Calvary Baptist celebrates service of Dr. Ellis Bush

Published 3:00 am Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sunday was Celebration Day at Calvary Baptist Church in Troy. It was a time to celebrate the life and service of Dr. Ellis Bush, who pastored Calvary Baptist Church for nine years.

Church members were given the opportunity to share what Dr. Bush has meant to them and how he has not only inspired them to lead Christian lives but has also helped them through the dark and difficult times of their lives.

Several members talked of how Bush helped them through the loss of loved ones. Others spoke of their close friendship with the Dr. Bush and his wife, Juanita, and others spoke of the mentoring Dr. Bush provided. All who spoke talked of the faithfulness of the Bushes to Calvary Baptist Church and to their Lord and Savior.

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“It was such a blessing to hear testimonies from so many that we have loved,” Juanita Bush said. “It was a blessing that we can treasure for the rest of our lives. We thank Calvary for making that day possible.”

Dr. Bush has served 65 years in the gospel ministry. He was ordained by Southside Baptist Church in Troy in September l947 at the age of 17 while his father was pastor there.

He attended Troy University two years, then Howard College. He married Juanita Holmes of Troy and they both finished Howard College in 1951.

They went to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky where he graduated in 1956 with the B.D. and Th.M. degrees. He was honored with the D.D. Degree from Samford University in 1972.

Dr. Bush has served as pastor of churches in Alabama, Indiana and Kentucky. However, most of his ministry has been with the Southern Baptist Convention and State Conventions.

He served as editor, Baptist Sunday School Board, Nashville, Tennessee; State Sunday School Director, Alabama; executive director for First Baptist Church, Shreveport, Louisiana; executive director, Baptist Convention of Pennsylvania-South Jersey; Bold Mission Thrust Promotion: Executive Committee and Lifeway; and Southern Baptist Convention Nashville, Tennessee.

Following his retirement in 1993, Dr. Bush served for two years as interim pastor for First Baptist Church in Troy. After a brief break and some travel time, Dr. Bush served as interim pastor for Bush Memorial Baptist Church in Troy, First Baptist Church in Luverne and Salem Baptist Church in Brundidge. He was pastor of Calvary Baptist Church from 2004 through 2013.

The Bushes live on her old home place in the Antioch community. They have four children. Ellis Bush Jr. and Becky also live on the farm. They both are on faculty at Troy University and manage the farm.

After a long career with the U.S. Air Force, Joy Bush and Ron Williams, are living their retirement years in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Ron now flies for FedEx International. They have two children.

Melody Bush Mead and husband Dave serve The Navigator Ministry in Colorado Springs. They have two children. They lost their home in June in the Waldo Canyon fires. They have moved back into the home they rebuilt on same location. Dave is the Director of the International Military Ministry section of the Navigators.

Their daughter, Dr. Gayle Bush is in her 12th year teaching at Troy University.

Her daughter Heidi graduated from Troy University in 2014. She and her husband, Derrick Cook live in Foley. He is a CPA and she is a graduate student with Florida State University.