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John Payne

John Payne (November 22nd,1933- May 30th,2020) passed away at the age of 86 in Tullahoma, Tennessee. He was born in Jasper, Alabama and grew up in Gadsden, Alabama, the son of a gospel preacher. As a young man, he loved caddying at the local golf course and trips to Guntersville Lake in his model A. He married Rita Jean Pigg of Gadsden Alabama in 1953. He sang tenor with the Rhythm Aires gospel quartet performing for live audiences and radio in 1953-54. He then served in the Korean War as Supply Sergeant for the U.S. Army at Presidio Military Post in San Francisco. Following military service, he attended Lipscomb College where he received a BA in Biblical Studies. His ministry included preaching for various churches of Christ in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Alabama and he held many gospel meetings throughout the country. In 1962, he moved his family to Tullahoma, Tennessee accepting the first preacher position for the newly formed Bel-Aire, now Cedar Lane, Church of Christ. During this time he completed a Masters of Divinity degree at Harding Graduate School. After eight years, he and his family were sponsored by Bel-Aire, traveling as missionaries to Christchurch, New Zealand until 1972. He received his private pilot’s license. while in NZ. A fellow missionary (Jim Woodruff) and John co-authored Struggles of the Kingdom, a book detailing the NZ mission work. It has been used as a college-level missions text book for many years. John returned to Bel-Aire in 1979 a second time as pulpit minister. He taught at Lipscomb University as an Associate Professor of Bible and Missions from 1985 to 1995 and often led mission campaigns all over the world. Most recently, he served as Pulpit Minister and Elder with the Wilson Avenue church of Christ. He loved His family, teaching the gospel, and serving the Lord, and was often seen visiting hospitals and nursing homes into his mid-80’s. Rita and John were married 66 years. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Donald and Joe Payne. John is survived by his wife, Rita Payne; two daughters, Carol Lowrance (Jon), and Laura Herbert; two sons, Tom Payne (Meg), and Jim Payne (Kathy); one sister, Gail Pigg; ten grandchildren, Jon Ryan and Daniel Lowrance, Nathan and Emily Payne, David, Jonathan, Abigail, and Caleb Payne, and Emalyn and Ava Herbert; and eight great-grandchildren, Finley, Grayson, Cooper, Sophia, Will, Lillian, Heidi, and Miller. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020 at Kilgore Funeral Home from 4:00-8:00pm. A private graveside service will be held at Rose Hill Memorial Gardens with Bro. Randy Davis officiating and his grandsons serving as pallbearers. For those who wish, in lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the World Bible School, 16110 Anderson Mill Road, Cedar Park, Texas 78613. When attending visitation, out of respect to the family, please remember to maintain social distancing guidelines. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, we not allowing food to be brought to our lounge at this time. Kilgore Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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