The Rev. Dr. Jack M. Long, pastor, was called home to be with the Lord on Sunday afternoon after preaching that morning. He will be remembered as a steadfast and passionate servant of God, a faithful and devoted husband, and a revered and cherished father and grandfather.
Rev. Long was born in 1951 in Johnstown, PA, the son of Harry Long, Sr., and the former Mary Jane Thomas. He was their sixth son, the youngest of the family, and the forth of their children to enter the ministry. As a child he developed interests in community service, history, humor, and sports, all of which he maintained throughout his life. His driving focus, however, was his vocation, which he viewed as a sacred and profound calling from an early age.
Rev. Long met his future wife, Glenda Rose Hargis of Terre Haute, IN, in 1969, when they were both college freshman in Chattanooga, TN. They were married in 1974, their union lasting until his death after 44 years together. Their marriage produced two sons, Adam and Seth, and a grandson born last year, Henry.
While an undergraduate Jack worked as an Athletic Director for the local Salvation Army, assisting and guiding urban youth. After graduating, he returned to his hometown of Johnstown to be the Associate Pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church and later briefly served as the Interim Pastor at the Echo Union Church in Echo, PA. Afterwards, he pursued additional education and seminary studies while still working as a minister and community organizer.
In 1977, Rev. Long and his family moved to Dilltown, PA, where he was to lead the congregation of Memorial Baptist Church for 21 years and through the celebration of its first centenary. Among many other accomplishments, during his tenure at Memorial Baptist he established an active multi-church youth fellowship, created a summer-winter camp ministry that hosted hundreds of children, greatly expanded the churchâ€™s global missionary support, and founded a senior adventuring club. He also offered prayers and acted as a chaplain to many local organizations, and most notably served as the Treasurer of the Southern Allegheny Flood Recovery Association, which helped the surrounding area rebuild from disasters and loss. â€œPastor Jack,â€ however, would undoubtedly consider his greatest testimony the fact that he routinely preached three or more regular services a week and was unfailingly dependable at hospital and at-home visitations to the sick and the elderly.
Rev. Long moved to Florida in 1998, where he continued to preach and develop radio programming. In 2004, he was offered the position of Director of Pastoral Care and Chaplain for the Regional Medical Center, where he ministered to the ailing and the bereaved, comforting and guiding suffering individuals through difficult decisions and outcomes and helping to set hospital policy. During this time he also became the pastor of the Holiday Mission in Leesburg, FL, and became active in several local ministeriums, positions he maintained until his passing. Throughout his entire life he continued to be an active, courageous, vibrant, and strong-willed part of the communities that he adopted and loved.
Rev. Long was predeceased by his parents, his stepfather Robert Horner, and by three brothers, Harry Ross Long, Jr. (â€œChipâ€), Rev. Charles Warren Long (â€œBudâ€), and Rev. Wayne Arthur Long. He is survived by his wife, sons, grandson, two brothers (Rev. Richard D. Long and Rev. Stephen J. Long), a Uncle Dean, three email@example.com, and a daughter-in-law (Rebecca Everett).
Rev. Jim Brannon, Rev. Dr. Kent Fuqua, and Rev. John Ribbe will be conducting his service locally. The following week there is to be a visitation and committal service in Johnstown, PA, with burial at Forest Lawn Cemetery.
For many years Rev. Long battled health concerns and physical pain, but refused to yield to the demands of the mortal world, believing that ease awaited him only when his Creator, who he adored and served without question, decreed that his service was complete. He looked forward to that day, especially the opportunity to see dear family and friends long missed, but trusted God to pick the time and place.
Those of us who remain on this side of the divide are confident in his conviction and dedication, grapple with his overwhelming standard and legacy, and that know his eternal reward was waiting for him, where there is forever joy, peace, and rest.
In lieu of flowers, Donations can be made in Jack's memory to:
425 Luther Rd
Johnstown, PA 15904
Del Teagan Memorial Foundation Fund
Attn: Major Roger Young
3900 Drane Field Rd
Lakeland, FL 33811