BENJAMIN ROBERT ALFORD
1936 TN – 2008 TN
Nashville, Davidson Co., TN—Thursday, 11 December 2008
Alford, Ben—Age 72. Husband, father,
grandfather, pastor and friend, the Rev. Dr. Ben R. Alford, died Tuesday,
December 9, 2008.
A native of Adams, TN, he was born October 18,
1936 to the late Ben C. and Martha Basford Alford and grew up on a
six-generation family farm. He graduated from Jo Byrns High School in 1954 and
enrolled at Martin College in Pulaski, TN. Mr. Alford received the BA degree
from Peabody College in 1958 and the Master of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt
University in 1961. He was ordained an Elder in the Tennessee Conference of the
Methodist Church in 1962 and in 1998 he earned the Doctor of Ministry degree
from Columbia Theological Seminary.
Dr. Alford is survived by his beloved wife of 44
years, the former Sheridan W. Durham; a son, Ben David Alford; a daughter,
Julie Alford Rullmann and husband Kyle Rullmann; five grandchildren, Ben
Overton Alford, Hanson Alford, Cole Rullmann, Jake Rullmann and Cassie
Rullmann; a brother, Charles C. Alford and wife Patricia and a sister, Mary
Nell Alford Lindsey and husband Jim.
Rev. Alford served numerous churches in Middle
Tennessee over the course of 50 years including: Kingston Springs circuit;
Donelson Heights; Aldersgate; Ardmore; Prospect Circuit; Mt. Denson CP Church
(interim); Slater’s Chapel; Forest Grove; Madison Street, Clarksville;
McKendree in Nashville; First UMC Hendersonville; Brentwood; Brewer’s Chapel
(interim) and Port Royal, in Montgomery County.
In addition to local church ministry, Dr. Alford’s
career involved youth work, higher education, human services and agriculture.
He served eight years on the staff and faculty of Martin Methodist College as
Director of Public Affairs, and later as Instructor of Bible and Religion. He
believed strongly in the biblical concept of stewardship and one of his most
prized honors was the Robertson County Soil Conservation award. He served three
years as Robertson County Director of Human Services and later as Director of
Personnel for the City of Springfield. In 1999, Dr. Alford was selected to be
the founding director of Martin Methodist College’s new Center for Church
Leadership, a post he served until his retirement from full-time ministry in
Rev. Alford held numerous positions of
leadership in the United Methodist Church including three elections as delegate
to the denomination’s General Conference and four elections to the
Jurisdictional Conference where the church’s episcopal leaders are elected. He
served twelve years as a member of the governing board of the United Methodist
Publishing House and several years on the Board of Trustees of Martin Methodist
College, including one year as chairman. In 1997 the college awarded him the
President’s Medallion for his leadership and support of the institution and in
2008 awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.
Dr. Alford’s journal, which he kept for nearly
fifty years, is soon to be published as NAMING A LOVE - 49 Years of
Observations by a Farm Boy who Became a Preacher. At his request, Dr.
Alford’s body was donated to the Vanderbilt School of Medicine for medical
education and research.
A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. on
Sunday, December 14, 2008 at Madison Street United Methodist Church, 319
Madison Street, Clarksville, TN with reception and visitation following the
service in the fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made
to the Ben Alford Church Leadership Scholarship at Martin Methodist College,
433 W. Madison St., Pulaski, TN 38478 or to Port Royal United Methodist Church,
Adams, TN 37010. Austin & Bell - Springfield, TN, (615) 384-1000.
NOTES: SSDI records confirm the birth and death dates of Ben R.
Alford (SS# issued in TN), last residence Adams, Robertson Co., TN.
Ben’s book was published in 2014 and is
available on Amazon: