Obituaries for Sat., March 5, 2011

Published 12:00 am Saturday, March 5, 2011


The Rev. Elisha James “E.J.” Cunningham, 74, passed away on Feb. 21, 2011.

Funeral services were held on Sat., Feb. 26, at Belleville Missionary Baptist Church in Belleville, Ala., with the Rev. Sidney C. Tucker and the Rev. Daniel T. Taylor officiating. Interment followed in the church cemetery.

He was born to the late Charlie and Callie R. Cunningham on Sept. 12, 1936, in Conecuh County. He received Christ at an early age and joined Belleview Missionary Baptist Church.

He was educated in the Conecuh County public school system and graduated in 1958. After graduation, he began working to provide for his family at the Container Corporation of America (CCA) and retired in 2000 after 36 years of service.

The Rev. Cunningham was the original bass singer in the gospel group, “The Gospel Harmonizers,” that was formed in 1953.

He pastored at Beulah Baptist Church, Evergreen; Antioch Baptist Church, Andalusia; and at the Jordon Grove Baptist Church, Searight, and was the founder and pastor of Faith Missionary Baptist Church in Dozier.

He was preceded in death by two brothers and two sisters.

He leaves to cherish his memories his devoted wife of 21 years, Lou Ann; seven children, Dorothy Carol of Boston, Thelma Jean (Juan) of Hempstead, N.Y., Marilyn Arnita (Tony) of San Antonio; Morris Sylvester (Latonda) and Wesley Ladon (Tasha), all of Montgomery, Katina of Atlanta and Gwendolyn of Oklahoma City; one sister, Polly Mae Counts of Laurelton, N.Y.; 13 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; two devoted friends, the Rev. Johnny Atkins and the Rev. Daniel Taylor; a special and loyal sister-in-law, Shirley Freeney (Dot); and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and co-workers.

Kirk’s Funeral Chapel was in charge of the arrangements.