Stephen Earl Brannan

Stephen Earl Brannan

Stephen Earl Brannan

Died June 30, 2019

Stephen Earl Brannan Sr. passed away peacefully at his home June 30, 2019, surrounded by family.

The following commentary was written by him upon request of the News-Argus after being born again at the age of 52.

Jeremiah 1:2-10; 8:22-9:3; 20-7-13

Jeremiah ministered during the reign of Josiah, who, apart from David, was the greatest king of Israel. Unfortunately, then Israel fell into the depths of the worst conceivable kind of sin, so Jeremiah knew the best of times and the worst of times.

The Creator of the universe knew Jeremiah personally before he was born. He set him apart for His plan, purpose and design. Jeremiah had no choice in the call of God upon his life, but everything to do with how he responded. He was to announce judgement upon sinful Israel. The Lord assured Jeremiah that what He promised, He could perform. He set Jeremiah in authority over nations and kingdoms. He, who in the midst of tears, was to speak without mitigating his message of judgement to a people who had been blessed so much and yet turned away.

Jeremiah was a godly man of great faith. He lived almost constantly with suffering and failure. With brokenhearted love, he trusted in the Word, and acted upon the Word of the Lord. Many times Jeremiah wanted to give up, but still he preached the grace and forgiveness of God, as well as the power, authority and judgment of God. He knew the Lord would fight his battles for him.

Practical application

Our culture today is not unlike the culture of Jeremiah. The book of Jeremiah shows how God looks at a culture, which knew Him, but deliberately turned away. Today we glorify Him not as God, neither are we thankful. Our culture should be constantly judged by the Bible, rather than the Bible being bent to conform to the surrounding culture. With the Bible being the inerrant Word of God, His Word is absolute as God’s objective truth. We should live under it in our personal lives and in our society.

Our nation today has no fixed values and standards because of a lack of fortitude and faithfulness on the part of Christians. Our once Christian culture has disintegrated into a “post-Christian culture.” Our economy, like that of Jeremiah, is affluent. We, with full stomachs and plenty of time on our hands, have forsaken God. With our humanistic theories, we have elevated ourselves to a position above the Word of God. As in Jeremiah’s day, we have denied the personal God, the divine historic Christ. We have forgotten our purpose as people of God.

We must not speak more lightly than Jeremiah. We must not be any less moved. We must cry “Woe, O liberal church! Woe, O apostate Christendom!” We must show a loyalty to the living God and not commit spiritual adultery against the Creator and the Judge of the universe. Turning away from God today is not only sin, but destruction like in Jeremiah’s day!

Love and truth

We should love others enough to speak the truth to the even though it hurts — truth they will, as a rule, hate. We live in a nation that claims to be the most godly nation on earth. We even live in a state called “the Bible belt.” Yet the majority have abandoned faith in the true God for worldly possessions and pleasures. A true Christian should proclaim without compromise the complete Word of God, even when unpopular. Society, and even friends, will oppose us, stand in our way and even hate us. We must still weep for them and continue to love them. Compassion is still a Christian responsibility when condemnation of sin is more unpopular than ever. We are surrounded with a loss of truth, and trained today on that basis to accept it.

There is a real chasm today between those who have bowed to the living Christ Jesus and those who have not! The church has been infiltrated by the general world view of our day. Truth demands confrontation. We must, with prayer, clearly and lovingly with strength, say no to theological attacks upon Scripture. We must realize the seriousness of modern apostasy and have no part of it. God will have a people in these last days with fixed hearts, leaning on Jesus and facing the world with deep-rooted peace. These people will truly be ministers of the human heart, free and unmovable.

Condolences can be sent to the family as


Brittany Carol Gurley

Brittany Carol Gurley

Brittany Carol Gurley

Feb. 14, 1989-July 5, 2019

Brittany Carol Gurley, 30, LaGrange, passed away Friday, July 5, 2019, at Vidant Medical Center in Greenville surrounded by her parents.

