Rev. J.W. Depew, 76, of Kingsport, went home to be with His Lord and Savior Friday August 28th, 2020, just like he’s been longing to.
Raised in the Orebank community, J.W. gave his life to Jesus at the age of 8 when Bro. Orville Dolen was preaching one Sunday morning. His testimony has been that there was 6 inches of snow on the ground that morning but that when he left that day, his heart felt so much cleaner and whiter than snow.
A graduate of Ketron High School, he was the equipment manager for the football team under Coach Groseclose. He then attended Tennessee Temple University and later received his Associates Degree in Ministry from Faith Bible Institute in Milton, Florida and an honorary Doctorate in Ministry from Carolina Christian University.
He was a licensed Funeral Director in Tennessee and had his Courtesy Card to serve in Virginia. He started working with the ambulance service at an early age at Gate City and also Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Homes. Later, he served the community at Carter’s Chapel Funeral Home for many years as funeral director, also at East Lawn. More recently, he was the manager of Gray Funeral Home.
From an early age J.W. had an anointing and call on his life to serve the Lord. He started to sing high tenor with the Gospel Way Quartet at the age of 16. Not long after, he surrendered to the call to preach the life changing gospel of Jesus Christ. Dad has always said that if God could make a mistake, he did when he called him to preach. God used him over and over the last five plus decades to invite people, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, to give their lives to Jesus and to “unpack” and instruct believers in how to live a life of faith in God’s word.
He married his precious wife, Frances, of 54 years, and together they have faithfully ministered by pastoring and through revivals to others in Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Alabama and parts all over. He retired from full time ministry in 2015 at Homeland Baptist Church after 24 ½ years of loving on them.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Mable Depew; his brother, Don; step mother, Mary; and a host of friends whom he never failed to remember by sharing a story about.
In addition to his wife Frances, he is survived by his daughter; Natasha Kanipe and husband Brian; son, Damon Depew and wife Sarah; 5 grandchildren, Joseph, Ethan, Oliver and Brianna Kanipe and Daniel Depew; adopted daughter, Darlene Calton; step brother, Ralph Stapleton; and several in laws, nieces, nephews and cousins and granddogs.
For those who would prefer not be around people for a long period, you are welcome to stop by Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Home from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday and again from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Monday to pay your respects. The family will receive friends from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday, August 31, 2020, at Homeland Baptist Church in the gym. A celebration of what God has done through dad will be held at 7 p.m. with Bro. Brad Davis and Bro. Craig Edwards officiating. Honorary minister and dad’s friend, Bro. Bob McCormick. Masks are encouraged to be worn.
A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday in a garden of hope at East Lawn Memorial Park.
Pallbearers will be Brian, Ethan and Joseph Kanipe, Grady Vaughn, Terry Browder, Justin Quillen and Mark Starnes.
Honorary pallbearers are Bro. Glen Taylor, and a host of friends and fellow laborers in the gospel whom he loved.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rev. J.W. Depew, please visit our floral store.