Lafayette's Story

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Lafayette Hannon Terry, 92, of Princeton (formerly of Oakvale) celebrated his home-going on Friday, September 29, 2017, at Christian Care residential home care with upraised hands and eyes lifted Heavenward as he caught his first glimpse of the Savior he had served faithfully for so many years. Born December 27, 1924, in Hoot Owl Holler near Oakvale in Mercer County, he was the son of the late Robert Harrison Terry and Lillie Mae (Reed) Terry. He was a member of the North Narrows Tabernacle in Narrows, Virginia where his son Paul is pastor.
As a young child, "Lafe" grew up during the hard times of the Great Depression. He recalled how he once was hungry and took the fatback pork rind his mother used to grease her iron skillet. She chased him around the house to get it back, because without it she would have nothing to keep her cornbread from sticking. Another early memory he had was of an accident where he was pushed into the hot cookstove, leaving a "skim" over his eyes and blinding him. His mother took him into another room and prayed that God would restore his sight. As he told it, the "skim" fell from his eyes and he could see again, solidifying a deep and lifelong belief in divine healing. At an early age, he quit school to work as a farm hand in order to help provide for his parents and siblings. During this time, he suffered the tragedy of losing his older brother in a hunting accident, a loss he regretted throughout his life.
In 1943, when he was 18, he enlisted in the Army and served through the duration of World War II. He recalled the "lonesome whistle" of the train carrying him through Oklahoma and away from the hills of home. Lafayette served as an MP in the European theater of the war, returning home after his discharge in 1946 to find the love of his life, Sybil Kupner. After their marriage, they raised eight children together. Lafayette worked hard as a mechanic at various local businesses to provide for his large family, at times working two jobs to make ends meet. Beyond meeting his family's basic needs, he gave them a foundation of faith in God as they saw him in his ministry as a preacher, sharing the Word and witnessing of healing, dreams and visions. Although at times throughout his life he faced struggles, his commitment, dedication, and plain old hard work attested to God's faithful care and why he so often sang as his testimony, "This is why I'm thankful, why I pray and sing and shout."
Lafayette was the founder and pastor of the Christ Fountain of Life Tabernacle on Country Girl Road for many years. He loved to preach the word of Jesus, and on his 90th birthday declared that the only gift he wanted was to get to preach to his family and friends. His two and a half hour sermon that day revealed a man strengthened by the hand of God and blessed beyond measure. Those who really knew Lafayette saw underneath a sometimes gruff exterior a soft, generous, loving heart and a deep, abiding love for his family and for his God.
In addition to his parents, Lafayette was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Sybil Jean (Kupner) Terry; daughter, Rita Reed; great-grandson, Ethan Atwell; brother, Claude; sister, Cleo Blankenship and brother-in-law, Emory Blankenship; son-in-law, Rick Combs. He is survived by daughters Linda Robertson and husband Olen of Willowton, Bernice Combs of Princeton, and Barbara Kupner and husband Scottie of Princeton; sons Paul Terry and wife Imogene of Willowton, Wayne Terry and wife Janette of Princeton, Gerald Terry and wife Valerie of Elgood, and Vince Terry and wife Dottie of Princeton; son-in-law Bill Reed; one sister, Virginia Crabtree and husband Homer of Charles City, Virginia; twenty grandchildren, and thirty-two great grandchildren.
The family will receive friends from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM Sunday, October 1, 2017, at Seaver Funeral Home in Princeton. Funeral services will be conducted at 11:00 AM Monday, October 2, 2017 at the George W. Seaver Chapel of Seaver Funeral Home in Princeton. Officiants for the services will be Pastor James Hamilton and Rev. Olen Robertson. Family will share in word and song in honor and celebration for the gift of Lafayette's life. Grandsons will serve as pallbearers. Interment and military graveside rites will follow at the Christie Family Cemetery in Willowton where Lafayette will rest beside his beloved Sybil and near their daughter, Rita.
Online condolences may be made by visiting www.seaverfuneralservice.com
Published on September 30, 2017
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