In Memory of Chaplain (COL-Retired) Jerry Reynolds

Chaplain (COL) Jerry D. Reynolds, 82, (US Army retired) passed away on Friday, May 17, in the presence of his wife and two sons who were caring for him in home hospice in McLean, Virginia.

The retired US Army chaplain was born in Merkel, Texas to Ernest Cramer Reynolds and Willie Irene Blair Reynolds on August 16, 1941. He completed undergraduate studies at Hardin Simmons University where he participated actively in chapel choir, Baptist Student Union, Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC), and the Ranger spirit club. He was named a Distinguished Military Graduate and commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army Adjutant General’s Corps upon graduation. A week earlier he had married his hometown sweetheart Sherry Lee Hull, and shortly they set out together for his first years on active military duty which included Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana and Fort Lewis, Washington.

Upon completing that initial military commitment, Reynolds attended seminary at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, to pursue his life calling as an army chaplain. As a young chaplain he preached often at Fort Sam Houston post chapel before deploying to the Vietnam battlefield to serve combat infantry soldiers in the 25th and 9th Infantry Divisions. Returning stateside to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC, he covered the 1/504 Infantry Battalion, two ROTC summer camps, and preached weekly at a military housing area chapel. He also earned jump master wings and he and his wife welcomed their first son Joel David before departing for the chaplain advanced course at Fort Hamilton, NY where their second son Jamie Scott arrived. Jerry completed a year of advanced chaplain training as well as a second master’s degree at Long Island University before moving to Germany to serve the 1/51st Infantry and pastor the American community of 2500 soldiers and family members living in the edge of Bavaria at Crailsheim.

After Germany, stateside assignments included a year of resident study at The US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, two years with the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, three years at Forces Command at Fort McPherson, Georgia, four years at the US Army Chief of Chaplains personnel office at the Pentagon, and a year at the US Army War College studying senior leadership, global and national security.

On his second assignment to Germany, Chaplain Reynolds was the V Corps Staff Chaplain in Frankfurt, where he was responsible for chaplaincy ministries to American soldiers and their families throughout northern Germany. In his final duty assignment, III US Army Chaplain, at Fort McPherson, Georgia, he supervised chaplains serving in the Middle East and in the US Army Reserves.

Chaplain Reynolds’ dedicated service to other chaplains, soldiers and military families gained recognition. His military awards include the Legion of Merit, 3 awards of the Bronze Star, 4 awards of the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal and the Master Parachutist Badge. Civilian awards included Hall of Heroes at the Chapel of Four Chaplains in Philadelphia, and Hardin Simmons University recognition as a Distinguished Alumni. At his military retirement his own chaplain endorsing agency invited him to join their staff at the North American Mission Board as a national missionary for chaplaincy development. In his work there he loved traveling throughout North America visiting Baptist colleges and seminaries, speaking to students and interviewing those interested in any kind of chaplaincy—prisons, businesses, hospitals, police forces, fire departments, or other institutions. His work came naturally as he continued relating to people as Jesus did, with a listening ear and a servant heart. Finally, in 2018 his fellow chaplains recognized his lifetime contributions to chaplaincy naming him to The Order of Saint Martin of Tours and then he was named to the advisory council of the Marsh Chaplaincy Center created to provide chaplains professional training and encouragement.

Chaplain Jerry D Reynolds is preceded in death by his parents and two brothers–Tommy and Oris. He is survived by his wife of sixty years, Sherry, their two sons—Joel of Florida and Jamie and wife Kimberly of Georgia, one brother Jacky and wife Jeanie of Texas, three grandsons—Austin Reynolds of Louisiana, Cole Reynolds of North Carolina, and Luke Reynolds of Georgia.

 

Funeral services were be held on Friday, May 24, 2024

10 AM Viewing/Family Time

11 AM Funeral Service

Reception Following

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Columbia Baptist Church

103 West Columbia Street

Falls Church, Virginia 22046

Officiating: Church Pastor, Doctor James Baucom

Burial at Arlington National Cemetery will follow at a future date. Arrangements are by National Funeral Home of Falls Church.