Sunday, August 18, 2013

Reverend Carl Tinsley, Sr. dies at age 80 – “People Get Ready”

Reverend Carl Tinsley, Sr. at 11th Annual African-American N&W Celebration.

Pictured at left is Reverend Carl Tinsley, Sr. at 11th Annual African-American N&W Celebration.

Reverend Carl T. Tinsley, Sr., 80, passed away Saturday, August 17, 2013 at home after an extended illness.

Memories of Rev. Tinsley include his big smile and hug he gave in greeting his friends. I was grateful to be one of them.

Two memories stand out – Rev. Tinsley’s big smile when opening the door to the Peters Creek Precinct at Ruffner Middle School to a long winding line of voters waiting in the dark to vote in the 2008 Presidential election.

Another memory seen towards the end of the video below at the 11th Annual African-American N&W Celebration held at the Virginia Museum of Transportation. His favorite selection of “People Get Ready” was sung by the Impressions. Everyone joined in and sang along to close the program.

In 2012 Roanoke City Council named Rev. Tinsley the 2012 Citizen of the Year. In recognition of this honor, Mayor David A. Bowers bestowed the prestigious Key to the City to Rev. Tinsley.

Rev. Tinsley was a native of Franklin County and had been a resident of the City of Roanoke for more than 50 years. He attended Cornet Business School, Virginia Western Community College, and Shenandoah Bible College. He also served in the U. S. Navy as a Radio and Radar Technician and Operator Flight Squadron, crewman, and Third Class Petty Officer.

Rev. Tinsley opens the door  to first in line to vote in 2008 Presidential Election.

Rev. Tinsley opens the door to first in line to vote in 2008 Presidential Election.

Rev. Tinsley retired from Norfolk and Western Railway Company (Norfolk Southern Corporation), with 38 years of dedicated service, and was the first African American clerk in the Traffic Department.

In addition, he served in the ministry for more than 41 years, pastoring churches including First Baptist Church of Natural Bridge; First Baptist Church of Catawba; Indian Rock Baptist Church, and First Baptist Church in Cloverdale. Rev. Tinsley was the current pastor of First Baptist Church in Buena Vista until 2 months ago. He cared for the needs of each member. He also served as an Associate Pastor of St. John’s Episcopal Church.

He was a life member and Past President of the Roanoke Branch NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People); President of the Ministers’ Conference of the Roanoke Valley and Vicinity; President of the Northwest Neighborhood Environmental Organization (NNEO); Past Vice-President of Fairland Civic  Organization; and Past Chairman of the Roanoke City Democratic
Committee (the first African American to hold this post).

Throughout his life, Rev. Tinsley demonstrated a heartfelt interest in higher education and for the advancement of minorities in the Roanoke Valley, and helped solve controversial neighborhood and community issues by working hand-in-hand with city government.

At his death he was serving on the Roanoke City Electoral Board. He was active in many organizations within the Roanoke Valley and was awarded the SCLC Martin Luther King Drum Major for Justice and the Martin Luther King Religious Affairs Awards.

People get ready, there’s a train comin’
You don’t need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin’
You don’t need no ticket you just thank the lord

People get ready, there’s a train to Jordan
Picking up passengers coast to coast
Faith is the key, open the doors and board them
There’s hope for all among those loved the most
There ain’t no room for the hopeless sinner whom would hurt all mankind
Just to save his own
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner
For there is no hiding place against the kingdoms throne

People get ready there’s a train comin’
You don’t need no baggage, just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin’
You don’t need no ticket, just thank the lord.

People get ready there’s a train comin’ – Video

Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Community, Local Events

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