Christian 03

Jerry Moore Sullivan

September 9, 1929 ~ November 26, 2021 (age 92)

Obituary

 

Jerry Moore Sullivan, 92, died peacefully November 26, 2021. He was born September 9, 1929, in New Philadelphia, Ohio, to the late Helen (Moore) and Joseph Sullivan. He graduated from Bethany College in Bethany, West Virginia. Jerry went on to earn his Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut, and was ordained into ministry by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Ohio. While at Yale, he met and married the late Lucille Gasser Sullivan, his wife of 57 years.

After their years at Yale, Jerry served over 40 years in local church ministry in Ohio at Franklin Circle Christian Church (Cleveland), First Christian Church (Bowling Green), Disciples Christian Church (Boardman), and Community Christian Church (North Canton). Jerry was active in all three expressions of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), serving on general and regional boards and commissions of the church, including as Regional Moderator of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Ohio.

Jerry had several foci evident throughout his life and ministry. Civil rights was one focus, which manifested itself early in his career with his participation in the national voter registration initiative in Mississippi in the 1960s. It continued throughout his career, evidenced in his Sunday sermons and civic involvement in the communities where he resided.

Another focus was the spiritual development of children, youth, and young adults in the congregations he served. In two of the congregations, he started annual “Shoestring Tours,” for high school aged youth, where they would raise funds throughout the year, then take a 1-2 week trip to different parts of the United States, sleeping in church basements, to learn the history of our country. Jerry was an integral part of developing a regional program for young adults in Ohio to facilitate their continued faith journeys. This program continues to thrive today as Advance Conference.

Jerry also was committed to ecumenical and interfaith community and cooperation in the areas where he worked. He was an active participant in local and regional ecumenical and interfaith boards and fellowships, seeking to celebrate the individuality of each participating faith community while working to explore and affirm the commonality in their beliefs and practices.  

In retirement, Jerry and Lucille enjoyed several years living in the mountains of North Carolina at Christmount Christian Assembly, before moving to Indianapolis in 2001.

Jerry is survived by his daughters, Beth Sullivan and Jane Sullivan-Davis; son-in-law George “Bo” Sullivan-Davis; granddaughters Sadie (Drew) McGavran, and Cristina Sullivan-Davis; great-granddaughters Lily and Heidi McGavran; sister-in-law Carol Sullivan; nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Lucille; brothers, Joseph F. Sullivan and Richard A. Sullivan; sisters-in-law Shirley Sullivan, Margaret Oakes and Geraldine Gasser; brothers-in-law Maurice Oakes and Carl Gasser.

A virtual memorial service will be held at a later date. Internment will take place in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Memorial contributions may be made in Jerry M. Sullivan’s memory to Christmount Christian Assembly, 222 Fern Way, Black Mountain, North Carolina 28711, www.christmount.org.

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