The Saga of Leroy Dedmon

(Written by Leroy Dedmon as told in the 3rd person)
Leroy Dedmon - 1939
In the beginning..
Leroy was born was born in Ringgold, GA on June 27, 1939 to his parents, Gordon Lee and Ruby (Dickson) Dedmon. Gordon was born on May 2, 1918 and passed away on September 16, 2002. He was the son of Thomas Judson and Alice Walker Dedmon. His paternal grandparents were William D. and Mary Wells Dedmon and maternal grandparents were James L. (Jim) and Martha Frances (Mattie) Evitt Walker. Ruby was born on January 8, 1912 and passed away on July 14, 2008. She was the daughter of George and Pearl Templeton Dickson and the great granddaughter of David McCarter Dickson and Hannah Dedmon. Her paternal grandparents were John Marion and Rosa Elisa Gentry Dickson. She was the maternal granddaughter of George Leroy and Frances Elizabeth (Lizzie) Greene Templeton. Frances Green was a direct descendent of Col. Fredrick Hambright, Sr., a military officer who fought in both the local militia and in the North Carolina Line of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. He is best known for his participation in the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780. The story is told that Doctor Charles Stephenson of Ringgold came to the house and slept in his car all night awaiting Leroy's arrival into this world. He charged his parents 25.00. To this day, no one really knows for sure if they ever asked for a refund. Leroy said he personally thinks it was the "bargin of the century"...

...then there was five

my mom & dad
G.L. and Ruby Dickson Dedmon
my bros and sis
Bill, Carolyn, Leroy, Ruth, Tommy
Leroy is the oldest of five children (Carolyn, Ruth, Tom and Bill). Less than eight years separate him and Bill, who is the youngest. Leroy married Jane Glasscock in 1957. Carolyn married Claude Price in 1960. Ruth married Carl Hamby soon after graduation from High School in 1960. Carl was killed in an automobile accident on December 31, 1961. She came to live with Jane and Leroy for a while and met and married Don Smith of Gurley, AL. They married in 1963 and resided in Gurley, AL. Don passed away in July of 2005 following a brief bout with the illness that took his life. (See Dedmon Connection, Vol. 38). Ruth still lives in Gurley. Tommy married Diane Sparkman in 1965 and Bill married Connie Buff in 1971. Connie was the flower girl in Leroy and Jane's wedding. Tommy lives in Houston Valley on the "homeplace" in Catoosa, County, GA. Bill has a house there in which his son Brian and family resides. Bill and Connie live in Bowdon, GA. where he serves as the minister and an elder for the church of Christ. Carolyn and Claude live in Rossville, GA. Jane, Diane and Connie all grew up on Mission Ridge Road near Wallaceville, GA about a mile from each other.
Off to school......
Leroy began his education at Graysville, GA in 1945 in a three room and three grades per room school house. His dad was away in the Army and there were three other children at home (Bill was yet unborn), so his mother pinned his name on his shirt and sent him off to school about a mile away. Leroy stood outside the school crying and afraid to go in. The school principal came out and took him inside and introduced him to the teacher. Since he could read when he started to school, he was placed in the second grade. When his dad was discharged from the Army later that year, he purchased a house on East Garden Farm Road near Rossville, GA and the family moved during the Christmas Holiday Season. Leroy was transferred to Osburn Elementary School (between Rossville and Chickamauga, GA). Osburn was near the famed Wilder Tower as part of the Civil War battleground. Since it was between Leroy's house and the school, they often walked to school as the tower provided Leroy and his friends a nice playground. You could literally see for miles from the top of the tower. His teachers and parents thought it best that he finish that year in the first grade as Osburn taught things in the first grade that he would have missed. He attended Osburn through the eighth grade and cultivated friendships that are still active today. As Osburn only went through the eighth grade the students had to transfer to either Junior High School in Rossville, GA or Gordon Lee High in Chickamauga. To attend Gordon Lee you either had to live in the city limits of Chickamauga or pay titution and furnish your own transportation. The bus from Rossville came by Leroy's house so in 1953 he began attending Rossville Junior High School for the nith grade. Although many of his friends went to Gordon Lee, he kept up with some of them and when both schools celebrated their 50th anniversary of graduation, he was askede to speak to each class. A new building was being constructed for grades 10-12 for Rossville High School, but was not finished in time for the school year of 1954-55, which would be the 10th grade for Leroy. So with crowded conditions and temporary classrooms grades 10-12 remained at the Jr. High building for the entire school year. In the fall of 1955, the new school was completed and grades 10-12 entered new facilities. For Leroy it was his junior year of High School. It was during his junior year that he “developed an eye” for a cute little blond sophmore with a pony tail, named Jane Glasscock. She was not exactly a stranger as she also attended Osburn Elementary, but was a grade behind him. Her sister, Ruth was friends with Leroy's sisters, Carolyn and Ruth. Jane attended a private school in Chattanooga for the eitht and ninth grades, so Leroy had not seen her in over two years. They began dating and for Leroy this was his first girl friend. Although they dated others for short periods of time, they always seemed to get back together. Leroy says he believes it was “love at first sight”. By the time Jane graduated in the spring of 1958 it was fairly apparent they meant to spend the rest of their lives together.

