The Rev. Frederic Easley Manning Jr., 85, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, May 22, 2012.
Born in Newberry, S.C., in 1927 to the Rev. Fred E. Manning Sr. and Josephine Boozer Manning , he followed in his father’s footprints and became a minister in the Presbyterian Church. He studied at Columbia Bible College (S.C.) where he met his future wife, Betty Harris Easley, and graduated from King College, Bristol, Tenn. After completing his bachelor of divinity in 1950 from Columbia Theological Seminary (Decatur, Ga.), he was ordained in the coal fields of West Virginia. For 30 years he served in several pastorates throughout the south: Gilbert, Belle and Charleston (all in West Virginia); Huntsville, Ala.; Jackson, Tenn.; Savannah, Ga.; and lastly, Chattanooga.
Although he and his wife Betty had hoped to serve on the mission field immediately upon Fred’s graduation from seminary, the doors did not open for them until after they saw their four children through college. They served at the African Bible College (ABC) in Yekepa, Liberia, and later in Lilongwe, Malawi. Later Fred and Betty served at Christ College in Taiwan.
After 10 years in the mission field, health issues forced Fred and Betty to return to the States. Betty passed in 2005 and Fred carried on in ministry at East Ridge Presbyterian Church as an assistant pastor and even returned to Malawi for a short term of service at ABC.
Fred’s passion was serving the Lord and sharing His love with others. He was a renaissance man of sorts. He loved classical music as well as Southern gospel; in college he played the B flat cornet and was a champion at horseshoes. He enjoyed working in his backyard garden and liked to tinker in carpentry, assisting with additions that were made both to churches and manses where he served. He followed the Atlanta Braves faithfully, even during those years when they were always in last place, and when Archie Manning made headlines at Ole Miss (1969-70), he started following SEC football as well.
He is survived by his sisters, MaryGene Longenecker, Jo An Manning and Evelyn Manning ; four children, Catherine (Jerry) Bass, Dr. Joseph T. (Ellen) Manning , Anne Manning and Samuel (Teresa) Manning ; and seven grandchildren, Frank Shepard, Evan Shepard, Annie Herrington, Molly, Nathaniel, Maggie and Jackson Manning.
Services will be held at East Ridge Presbyterian Church at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 26. Visitation will be at the church two hours preceding the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Horizon Missions Group, in support of the ENI mission school in Liberia (5421 Weaver Drive, Chattanooga, 37412) or to Hospice of Chattanooga.
Copyright: Copyright 2012, Chattanooga Times Free Press.