Roy Cordle — who served for more than 50 years as a pastor, much of that in Alabama — died Dec. 31. He was 82.
Cordle was around 16 years old when he began to sense a call to ministry. He preached his first sermon in August 1967 at the church where his father served as pastor — Mount Pisgah Baptist in Pell City. He was working simultaneously at a local supermarket, where he worked his way up from bag boy to manager — a job he said God used to prepare him to relate to people.
Over those years, God affirmed Cordle’s call to ministry. He earned his bachelor of arts from William Carey College (now William Carey University) in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and bachelor of ministry from Florida Baptist Theological College (now the Baptist College of Florida) in Graceville. He also earned his master of ministry, doctor of ministry and doctor of theology degrees from Covington Theological Seminary in Rossville, Georgia.
Cordle served at a number of Alabama Baptist churches, including First Baptist DeArmanville, Calvary Baptist in Oxford and Louis Street Baptist in Gadsden. He also served at churches in Mississippi and Florida. Cordle also served on the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions and as moderator of Etowah Baptist Association.
In 2008, he retired from the pastorate of Riddles Bend Baptist Church in Rainbow City, where he had served for nearly seven years. But five months after moving to Anniston, he accepted an interim pastor position at New Haven Baptist Church. He served there five years, then accepted the call to Refuge Baptist Church in Lincoln, which honored his 50 years in ministry in 2017.
Cordle is survived by his wife of 57 years, Joan; daughter, Jacque; sisters, Jane and Maxine; brother, Mike; and one granddaughter. He is preceded in death by two brothers, Larry and John.