While in High School Leroy was active in the Bible Club, Science Club, Key Club (a project of Kiwanis International) and the Beta Club. He also participated in the Baseball and Football programs. He graduated from in 1957 in the top 25% of his class. Rossville and Chattanooga Valley has since merged to form Ridgeland High School . Following graduation, he applied for and received the opportunity to enter the Drafting Training Program at Combustion Engineering at Chattanooga, TN. Since the program did not begin until the fall of 1957, he worked the summer with Grant Patten Milk Company delivering milk and servicing the vending machines in the factories around the Chattanooga and North Georgia area. After receiving his certificate of completion in the drafting training program, he was assigned to the Nuclear Division of Combustion Engineering, Company as a draftsman. Combustion was probably at one time the largest company in Chattanooga as it had several buildings up and down the Tennessee River. They are owned by another company today.
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Wilder Tower
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Ridgland High School
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Combustion Engineering Co
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This is the building where the church at Chattanooga Valley met when Leroy began attending and where he and Jane married
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Sometime in the late 60s the congregation at the Valley built a new building over on N. Nick-A-Jack Road, about a mile from the original building.
Born again......
Leroy "grew up" in the Baptist church, where as a teenager he was active in the BYPU and often made some short talks in the present of the congregation. He began attending the Chattanooga Valley Church of Christ at Flintstone, GA., while dating Jane Glasscock (his future wife). He was baptized by James Watkins in 1957, during his senior year of high school. His brother, Bill, preached for the Chattanooga Valley church for about eight years. Bill currently preaches for the church in Bowdon, GA, where he also serves as an elder. Leroy baptized Bill and his sister Ruth while he was preaching at Gurley AL in the early '60s. In another book, (The Wrong Bus, but the Right Destination) Leroy describes in detail his conversion..
For better or for worse......
When Jane graduated from Rossville High School in 1958, she entered the Earlange Nursing School in Chattanooga. Leroy was employed as a draftsman at Combustion as he had completed the training program. They were able to see each other every night as it was just a few blocks from Combustion to Earlanger, so they usually ate supper together. They began to contemplate marriage, but nursing students were required to live on campus and could not have a husband living with them. As they did not want to wait the length of time it would take Jane to finish school, she quit the nursing program and moved back home with her parents. They set the date and began making their plans. At first they were going to purchase a mobile home and live behind her parents house, but Leroy’s dad offered to make them an apartment out of his garage and utility room, so that is what they did. On April 5, 1959, Leroy married Jane Glasscock, the daughter of Berlin and Cynthia Glasscock. Brother Glasscock was one of the elders at the Chattanooga Valley Church of Christ . Following his death in 1961 Sister Glasscock served as a Dormitory Supervisor for Freed-Hardeman University at Henderson, TN, until her death in 1972. Jane is a teacher for Women's Bible Classes and Workshops. She has developed her material, "Life Looks Better When You Do". Jane and Leroy celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 2009. Their children and grandchildren hosted a reception for them in honor of 50 years. It was held at the Chattanooga Valley church of Christ (New Building) on Sunday April 5. It was a true anniversary date, exactly fifty years ago.
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Jane and Leroy - 1959
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The Man in the Moon.....

