News Articles

Southern Baptist leader dies in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (BP)–Henry Nash, city coordinator for the North American Mission Board’s Strategic Focus Cities (SFC) evangelism and church planting initiative in Philadelphia, died Friday, Dec. 1.

Nash, 62, also served as pastor and founder of Grace Community Baptist Church in Philadelphia and president of the Pennsylvania-South Jersey Baptist Convention.

“He became ill in the afternoon and emergency medical technicians were called. He passed away before they arrived,” said Frank Miller, director of missions for Greater Philadelphia Baptist Association. “We are all grieved at this loss of a precious brother in Christ. Pray for his family, his church and the ministry he led.”

John Reale, NAMB strategy coordinator, said Nash was loved among Southern Baptists and the community as a whole.

“Henry was an extremely well-respected man in the city,” Reale said. “Everywhere people knew who he was. He had a love and a zeal for God’s kingdom work in Philadelphia and for the people there that was just overwhelming and catching for everyone who had an association with him.”

Nash had been city coordinator for the Strategic Focus Cities effort in Philadelphia, which goes by the name “Philadelphia Spirit,” since February of this year. The effort remains in the planning stages, with the bulk of ministry efforts expected to take place in 2002.

“He is going to be dearly missed in Strategic Focus Cities and by Philadelphia,” Reale added. “He was a leader among African-American Southern Baptists in particular.”

Nash founded Grace Community Baptist Church in 1976, and also has served as owner of both a barbershop and janitorial service. He grew up in Winonah, Miss., and moved with his family to Philadelphia in 1956. He is a graduate of Jamison Bible Institute and Manna Bible Institute in Philadelphia.

The funeral was planned for 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at Grace Baptist Church.

Survivors include his wife, Claretta M. Hand-Nash, two sons, and one daughter.

    About the Author

  • Staff