January 30, 1946 - July 24, 2020
CHURCH HILL – Rev. Kenneth L. Christian, 74, passed away on July 24, 2020 in Church Hill, TN.
He was born to William Samuel (Sam) Christian and Lizzie Bledsoe Christian in Kingsport, TN on January 30, 1946. He graduated from Dobyns-Bennett High School in 1964 and East Tennessee State University in 1969 with a degree in Business Management.
After spending a few years in sales and manufacturing, he began a 36-year career with the State of Tennessee’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development, where he served in various roles until his retirement in July 2013. The last 20 years of his career were spent serving in the Rogersville Career Center with his great co-workers, who were also cherished friends.
He served his local community in multiple capacities over the years including President of the Church Hill Ruritan Club, Chairman of the Surgoinsville Recreational Program, President of the Dobyns-Bennett Quarterback Club, and youth baseball, basketball, and football coach. He also served as President of the TN Chapter of the International Association of Personnel in Employment Security, a professional organization.
However, his true passion was serving God and exhibiting the love of Christ to all mankind. He maintained a constant desire to “rescue the perishing” and to bring in “whosoever will”. He served as Youth Director at Old Union United Methodist Church in Church Hill, Revival Center Baptist in Bristol, and Smyrna Baptist in Church Hill. He also found great joy in travelling with and leading the youth singing group, “The Singing Apostles”, throughout East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Answering the call, Rev. Christian began New Life Ministries where he preached in numerous jails, nursing homes, and also hosted radio and television programs spreading the gospel of Christ. He was pastor at the New Life Christian Center in Church Hill for 5 years and for the past 30 years served as pastor of Mt. Olive Bible Church in the Christian’s Bend area of Hawkins County.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother George Steven Christian; and grandson Daniel Christian.
He is survived by his wife, Judy Bishop Christian, who was his faithful companion and best friend for 52 years; sons, Shane Christian and Matthew Christian; the “best daughter-in-law in the world” Brandi Christian; grandchildren, Bryant Christian, Rhees Christian, Quinnlyn Christian, and Kennedy Christian; along with numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
God blessed Rev. Christian with a wonderful life on this earth but today he is walking the streets of gold with his mom, dad, and all other family members and friends who have gone on before. He is also now reunited with little Daniel who he so longed to meet.
Visitation will be held at Pleasant View Baptist Church in Kingsport on Tuesday, July 28, 2020 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. The funeral service will follow with Pastor Wayne Baker and Rodney Bishop officiating. Graveside services will be held at 11:00 am Wednesday at Oak Hill Memorial Park Those wishing to attend the graveside service should meet at Johnson-Arrowood Funeral Home in Church Hill at 10:00 AM. Pallbearers will be family and friends. Honorary pallbearers will be the men of Mt. Olive Bible Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital.
The family wishes to extend their sincere gratitude and thanks to all of the medical staff and healthcare professionals at Ballad Health, NHC of Kingsport, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, and Church Hill Health Care and Rehab Center.