Merlin Eugene Provance was born June 8, 1929 in Parkersburg, WV and died on Thursday, March 20, 2008, at the Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, OH.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lloyd and Ireta Provance and daughter, Tamara Bolender.
Service will be 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 23, 2008, at the First Church of the Nazarene, 4923 Kentucky Street, South Charleston, led by Pastor Kent Estep and the message given by Pastor Morton Estep. Friends may visit with the family beginning at 1 p.m. prior to the service. Entombment will follow in Graceland Memorial Park, South Charleston.
He leaves behind his beloved wife of 56 years, Ruby of St. Albans; son, Mike and his wife, Mary Ann of Georgetown, TX; grandsons, Justin of Houston, TX; Chad and Chase Bolender of Mt. Vernon, OH; great granddaughter, Kylie of Houston, TX; sister, Esther Fowler and her husband, Tom of East Lake, OH; nephew, Thom Fowler of Mt. Vernon, OH; and niece, Katrina Fowler of Willoughby, OH.
Merlin served as an associate pastor for the past 12 years at the First Church of the Nazarene in South Charleston where he developed a substantial ministry to the MiSMAs “the Over-50 Crowd”, and was the executive director of Healthy Connections Wellness Center with an emphasis on “Wellness in the Church Place.”
He enjoyed 38 years of active pastoral ministry in the Church of the Nazarene with pastorates in Kempton, IL; Clendenin, WV; Southeast Church in Kanawaha City, WV; Xenia, OH First Church; Community Church, Nashville, TN; and Davis Creek Church, Charleston, WV. He worked with the Appalachian Ministries Educational Resource Center (AMERC) in Berea, KY for three years where he recruited seminarians from the Holiness tradition for special ministerial training.
Positions held on the WV District Church of the Nazarene included district secretary, board of ministerial studies, advisory board, camp treasurer, and he also led the area 5th Sunday night services for senior adults. He had served on the board of trustees for Mt. Vernon Nazarene University.
He received an undergraduate degree from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL, and the master’s degree from WV College of Graduate Studies in Charleston, WV. He also attended Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN where he met his wife.
Merlin was appointed by Governor Manchin to serve on the state committee dealing with chronic health issues and served on the WV State AARP health and wellness task force; and was honored by Governor Wise as an outstanding West Virginian.
Curry Funeral Home at Alum Creek is in care of arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Healthy Connections Wellness Center, an outreach ministry of South Charleston First Church of the Nazarene founded and directed by Merlin Provance. Checks should be made payable to “HCWC” and mailed to the church at 4923 Kentucky Street, South Charleston, WV 25309.