Roy Henry McCormick ’56

The Reverend Doctor Roy Henry McCormick, 88, passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, September 18, 2022, in Orlando, Florida. He was born to Roy Gordon McCormick and Henrietta Sixma McCormick in DeLand, Florida on December 12, 1933.

Roy’s father worked for Florida Power & Light and put his son to work during the summertime where he became an expert at climbing and trimming trees. He was also a fearless ladder climber – a skill he would later use when changing lightbulbs on the high ceiling in the church sanctuary. Young Roy also helped his uncle harvest tobacco at the farm in Socastee, South Carolina.

Roy met his lifelong sweetheart, Nancy Jane McCallum, while they were students at Deland High School in the marching band. They married on June 15, 1956 and spent their honeymoon in St. Augustine, Florida. They continued to enjoy regular visits there for many years.

Roy was called by God to pursue the ministry while in high school. He trained for a lifetime of service by earning degrees from Davidson College (BS), Louisville Theological Seminary (MDiv), and the McCormick Theological Seminary (DMin). After ordination, he began preaching at the Covenant Presbyterian Church in Wendell, North Carolina. He also supported the community as a volunteer firefighter.

In 1964, he moved the family to Orlando, Florida to answer the call from Calvary Presbyterian Church. The young pastor was easily identified by his easy-going nature, flattop haircut, and his pale blue Volkswagen Bug. He led a successful building program that produced a beautiful sanctuary and fellowship hall. Calvary was known for having a traditional order of worship, insightful and uplifting sermons, and an outstanding music program. The church attracted a large group of members and visitors from the neighborhood and from the Orlando area. Regular and holiday worship services, Sunday school, monthly Family Night Suppers, and Vacation Bible School were well attended throughout his tenure. He earned the nickname “Marrying Sam” due to the large number of weddings he performed.

The next stop was Indialantic, Florida where he served as senior pastor at the Eastminster Presbyterian Church. He was honored to serve the outstanding members, leaders, and co-pastors of this church. The entire family enjoyed many happy years at their beachfront residence in Satellite Beach. The Presbyterian Church (USA) honored him with an appointment to serve as the Minister Commissioner for the 195th General Assembly held in Atlanta, Georgia in 1983.

Roy was a tireless servant of the Lord, his parishioners, and the Presbytery for more than 45 years. Although he formally retired in 1999, he continued to preach at an interim level for churches in need of a head pastor.

Roy loved his family, Friday night pizza, summer vacations at New Smyrna Beach, surf fishing, and playing golf with a close group of friends – who simply called him the “Rev.”

Roy is survived by his wife Nancy, daughters Edith (Kevin) and Catherine, son John (Sandra), grandsons Benjamin and Garrett (bride to be Karina), great-granddaughters Natalee and Willow, and sister Jean. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Gilbert, sister Ruth, her husband Robert Glisson, and their daughter Amy Glisson Cocke, and brother-in-law Howard Merrill.

A celebration of life will be held on October 7, 2022 at 10:00 in the Reformation Chapel at the First Presbyterian Church located at 106 East Church Street, Orlando, FL, 32801.