DONALD WILLIAM GRAHAM, age 80, departed this life and was instantly transported into the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on May 17, 2021. He was born on February 5, 1941, in Rockwood, Tennessee, and lived most of his life in Alabama. He was a graduate of Bessemer High School, Howard College (now Samford University), and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Don surrendered to the call to preach at age 17 and devoted his life to ministry, actively preaching the Word for 62 years. He pastored five churches: the Samaria Baptist Church in Clanton, Alabama (1961-1966), Katherwood Baptist Church in McDonald’s Chapel in Birmingham (1966-1968), Riverview Baptist Church in Cox’s Creek, Kentucky (1968-1971), Bellevue Baptist Church in Gadsden, Alabama (1972-1983), and the First Baptist Church of Center Point in Birmingham (1983-1995). In 1970, he was appointed by the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board for service in Peru, with language school study in 1971-1972 in San Jose, Costa Rica. The last 26 years of his life were spent in an itinerant preaching ministry with his heartbeat and emphasis being the call of the church to revival. He taught and preached primarily in Alabama but also throughout the Southeast and abroad and led several trips to the Holy Land. He also made regular mission and preaching trips to Haiti through Good Shepherd Ministries and encouraged many other churches to be involved. Don preached and taught the Word until nearly the end of his life, preaching his last sermon at Crossville Baptist Church on April 11, 2021. He was diagnosed the next day with a malignant brain tumor that ultimately took his life on this earth. He was also greatly blessed in the latter years of his life being a member of the Glen Iris Baptist Church in Birmingham where he often taught the Auditorium Sunday School class.
Don is preceded in death by his father, William Emanuel Graham, and his mother, Margaret Louise Broadhead Graham. He is survived by his loving wife of nearly 55 years, Ramona Jean Harrell Graham, his son, John Mark Graham (Amy), his two daughters, Christy Grace Graham Henson (Bill), Angela Ruth Graham Corbett (David), and grandchildren, John William Graham, Samuel Richard Graham, Lydia Ruth Graham, and Rebecca Anne Graham. He is also survived by his sister, Peggy Ann Graham Carnaggio; Bill and Christy Henson’s children and grandchildren, Tracy Lynn Henson, Kathleen Jule Henson Daughtry (Cody), Dora Pratt Henson, Ethan Paul Jarman, Hayden Grace Jarman, and Aria Jule Daughtry; and David and Angela Corbett’s children, Anna Michelle Corbett and Michael Andrew Corbett.
A time of visitation with the family will be held on Thursday, May 20, 2021, from 8:00 to 9:45 a.m. at the Glen Iris Baptist Church (1137 10th Place South, Birmingham, AL 35205), with the funeral service to follow at the church at 10:00 a.m. The Interment will be at 3:00 p.m. the same day at the Providence Baptist Church No. 1 Cemetery, 190 County Road 46, Montevallo, Alabama 35115 (off Alabama Hwy. 155 between Montevallo and Jemison). There will not be a formal procession to the cemetery due to the approximate one hour drive.
*In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Don Graham’s name to Glen Iris Baptist Church and/or Good Shepherd Ministries at the following addresses:
Glen Iris Baptist Church, 1137 10th Place South, Birmingham, AL 35205
Good Shepherd Ministries, P O Box 2624, Clanton, AL 35046
**Overflow seating will be provided as needed with livestream viewing from the gymnasium across the street from the church. Parking directions will be posted and coordinated by the church. The service will also be posted on Facebook Live as well as being aired over TV station Way 47 via WGIB Radio/Way TV, which can be accessed through church website at: www.gleniris.net
Final care and arrangements entrusted to the Ellison Memorial Funeral Home of Clanton, AL.
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