Jane and Leroy settled in to their cozy apartment after a short Honeymoon to Gatlinburg, TN and Cherokee, NC. He went to work every day and came home to supper and enjoying married life. They went to church on Sunday and Wednesday night at Chattanooga Valley and Leroy taught a class of the younger boys. It looked as if their life was set, knowing some day they would outgrow the little apartment, but that bridge would be crossed when they came to it. Leroy was making 65.00 a week as he had received a raise when he graduated from the Draftsman Training Program and was determined to be the “bread winner” as Jane would not have to work. About this time word was circulating around the drafting office where Leroy worked that Redstone Arsenal was hiring draftsman and paying up to twice the salary he was receiving. After several of his work partners accepted jobs there, Leroy and Jane talked it over and decided to explore the idea of a job at Huntsville. He took a day off from work and drove the two hours to the “Space Center”. Leroy interviewed with Chrysler Corporation, who had a contract with NASA at Redstone to furnish them with draftsmen. After a short interview and producing a sample drawing he had done, Leroy and Jane drove back to Chattanooga, thinking that would probably be the last they would see of Huntsville, AL. To his surprise, Leroy received a call about two weeks later offering him a job with Chrysler at 125.00 per week, which was exactly twice his present salary. He readily accepted and they made another trip to “Rocket City” to find an apartment. In June of 1959 they loaded their trailer load of furniture and clothes onto a U-Haul and his cousin, Tommy Gilbert pulled the trailer to Huntsville and after unloading took it back to Chattanooga empty as it was a lot cheaper to do that as to leave it at a drop off point in Huntsville. He began working at the Redstone Arsenal as a draftsman on the Saturn Missile project for NASA (Marshall Space Flight Center) around July 1, 1959.

The Saturn project, which eventually led to Saturn V, which lifted off from NASA's Kennedy Space Center with astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. launching Apollo 11, the first Lunar landing mission, on July 16, 9:32 a.m. EDT. There were several contractors and sub contractors on the project, with Douglas Aircraft the lead contractor. Chrysler’s portion was the lower section upon which the fuel tanks set and held the engines in place. Leroy was a mechanical draftsman, which qualified him to work on this section. He did one of the final assembly drawings where all the components came together to let them see the completed missile. However, Leroy never saw the real missile until he visited the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC in the late 90s.
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Saturn Missile

Getting the "call"......

Leroy has been preaching for almost 60 years. His first sermon was in a men's leadership class at Chattanooga Valley in 1958. After moving to Huntsville, AL. in 1959 he filled appointments for congregations in Northern Alabama and preached on Sunday evenings for the church in Paint Rock, AL. There is no congregation in Paint Rock today as the widening of U.S. Hwy 72 took the building several years ago. It was a small congregation and Leroy and Jane were overwhelmed by the hospitality and friendliness extended them. It was not long before "word got out" that Leroy might be available to speak at other congregations and soon found himself preaching appointments all over the Northeast portion of Alabama.

Gurley, Alabama

In February of 1960 Leroy agreed to preach for the church at Gurley, AL, serving as "part-time" minister until June 1963. In 1963 he preached a "tent meeting" on Keel Mt., near Gurley and assisted in establishing a congregation. He decided he had rather help folk go to heaven rather than the moon and resigned his position at Redstone Arsenal. He preached "full-time" for both congregations (Keel Mt. and Gurley) from June 1963 till January 1964. Preaching four times each Sunday and conducting Bible Study at Gurley on Wednesday night and Keel Mt. on Thursday night proved to be quite a chore. With the assistance of the Central church of Christ in Huntsville, a building was erected on some land donated by the Sander's family. He held a couple of meetings in that building, one of which set their attendence record. Although a small building, all seats were taken and several sat on the floor of the podium around the pulpit. The windows were raised and folk stod outside. After a few years the Keel Mountain property was sold and the members attended the congregation at Gurley.
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In 1964 Leroy and Jane moved to Cullman, ALto become houseparents at Childhaven Children's Home. While at Childhaven Leroy was responsible for "Public Relations" which consisted of traveling the State of Alabama speaking on behalf of the Children's home and overseeing the mailing of the monthly newsletter, "Childhaven News". This was his first introduction to the "Printing Industry" which later proved to be useful in his ministry.

Manchester, TN......

After nine months at Childhaven the Dedmons resigned from Childhaven and moved to Manchester, TN so Leroy could return to the pulpit on a "full-time" basis for the New Union Church of Christ located in the New Union community. While at New Union the church selected the first elders in the history of the congregation, which at that time was approximately fifty years old. The church also completely remodeled the meeting house by enlarging the auditorium, adding an office and ten classrooms, a foyer and restrooms and an annex that served as overflow seating and a large adult classroom. They have since constructe a new auditorium which joins the original building.
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Morrison, TN.....

