The Rev. Dr. Willie Dennis Sr. was born on June 11, 1935, in Rembert, to the late Rev. Abe Dennis Sr. and Sarah Alston Dennis. He was called to the Lord on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022, at McLeod Regional Medical Center, Florence.
Rev. Dennis received Christ at an early age and became a member of Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Rembert, where his father was the pastor. He was educated in the public schools of Sumter County and graduated from Lincoln High School. After graduation, he enlisted in the United States Army, where he served faithfully until his honorable discharge in 1957.
In 1969, God called Rev. Dennis to preach the gospel. He served as pastor of Sandy Run Baptist Church as well as Barnettsville Baptist Church prior to being chosen to lead Union Missionary Baptist Church, Rembert, where he labored tirelessly for 40 years. He also served as interim pastor of Saint Mark Missionary Baptist Church for 18 months. He retired in 2014 as pastor and graciously served as pastor emeritus at Union, until his death.
Rev. Dr. Willie Dennis was proven to be a devoted leader throughout Sumter County and its surrounding communities. He served as a volunteer pastor for Wateree Correctional Institution. Rev. Dennis had been an active and devoted servant of Wateree Baptist Association, Lower Division, where he served in the following capacities: board member, clerk of board, chair of the executive board, vice moderator and moderator.
Rev. Dennis received a presidential citation from Morris College in 2006. In 2008, he received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Carolina Theological Bible Institute.
Rev. Dennis was married to the late Earnestine Rembert Dennis until her passing, and God saw fit to send him another help mate, Gardenia Richardson Dennis.
He was preceded in death by one daughter, Linda Sabrina Dennis; four sisters, Ella Bell Watson, Sarah Rollins, Naomi Sanders and Eva Clark; and two brothers, Jerry Wilson and Abe Dennis Jr.
Rev. Dennis leaves to cherish his memories: his wife of 23 years, Gardenia Richardson Dennis; five daughters, Janie (Marion) McGainey, Sherry Glasscho, Andrea Thomas, Mary (Larry) Alexander and Mary (Garrett) Elliott; three sons, Eugene (Andrea), Willie Jr. and Bryant (Lakeshia) Dennis; 22 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Ruth (Whitt) Deas and Mamie Stephens; one brother, James Wilson Jr.; two sisters-in-law, Aleen Wilson and Dorothy (Willie) Owens; three brothers-in-law, Ervin Richardson, Allen Watson and James Clark; two goddaughters, Deidre Gathers Robinson and M. Renee Robinson; two stepchildren, Charlotte Smith and Bridget Smith-Brumfield; along with many devoted nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and friends, all of whom will miss him dearly.
In accordance with the COVID-19 guidelines, the family is requesting no visitation at the home.
Funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Monday at Union Missionary Baptist Church, 5840 Spring Hill Road, Rembert, with the Rev. Walter Robertson III, pastor, and the Rev. Eugene G. Dennis, pastor of Joshua Baptist Church, eulogist.
The remains will be placed in the church at 10:30 a.m. for viewing until time of service.
The procession will leave from the home at 11 a.m.
Burial will follow in Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Churchyard Cemetery, 7355 Camden Highway, Rembert.
Services directed by the management and staff of Williams Funeral Home Inc., 821 N. Main St., Sumter.
Online messages may be sent to the family at email@example.com. Visit us on the web at www.williamsfuneralhomeinc.com.
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