Rev. Flowers was honored to serve as Assistant Secretary and was later named as the Secretary of the South Alabama Conference for approximately 15 years. During his service, he served under Bishops: I.H. Bonner, H.N. Robinson, Vincent R. Anderson, Phillip R. Cousins, Sr., Frank Madison Reid, C.E. Thomas, Z.L. Grady, and T. Larry Kirkland. He served under Presiding Elders: J.C. Jarrett, G.W. Shaw, Randolph Grubbs, J.D. Sanders, David E. Reddick and Willis N. Huggins, Sr. He was mentored earlier in his ministry by his brother-in-law, Rev. L.W. Russell and Rev. E.N. Palmer.
In conjunction with his ministerial career and with family responsibilities, Rev. Flowers worked for several employers and spent 16 years at DynaCorp, Ft. Rucker, AL as an Aircraft Mechanic and retired in 1996.
His favorite conversation was about the Goodness of God and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He loved history, particularly Black history. In 1964, he organized a civic league voting rights group in the Klondyke community to ensure the members of Friendship A.M.E. and Union Grove Baptist churches were educated about their voting rights and were registered voters.
For many years, he and his late wife were successful vegetable gardeners and shared the produce with family and friends. He preserved figs and pears and shared them with family (as long as you promised to return the mason jar). He was an avid Alabama Crimson Tide football fan. He was also a proud supporter of his son’s alma mater, Jackson State (MS) University Tigers football team. Rev. Flowers loved his family and he enjoyed hosting family barbecues for over 50 years until 2019 when his health no longer allowed him to lead and fully participate. After the passing of his late wife Ruby, he became affiliated with the Senior Citizens Association in Ozark, AL and continued to share God’s word with those around him.
Rev. Willie D. Flowers leaves to cherish his precious memories: a devoted son and caregiver, Alvin L. Flowers, Alpharetta, GA; a caring daughter, Rosalind D. Binion (Melvin), Ozark, AL; grandsons Joshua A. Flowers (his mother, Cynthia); Myles Rogers (his mother, Vergie), Melvin Binion Jr.; granddaughters, Rosetta and Ruby Binion. One devoted sister, Gloria W. McSwain (Charlie), Miami, FL; Three brothers, Arnie Weatherington (Carol), Miami, Fl; Alonzo (Kim) Weatherington, Grande Vallarta, FL; and Marty Weatherington, Miami, FL. One devoted sister-in-law, Odahlia Rance, Saginaw, MI; two special cousins, Mary Louise Bruce, Dothan, AL and Jeanette Lampley, Brundidge, AL; his adopted family, Yvonne & Hildagant Sanders and their children, Charlie and Patricia. He was a proud uncle in-law of his nieces and nephews of the Klondyke community: Christine Harper Sanders, Mary Harper Sanders, Altha R. Newman, Alton J. Newman, Malcolm R. Newman, Tauheed Abdullah, Timeka Sanders, and Joseph Newman; a host of other nieces, nephews and cousins. Special thanks to family friend and caregiver, Linda McDaniel and Alicia Gautney, Encompass Home Health.
Rev. W.D. Flowers loved life and lived it to the fullest. He often referred to himself as a “blessed man” and was grateful for his life’s journey which allowed him and his late wife, Ruby, to be guided by the Word of God and His Mercy.
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