In June 1968 he accepted the "work" at Morrison, TN, about 15 miles away. While serving his 90 day notice he preached for both congregations, preaching 4 times each Sunday. Since the church at Morrison was involved in their own Children's Home (Sunny Acres Home for Children), the Dedmons soon became involved and again served as Houseparents for two of the three and one-half years at Morrison. While at Morrison, Leroy preached in several "Mission Meetings" at Camilla, GA and during that time developed a strong desire to return to his "home state" to preach the Gospel. Since Morrison fully supported a missionary in Camilla, GA and China (Formosa) along with the Children's home, the church purchased offset printing equipment to publish promotional materials. Leroy organized and operated a very successful "Printing Ministry" that not only furnished financial support for the printing done by the Morrison congregation, but also enabled the congregations in the area to publish their bulletins and other printed materials at a fraction of the cost of commercial printing.
Springfield, TN.....

In January of 1972 Leroy became the minister of the Main Street congregation in Springfield, TN. where he served for more than thirteen years. The work at Springfield proved to be an excellent educational experience in the organizational procedures of a local congregation. Working under the direction of experienced and mature leadership Leroy gained some valuable experience that has been a great asset to his work in Georgia. In 1978 the Springfield congregation assumed the "full-time" support for the preacher at Dahlonega, GA and once again Leroy was able to participate in the evangelism of Georgia. An opportunity to move to Dalton, Georgia, was offered to him in the mid-seventies, but a commitment to let their children finish school at Springfield prevented it from happening. Also, he was invited to accept the preaching position at Carrollton, GA in 1976, but again they were commited to their children finishing school in Robertson County. One of the highlights at Springfield was the installation of BIBLE CALL, electronic telephone equipment that allowed callers to request Bible lessons over the phone. This proved to be a very successful work for about three years.
main st. bld
Main Street Church of Christ
320 N. Main St.
Springfield, TN 37172

I wouldn't do that.....

In March of 1985 Leroy resigned the pulpit at Springfield in order to have the freedom to locate a new work. Being in his "mid-forties" Jane says to this day that this was his mid-life crisis. She says that instead of going out and buying a motorcycle or doing something foolish, he just quit his job. Looking back, Leroy admits it probably was not a very smart thing to do. Many members of the congregation had a difficult time accepting his resignation without a place to go, and some felt the elders were hiding something from them. It also was difficult explaining to prospective congregations, without them wondering if something was wrong. However, it was a lesson learned.
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Bremen, GA......
In June of 1985 the church at Bremen, GA extended an invitation to Leroy to become their minister. He accepted and moved to Georgia, the state of his birth, in September, 1985. The Bremen congregation has always been one of the stronger congregations in Georgia. They have been responsible for the establishment of several congregations in the West Georgia area. In May of 1986 the Bremen congregation appointed six additional elders to serve with the existing two, bringing the total eldership to eight. With the completion of a new fellowship hall the congregation began having more fellowships and other activities which included a State-wide Youth Rally, which saw as many as 500 young people in attendance.
Woodstock, GA (not NY)......
In May of 1993 Leroy moved to Woodstock, GA to became the preacher for Woodstock church of Christ and in his own words, "this was one of the most productive works in his career of preaching the gospel." The Woodstock congregation had experienced a devastating split that left them in a very depressed condition. Within the first year the congregation began "bouncing back and was soon back to around 300 in attendance. Leroy attributed any success to the growth of the Woodstock congregation to the Lord, a caring eldership and a supportive "help-meet". He says, "without her help, I would have never been able to give myself to "the ministry of the Word". Although he often receives credit for organizing and planning, those closest to him know she is the key to Leroy's success.
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Jane and Leroy - 1995
You are getting old.....
In the fall of 2004, Leroy says that he and the elders came to a mutual understanding. "They wanted a different preacher and he understood it". Since he was approaching his 65th birthday, the decision was made to "retire" and move in with his mother as her health was failing and she was living alone following the death of his father in 2002. During his ministry at Woodstock, the church began a remodeling program to give the church a "face lift" and add more class room and office space. The project was not completed until after his moving from Woodstock.

