The Rev. Dr. David Allison Long III entered into the full joy of his salvation on May 4, 2023. David was born in Winston Salem to David Allison Long Jr and Jennie Mae Fife Long of Thomasville, NC on May 17, 1935.
He grew up in Thomasville where he was a member of The First Presbyterian Church and graduated from Thomasville High School in 1953. After high school, David left home to attend Davidson College and later transferred to the University of South Carolina.
While in Columbia he met the love of his life Vermelle “Mellie” Cooper Brearley. After graduation David served in the U. S. Army and shortly afterwards, David and Mellie were married at The First Presbyterian Church of Myrtle Beach, SC on July 1, 1959. Their first home was in Kannapolis where they lived in the Episcopal Rectory and David went to work for Cannon Mills in the personnel department. It was in Kannapolis that David met Dr. Manford George Gutzke who was the professor of English Bible and Christian Education at Columbia Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. It was over a meal in their home that Dr. Gutzke invited David to Columbia Seminary to visit and two months later he was enrolled in seminary classes.
After graduation from Seminary in 1965, David received a call to Petersen Memorial Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina where he served for 10 years. During this time he was elected as a commissioner to the 1970 General Assembly. David left Columbia to accept a call to the First Presbyterian Church in Boone, NC. While in Boone he attended Union Seminary in Richmond, VA and received his Doctor of Ministry degree.
He taught in the Philosophy and Religion Department at Appalachian State University for 13 years while also pastoring in Boone. He found joy in teaching whether it was from the pulpit, in a Sunday school class, or on a college campus. A search committee from Savannah Presbytery approached David about planting a church in Richmond Hill, GA. He answered the call to become the founding pastor of the Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church. He was honored to be named Pastor Emeritus of this church. While in Richmond Hill, David helped form a ministerial association believing that a strong ecumenical alliance is important to a community.
David and Mellie retired to Greensboro where he continued to be active in his church and community as long as he was able. All of his life David was active in serving others. He was a Rotarian, he served as a hospital chaplain, and he volunteered with the Salvation Army. David had a lifelong involvement with the Boy Scouts of America and was a recipient of The Silver Beaver Award. He was instrumental in the formation of Boone Crisis Pregnancy Center (later named Hope Pregnancy Center) and The Hospitality House of Boone.
He loved flags, history, sharing knowledge, barbeque, books, making and sharing pancakes, bluebirds, the Houston Texans, and the SC Gamecocks. He will be remembered for many things but most importantly was his love and service to His Lord Jesus Christ.
David was predeceased by his parents, his brother William Fife (Bill) Long, and a son John Whitford Long. Surviving David are his wife of 64 years Mellie, a daughter Mary Evelyn “Ebbie” Long Hendrix (Chuck) of Blowing Rock, daughter Elizabeth Long Cook (Jon) of Greensboro, and a son David Allison Long IV (Diane) of Greensboro, a sister Mary Long Jarrell of High Point and two sister in laws, five grandchildren; Matthew Whitford Cook, Hannah Montgomery Cook, Elizabeth Arlee Hendrix, Nicholas Charles Hendrix, and John Kelly Hendrix, as well as five great grandchildren and a number of special nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to express their gratitude to the entire Pennybyrn community and especially the employees of the Congdon Household for their care and compassion. Additionally, the family would like to thank AuthoraCare Hospice for their support in David’s final days.
A funeral service will be held at Buffalo Presbyterian Church in Greensboro on May 13th at 11 o’clock with a reception and time of fellowship with the family to follow the service. Interment will be at Calvary United Church of Christ in Thomasville at 2:30. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to Greensboro Urban Ministry, Buffalo Presbyterian Church, or AuthoraCare Hospice of Greensboro.