May 6, 1926 - November 22, 2017
In a small frame farm house in Medon, Tennessee, Walter Lewis McBride was born on May 6, 1926. He was the sixth of thirteen children born to Mose Walter McBride and Velma Almeda Croom McBride. While growing up, he attended the Marshall Chapel Church of God where he also attended school starting at six years old. He completed the 8th grade at a schoolhouse that was constructed later in the Marshall Community. The nearest school to further his education was 15 miles away and he had no transportation to attend. Despite these obstacles, Walter showed his intelligence, dependability and resourcefulness at an early age. At 14 years old he began working as a farm hand. At 17 years old he lived with his sister, Gladys, to help her and her family harvest crops because Gladys’s husband had been drafted into the Army. Bishop McBride’s childhood sweetheart was Lizzie Smith and on October 24, 1944 they were united in holy matrimony at a courthouse in Corinth, Mississippi. To this union, eight children were born. Walter and Lizzie were blessed with 60 years of marriage before her earthly departure on November 2, 2004. In August 1944, he was drafted into the Army. His active duty was deferred until January 1945 so that he could complete his commitment to help his sister Gladys and family. He served in the military until May 1945 when he received an honorable discharge. Immediately after his military service, he enrolled in G.I. School and completed eighteen months studying agriculture. He started farming with 40 acres of land and through hard work and perseverance increased his acreage to 100 plus acres of land. Bishop McBride was also employed by the Illinois Central Railroad for 17 years. When the railroad company moved, he then retired and went back to farming full time. After being raised in the Church of God for 25 years, Bishop McBride found a more excellent way and was baptized in Jesus Name in 1954. The Apostolic doctrine had been revealed to his mother, Mother Velma McBride, and with approximately 20 members they started worshipping in an abandoned schoolhouse that had less than a pleasant atmosphere; bird lice infested the building and the saints would have to go home and change clothes after Sunday morning service. In 1956, the congregation purchased two acres of land for fifty dollars. At that time, Bishop McBride was a deacon (serving faithfully for two years), he and his father Deacon Mose McBride carried $250 from the church’s treasury to the lumber company and Whitehall Church of God was constructed with a seating capacity of 100. The first service was conducted on September 30, 1956. In the spring of 1955, Walter felt the calling into the ministry. He preached his first sermon September 25, 1955, referencing 1 Timothy 6:12 and 2 Peter 3:18. Minister Walter McBride was ordained on June 30, 1957. In his early years in the ministry, Bishop McBride traveled extensively doing evangelistic work in Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Many of his experiences in the ministry are chronicled in his book “Look Where He Brought Me From – The Life and Times of Bishop Walter Lewis McBride”. There have been several mentors to Bishop McBride in his ministry, District Elder John Pettiford of St. Louis, Missouri who he met in 1956 whom was a great encouragement and inspiration to him in his early ministry. Another mentor in the gospel was District Elder Gus Hogan of Columbia, Tennessee who he met in 1958. In September of 1960, Bishop McBride met some saints from Henry, Tennessee. They had heard about the baptism in Jesus Name. He along with Deacon Thomas D. Reeves II baptized 24 people over the next several days. Bishop McBride was elected as their new pastor. As pastor, Elder McBride and the saints borrowed $800 from the bank and by June of 1962 they had built and were dedicating a new church, Henry Community Pentecostal Church of God. Although Bishop McBride lived 66 miles away from the church; he served there faithfully approximately 40 years, preaching on the 1st and 3rd Sundays and taught Bible Class every Tuesday night. Additionally in 1962, Bishop McBride was elected as pastor of Whitehall Church of God after the former pastor resigned. Here he preached on the 2nd and 4th Sundays and taught Bible Class every Wednesday night. With two churches under his pastorate, the Lord blessed Bishop McBride to lead both churches for many years. Bishop McBride pastored additional churches during his ministry: Decatur, Alabama; Holly Springs, Mississippi; and served as an assistant pastor for churches in Cotton Plant and Tiplersville, Mississippi. He assumed the position of Senior Pastor of Whitehall before his health declined and he installed District Elder Steve Hych as Pastor in September 2017. In 1964, Bishop McBride met Bishop Robert L. Little of the Pentecostal Churches of the Apostolic Faith, Inc. Bishop McBride joined the PCAF in 1964 bringing both churches he pastored into the organization. In the PCAF, he was appointed a District Elder in 1967 and served in many capacities in the PCAF including the Board of Directors, Ordination Committee, and was an Honorary Bishop. Bishop McBride traveled extensively with Bishop Little all over the south establishing and helping churches. He was one of the pastors that were a charter member in the formation of the Southeastern District Council where he served as Vice-Chairman for over 30 years. Along with his wife, Bishop McBride was also afforded the opportunity to travel internationally going to Ireland, France, England, Scotland, Israel and Haiti on several occasions. Despite his humble beginnings, Bishop McBride accomplished great achievements in his 91 years: 60 years of ministry, pastoring two churches simultaneously for almost 40 years, becoming a published author, an accomplished guitar player, farmer, world traveler, church planter, evangelist, walking Bible, hard worker and he was also known to have a wonderful sense of humor. With all his achievements and time devoted to building God’s kingdom he always made time for his wife, children, family and neighbors. Bishop McBride was preceded in death by his wife, Lizzie Embray Smith McBride, a son, Tillmon Leon McBride and a grandson, Frank “Rowdy” Brandon, Jr. He is also preceded in death by three brothers; Joe, Ted, and Wilfred McBride and four sisters; Gladys Reeves, Nell Jefferson, Beatrice Taylor, and Pauline Fuller. Bishop McBride transitioned to his eternal life on Wednesday, November 22, 2017. He leaves to cherish his memory: seven children, Lewis (Carrietta) McBride of Nashville, TN, Charleen Davis, Shirley (William) Collier, and Clara Brandon of Medon, TN, Michael (Denise) McBride of Nashville, TN, Ralph Wayne (Valerie) McBride of Memphis, TN and Chiquita (Robert) Fortson of Terry, MS. He was also blessed to have twenty-three grandchildren, thirty-two great-grandchildren, and three great great-grandchildren. He leaves two brothers Charles McBride, Clarksville, TN and Robert (Penny) McBride of St. Louis, MO; and three sisters Hazel McBride and Ann Blackburn of St. Louis, MO, Lillian Williamson of Jackson, TN, and a host of other relatives and friends including his son in the gospel and successor District Elder Steve (Sandra) Hych and a loving church family at Whitehall Church of God.
In a small frame farm house in Medon, Tennessee, Walter Lewis McBride was born on May 6, 1926. He was the sixth of thirteen children born to Mose Walter McBride and Velma Almeda Croom McBride. While growing up, he attended the Marshall Chapel... View Obituary & Service Information
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