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Woodstock church building (1977-2005)
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Woodstock church building (present
Gospel Meetings......
Leroy has conducted approximately 300 Gospel Meetings in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Mississippi, Illinois and Indiana as well as being a regular speaker at the "Smoky Mountain Lectures" in Gatlinburg, TN and the Tennessee Bible College Lectures. Both programs are sponsored by the Tennessee Bible College in Cookeville, TN. Malcolm Hill, president of Tennessee Bible College, always introduced Leroy as a "church builder" and on a number of occasions invited him to join the staff at TBS to teach a course on "The Practical Aspects of the Preachers Work". At one time Leroy held 10 meetings per year in addition to his local work. After moving to Georgia he only scheduled four per year in order to devote more time to the work in Georgia. The Woodstock church supported Leroy in one "mission" meeting each year in Georgia if requested. One of those meetings was at Hull, GA where Tommy Broom was preaching. Tommy is a distant cousin to Leroy and also a convert from the Baptist church. After his retirement and moving home to help care for his mother, Leroy cut his meetings back to only one or two per year. Now that his mother has passed away, he is available to hold more meetings. He has developed several congregational development workshops that is designed for week-end meetings.
Community affairs.....
Having a keen interest in community activities, Leroy served as: P.T.A. President in Manchester and Springfield; Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader in Morrison; and Little League Baseball coach in Manchester and Morrison. He served on the board of directors of the Robertson County Job Opportunity Committee in Springfield, Springfield Emergency Food Bank, Robertson County Home Health Care and as volunteer Chaplain for the Robertson County Sheriff's Department and Jesse Holman Jones Hospital in Springfield. He held membership in the Morrison Ruritan Club, Springfield Kiwanis Club, Bremen Lions Club and served three terms as president of the Woodstock Kiwanis Club.

