The Rev. Joe Lane Ervin, 88, of 966 Royal Drive, Lincolnton, died Aug. 29, 2018, at his home.
A celebration of life service was 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018, at Boger City United Methodist Church.
The family received friends from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, at Boger City UMC in the fellowship hall.
The Rev. Ervin was born Sept. 18, 1929, in Buncombe County. He was the son of the late Rev. McKinley Gladstone Ervin and Elizabeth Williams Ervin. He received his undergraduate degree from High Point University and then graduated from Duke University Divinity School. The Rev. Ervin served churches in Stokesdale, Greensboro, Spruce Pine and Boger City United Methodist Church, where he served as minister for 16 years. The last 12 years of his career, Joe served as conference director of ethnic ministry and rural churches. Joe retired from the conference in 1994, but joyfully continued in his role of building churches for those in need with the help of his small army of longtime, beloved volunteers. These friends were gracious in receiving a phone call from Joe saying, “The Lord Hath Need of Thee.” He was well-known for his great sense of humor, and his friends were accustomed to receiving these calls.
Joe was passionate about the mission of Hinton Rural Life, a Methodist Retreat Center in Hayesville. He dedicated much time to building the dining hall, kitchen and other significant buildings there. In 2003, he was honored by having the next planned retreat home named Joe Ervin Retreat House, which he helped build. Ervin is credited with more than doubling the existing facilities at Hinton Rural Life from the first cabin he built in 1987.
The Rev. Ervin built 134 churches in the U.S. and overseas. He is currently Pastor Emeritus at Boger City United Methodist Church. He was awarded the prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2015.
He is survived by his wife, Rosalyn M. Ervin; daughters, Susan Ervin Michael (Larry), and Alice Lane Ervin; son, Mike Pitman (Anne Craven); brother, Winfred Ervin and wife, Virginia; sister-in-law, Alice Kennedy Ervin; grandchildren, Daniel Finger, Jennifer Finger Miller (Josh), Cody McLean (Kenzie) and Heidi Elizabeth Garaas, of Mooresville; and two great-grandchildren, Lanie Elizabeth Miller and Allison Grace Miller.
Memorials may be made to Boger City United Methodist Church where he has lovingly been called “Preacher Joe” since 1967.
Warlick Funeral Home in Lincolnton is serving the Ervin family.
Mitchell News-Journal • Sept. 5, 2018