Rev. Dr. Howard Vernon Spruill

  • BORN: December 27, 1919
  • DIED: May 30, 2013
  • LOCATION: Lakeland, Florida

Rev. Dr. Howard V. Spruill
December 27, 1919 - May 30, 2013
Howard Vernon Spruill, age 93, went to be with the Lord on May 30, 2013, his passing due to complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was born on December 27, 1919, at his family's home in South Norfolk, VA, the first child of Vernon Branham Spruill and Mabel Elizabeth Kirby Spruill. He attended public schools in Norfolk and at the age of 18 enlisted in the US Army in May, 1938.
Howard served in the Army for the next 7 years, becoming a Staff Sergeant, and receiving his honorable discharge following the end of World War II in 1945. Both before and during the war, Howard served most of his time in the Philippines. His regiment was scheduled to be in Hawaii in early December, 1941, but his ship was delayed for mechanical reasons and didn't arrive in Oahu until the week following the fateful events of December 7, 1941. His troop was involved in the early salvaging process following the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
During the war, Howard briefly returned to Norfolk for a very important furlough—to marry the love of his life, Daisy Singleton, on December 11, 1943. They took a short honeymoon to Colorado Springs, CO, but then, after just 10 days of marital bliss, Howard was sent off for secret maneuvers (which he even had to keep secret from his new bride), and Daisy returned, alone, to Norfolk for the next six months!
Following his military discharge in October 1945, Howard returned home and began working civil service jobs in the Norfolk area. He and Daisy also worked diligently as volunteers for Bethel Assembly of God under the steady guidance of pastor (and future Potomac District Superintendent) Kelly Wigfield. Howard often spoke of the significant mentoring provided by Pastor Wigfield and the value this had upon his own future ministry.
Sensing God's call upon his life, Howard prepared for ministry and received his initial ministerial credentials in 1949 from the Potomac District of the Assemblies of God. In 1951, Howard, Daisy, and their infant son Howard, Jr. ("Butch"), left the Virginia coast for the mountains of West Virginia to pastor two churches in Elk Garden and Shaw. Following their two years of ministry in WV the Spruills moved to Emporia, VA, where they pastored from 1953-1956, and then on to Manassas, VA, where they pastored the congregation from 1956-1969. The Spruill's daughter Ruth arrived during those years, and sadly their now 16-year old son Butch was tragically killed in an auto accident in 1968. Howard and Butch were returning home after spending Sunday afternoon together doing hospital visitation, and Butch preceded his dad to their heavenly home.
In 1969, Rev. Spruill was elected to serve as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Potomac District, a position that he faithfully held for the next 5 years. Sensing God's direction to return to pastoral ministry, Howard became the pastor of First Assembly of God in Silver Spring, MD. During those years Howard also served as the Assistant Superintendent of the Potomac District. Once more in 1979, Howard followed God's direction to leave the pastorate when the ministers of the District elected him to serve as their Superintendent, a position he would hold for 12 years until his retirement in 1991.
During his many years of ministry in the Potomac District, Howard served in numerous other positions of responsibility, including as a district presbyter and General Presbyter of the Assemblies of God. During his later years of pastoral and district service, Howard sensed the need to further his own formal education and completed his bachelor's degree at Valley Forge Christian College, and both his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees at Luther Rice Theological Seminary. He likewise served VFCC as a Board member, Board Chairman, and Interim President during his years of district leadership.
Our present year, 2013, marked Dr. Spruill's 60th year of ordained ministry. Regardless of the specific role of ministry in which he was engaged, Dr. Spruill always had a true pastor's heart, as those who have been fortunate enough to have been touched by his life and ministry will readily attest. His warm spirit, consistent devotional life, balanced character, and sense of humor always made others feel genuinely valued and accepted, regardless of their position or status in life. His common advice to young, struggling pastors to "just love the people" resonated with authenticity as he was a servant-leader who put such advice to practice in his daily life.
Dr. Spruill was predeceased by his parents, Vernon and Mabel Spruill; sister, Della Spruill Lawrence; and son, Howard V. "Butch" Spruill, Jr. He is survived by his wife of more than 69 years, Daisy; daughter Ruth Spruill Dusing and her husband Michael; and granddaughter Victoria "Tori" Dusing.
The family will receive friends on Friday, June 14, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Pierce Funeral Home, 9609 Center St., Manassas, VA. A funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 15, 2013 at Chapel Springs Church, 11500 New Life Way, Bristow, VA. Interment will follow at Stonewall Memory Gardens, Manassas.


“ My love and prayers to Sis. Spruill, Ruth and family. Bro. Spruill was such an encouragement to me as a woman in ministry. I will never forget his...Read More »

Posted by: Becky Pucher - Warrenton, VA

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