Give Leroy the Ball.....
Leroy's favorite sport in which he participated was softball. By the time he was ten years old he had visions of playing professional baseball. If he had not mad the Big Leagues he would have settled to play for the Chattanooga Lookouts, who at that time was the AA farm team of the Washington Senators. Later that Washington team became the Minnesota Twins. One of the players he remembers passing through Chattanooga was the famed Harmon Killebrew. Some of his favorite pitchers of that era was Al Sima and Sonny Dixon. His all time favorite was Bobo Newsome. Bobo knew nothing of the modern day quality start of six or seven innings. He once pitched both games of a double header. He was known for his “razzle-dazzle” style of pitching and his famous “blooper pitch”. Leroy says he patterned his pitching after Bobo. Before the days of the plastic “whiffle” ball, Leroy made the homemade sock ball. In fact he was pretty good at making all of the equipment his brothers and sisters played with, including bats and gloves. Leroy takes the credit of making a hitter out of Bill and a catcher out of Tommy. By the time he was two years old, Bill had learned to swing a bat. Leroy says his knuckle ball and “blooper” was too much for him until he reached about six or eight years old. By the time Leroy was eight, he was playing organized baseball on some of the local community and church teams. He says that he always knew that he would be in the starting lineup. Never mind the fact that his father was the coach. Leroy went on to play what is now equivalent to “Babe Ruth” League and eventually High School baseball. He never developed as the pitcher he envisioned. Graduating from sock balls and whiffle balls, the hard ball was not as kind to his knuckle and blooper pitches. Also, the hitters were much larger than his little brother Bill. As a result, he became an outfielder. In High School it was center field. He was not an Andruw Jones, but managed to keep his starting position, and a pretty good country slugger. Leroy says that somehow "the professional scouts never saw my potential nor was I granted a college scholarship to play baseball". So, after High School, he rejoined his dad’s team. By then it was fast pitch softball. He tried pitching, but never could learn the knack of swinging his arm around and throwing the ball underhanded. So it was back to the field. He did manage to play short stop and second base a few times, but generally it was the outfield. After he and Jane married in 1959 and moved to Huntsville, his days of organized ball ended. He did continue to play on Sunday afternoon in what was called “scrub” games with some of the neighborhood kids. Upon moving to Manchester, TN in 1964, he organized a fast pitch softball team in the New Union community and played other communities in and around Coffee County. Once the team traveled to Huntsville to play against a team his father had organized and was coaching.
By the time Gary was around seven years of age (1967), Leroy hung up his bat and glove and took on the coaches hat for a Little League Baseball team. That lasted for about five years, even after he moved from Manchester to Morrison, TN. Gary became the pitcher Leroy never was and had a nice little career that took him through High School. Although he did not play in college, his knowledge of sports paid his way through David Lipscomb College as a sports manager. When Leroy moved to Springfield, TN in 1972 at the age of 33, he came out of retirement and began his slow pitch softball career which lasted for more than 30 years. He did become the pitcher of his youthful dreams and enjoyed the challenge of once again trying his knuckle ball and an occasional blooper. By then the word blooper had taken on an entirely different meaning. While in Springfield, he once again was able to be teammates with his brother Bill and even with his son, Gary. He continued playing while living at Bremen and Woodstock. While at Woodstock he joined the Cherokee County Senior Softball Association and served on the board of directors as well as the commissioner of what was called the "American League". He began playing at the age of 57 and one year played on three teams in three different leagues. His last year of play was in 2004 and guess who the catcher was for the final season. You guessed it, .... it was his brother Tommy.... {short description of image}
Leroy at the age 60 tossing the "ole pumpkin"
while playing in the Senior League at Woodstock
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"Preecher Hayseed" entertains
at the Dedmon Reunion
etc..., etc... etc...
In addition to serving as Houseparents at Childhaven and Sunny Acres, Leroy and Jane have worked with several Youth Camps as Counselors, Directors and members of the Board. Among the camps served are: Camp CHILD (Cumberland Heights), Altamont, TN; Fall Creek Falls, Pikeville, TN; Camp Lylewood, Clarksville, TN; Short Mountain, Woodbury, TN and Camp Inagehi, Douglasville, GA. For more than 25 years Leroy has preached on daily radio programs including: Manchester, TN; McMinnville, TN; Springfield, TN and Bremen, GA. He has also served on the Television Panel, "Search the Scriptures" from Bowling Green, KY and participated in "Video Pulpit", a service of Jesse Holman Jones in Springfield, TN. He was a regular member of "Know Your Bible", a weekly television program that airs in Ft. Oglethorpe, GA and Chattanooga, TN. Presently he has a segment on The Good News Today television program hosted by his friend, Jim Dearman. His "Leaving a Legacy" segment consists of a humerous story with a spritual application. He is also an entertainer with "After Dinner Speeches" as his creation of "Preacher Alfaha Hayseed" is very popular for such occasions.
Life after Social Security...
Upon retirement Leroy moved back to the "old homeplace" to care for his mother, Ruby Dickson Dedmon. His father passed away in 2002. Thirty years prior, in 1972, Leroy was preaching in a Gospel Meeting at Chickamauga, GA when Jane called to tell that she had taken her mother to the hospital, she died a few days later. He was in a meeting at Chickamauga when his brother, Bill called to tell that they had taken his father to the hospital and he died the next day.

On the night of July 13th, 2008, Leroy's mother, Ruby Dickson Dedmon, was reading a book as she normally did. At some point she closed the book and turned out the light and went to sleep. From that sleep she never awakened. Leroy's sister, Ruth had arrived on Sunday afternoon and had a good visit with her mom. She ate pretty good that evening and joked a bit with Leroy and Ruth, before Leroy left for evening worship at the Highland congregation in Dalton. That was the last time Leroy saw her alive. This was classical "textbook" as you could not have written the script any better. Since we all must pass this way, one could only hope to be as fortunate. Her mind was good to the very end and her suffering during her last few years on earth was minimal.

In 2004, Barry Gilreath asked Leroy to join the staff of "Preaching The Gospel Television" with James Watkins. Leroy had been involved with the program as a volunteer from its beginning around 1997, as the coordinator for the Atlanta area. His duties after becoming a member of the paid staff included publishing the newsletter and maintaining the web page. He was listed as a coordinator for the program which was being televised over thirty commercial stations. Leroy feels as if an honor was bestowed upon him to be involved with the program that features James Watkins. He often referred to him as "his father in the gospel".

