James Hawley McKinnon, Jr. (1940-2018)

Former PSCE Trustee James Hawley McKinnon, Jr., 77, died Sunday morning, March 11, with his wife Louise by his side. Born in Hamlet, North Carolina, August 30, 1940, Rev. McKinnon received his B.D. in 1967 from Union Theological Seminary of Virginia (today Union Presbyterian Seminary). Ordained as a minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on September 22, 1968, he served churches throughout North Carolina; first as an associate in Fayetteville, and then as senior pastor in Morehead City, Charlotte, and Wilson where he retired after 26 years as senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church. Although in declining health, he continued to serve part-time in Pinetops and finally to simply preach from his scooter at Bethany Presbyterian Church until the week before his death.

Taking seriously the directives in the sixth chapter of Micah, this wise, kind, gentle man lived his life doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with his God. He shared his gifts freely as a friend, mentor, and minister, not only in the Presbyterian church at a local, presbytery, and synod level, but throughout his community. As he did so, he gave to each of us the gift of his presence and shared with us the wondrous love of God.

Jim is survived by his wife of fifty-one years, Louise Cherry McKinnon and their two sons who are also Presbyterian ministers: James, III (Trip) (M.Div.’10) and his wife Angie of Brunswick, Georgia; and John (M.Div.’06) and his wife Darci of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He experienced deep joy with his four grandchildren: John Brandon and Rebecca Louise (Brunswick, Georgia); and Aidan Gayle and Ian McKay (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma). Jim was preceded in death by his grandson James Hawley McKinnon IV (Jamie).

A service of witness to the resurrection will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Wilson, North Carolina, Thursday, March 15 at 2 o’clock. The family will receive friends Wednesday, March 14, from 5 o’clock until 8 o’clock in Clark Hall at First Presbyterian and also following the service on Thursday.

The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be sent to The Children’s Hunger Elimination of Wilson (CHEW), PO Box 728, Wilson, NC 27894-728.