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This is a painting by Leroy's sister, Alma Ruth, of the original house built by Leroy's great grandfather, John Marion Dickson around 150 years ago. Leroy's mother was born in this house in 1912 and was living here when she died in 2008.
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The house when Leroy and Jane moved there to help care for his aged mother. Leroy's father added rooms to all sides of the house after he retired in the mid '60s. You can still see the log cabin. The house was torn down in 2015 due to termite and mold.
{short description of image} In 2005 the Gospel Broadcasting Network (GBN) was launched. GBN is a satellite television station that airs gospel programing twenty four hour/seven day a week. The GBN office was located in Chattanooga, TN. With Barry spending most of his time with GBN, Leroy was given more responsibility overseeing the Preaching The Gospel office in Dalton, GA. Since both works were under the oversight of the elders of the Highland church of Christ in Dalton, the two offices were merged in January of 2008. A 30,000 sq. ft. facility was obtained in the Gateway Mall off I-75 near Ringgold and Ft. Oglethorpe, GA. Leroy served as the Operations Manager of GBN as well as retaining responsibility with coordinating Preaching The Gospel operation. Since the merger, Leroy no longer published the newsletter or maintained the web page as that was merged with the GBN publication. In 2010, Leroy left GBN to return to the pulpit and the GBN offices were moved to Memphis, TN.
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The Highland church building, Dalton, GA
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30,000 sq. ft. World Communications Center on Cloud Springs Road, just off I-75 at exit 353, near Ringgold and Ft. Oglethope, GA. The facility houses both GBN and Preaching The Gospel Television program.
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Ooltewah church building
Would you believe "Preaching Again"?..
In April of 2010 Tim Arthur the preacher at Ooltewah Church of Christ called Leroy and asked him to "fill in" for three months as he was going to take a "leave of absence". In August, Tim returned but asked Leroy to stay and share the pulpit responsibilities with him. Leroy agreed and did that until August 2011. In September of 2010, the elders asked Leroy to share the pulpit with Tyler Gilreath at Highland in Dalton. So from September to March he alternated every other week between Dalton and Ooltewah. In March he left Highland and continued at Ooltewah until August of 201l at which time Tim Arthur resigned at Ooltewah and Leroy was asked to assume the full preaching responsibilities. He preached his last sermon as the Ooltewah minister on July 13, 2013. Following the services he was taken by ambulance to Memorial Hospital with a severe attack of vertigo. He and Jane moved to Buchanan, GA where their daughter Gwen could better care for them.
My Quiver is not Full......
The Sweet Psalmist of Israel said, " Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them." (Psa 127:4-5)
Leroy and Jane have two children, Gary LeBron Dedmon of Springfield, TN and Gwendolyn Jane (Gwen) Kiley of Buchanan, GA. Gary is a 1982 graduate of David Lipscomb College . He was born with a slight birth defect from cerebral palsy and was diagnosed with MS about 1993 and has been on permanent disability for several years. He is an avid sports fan and is involved in youth sports programs. Gary married Diane Toothman and they have two boys, Gregory LeBron (Greg) Dedmon and Jonathan Patrick Dedmon. Jonathan married Michele Grogan and they live in Springfield, TN. They are the parents of two of his eight great grand children, their boys: Brady Mac Dedmon, and Carson Dedmon. Their ninth great grand child was stillborn, Kynden LeBron Dedmon, the son of Greg.
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Gary and Gwen
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Leroy, Jane, Gary and Gwen - 1979
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Brady Mac
Gwen married Thomas “Bubba” Rawls at a very young age and they had one daughter, Carrie Jane Rawls. They divorced after about 3 years and she is now married to George Kiley and live in Buchanan, GA. Gwen managed and operated Gwen's Family Restaurant in Buchanan, GA for almost 25 years. She is now a cook at West Georgia College in Carrollton, GA. George has one son, Sean Kiley. Leroy says he has to consider Sean as a grandson since he is his daughters “step” son. He says the only real grandfather he ever knew was a Step grandfather and as far as he could tell all were treated equally. When he complained about not having more grandchildren, his children replied, "You should have had more children." He said his quiver was not full ... and then came the unexpected. The grandchildren began having children!!! They have eight great grandchildren: Carrie married Doug Webb and they had two children: Masie Jane Webb and Curt Douglas Webb, after their divorce, Carrie married his brother, Mark Webb, who had one daughter, Cassidy Webb, Then they had a child together, Makayla Nichole Webb, giving Leroy and Jane four of his great grandchildren. Sean Kiley (Gwen's step-son) is married to Jeniffer Lauda and they live in Cedartown, GA. Their two children, Devon Kiley and Bela Kiley bring the great grandchildren total to eight. {short description of image}
Gwen and George Kiley
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Gwen and Carrie
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Leroy and Makayla
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Jane, Leroy and Makayla
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Revised March 2017