Brittany was born in Wayne County Feb. 14, 1989, to Brent and Tammy Gurley of LaGrange.

She had worked as a CNA with Community Home Health and Hospice in Goldsboro before her health would not allow her to work.

Brittany enjoyed the opportunities given to her by helping to impact the lives of so many people throughout her life. She always had a heart for others.

Brittany was a warrior, and she fought for her life until the last minute. She lost her life after a battle with a kidney transplant. Brittany accepted her illness with grace, dignity and humbleness, and used her condition to lift others up.

The family will receive friends Tuesday, July 9, 2019, from 6 to 7 p.m. at Seymour Funeral Home, followed by a service to celebrate Brittany’s life at 7 p.m. in the chapel, with the Rev. Ronnie Heath officiating.

At other times, the family will be at the home of her parents.

In addition to her parents, Brittany is survived by aunts, Angie Gurley, Laura Gurley and Holly Jackson Moore and husband, Jeff; cousins, Hunter Britt, Chad Gurley and wife, Jessica, Kelly Ham and husband, Michael, Kent Moore, Cole Moore and Carly Moore; and her special k-9 friend, Baby Girl.

She was preceded in death by her son, Braxton Roy Pearce; grandparents, Patsy Creech Gurley, Billy Franklin Gurley, Peggy Price Weeks and Jerry Truman Weeks; and uncle, William Patrick “Pat” Gurley.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be given in her memory to the National Kidney Foundation Research, 30 E. 33rd St., New York, N.Y., 10016, or Tabernacle Pentecostal Holiness Church, 1000 E. Ash St., Goldsboro, N.C., 27530.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at


Ruby Forehand Braswell

Ruby Forehand Braswell

Ruby Forehand Braswell

Oct. 24, 1930-July 5, 2019

Ruby F. Braswell, 88, 401 A St., Goldsboro, died Friday at Helping Hands Family Care of Goldsboro.

Mrs. Braswell was born in Wayne County to the late David and Ila Creech Forehand.

She worked as an LPN, dental assistant, substitute teacher and a hospital volunteer, as well as a dedicated housewife and mother.

She was a member of Grace Baptist Church in Goldsboro, and lived an exemplary Christian life while trying to help others.

She is survived by sons, Ron Braswell (Sharon) of Goldsboro and Bill Braswell (Barbara) of Pikeville; one daughter, Phyllis Smith (Kenneth) of Goldsboro; one daughter-in-law, Gloria Braswell of Goldsboro; grandchildren, Alan Braswell, Amy Wiley, Julie Warren, Kevin Braswell, Brian Smith, Amanda Davis, Jennifer Thornton, Lewis Braswell and Bethany Flowers; 14 great-grandchildren; one brother, Buddy Forehand; and one sister, Hazel Albert both of Goldsboro.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Ralph Braswell; a son, Rick Braswell; and three sisters, Doris Baker, Jane Johnson and Ruth Fisher.

The family will receive friends Monday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Howell Funeral Home and Crematory in Goldsboro.

A graveside service will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. at Wayne Memorial Park.

Condolences to the family may be posted at


Glenda H. Swinson

Glenda H. Swinson

Glenda H. Swinson

Sept. 19, 1941-July 4, 2019

Glenda Hollingsworth Swinson, 77, resident of Mount Olive, passed away in the early evening hours of July 4, 2019, while at Kitty Askins Hospice Center.

Glenda had held a variety of jobs during her working career to include office work at Cates Pickle Co., teacher’s assistant at Carver School, bookkeeper for C&R Motor Parts and also Barnes Auto Parts.

She was preceded in death by her father, Joe Holllingsworth; mother, Billie Hargrove Hollingsworth Lee; and stepfather, J. Wesley Lee; and is survived by her husband of 57 1/2 years, Clayton Swinson, and their daughter, Janet Lorrelle Swinson both of the home; a brother, Joe Tom Holllingsworth of Puerto Rico; two sisters, Patsy Hollingsworth of Caswell Center, Kinston, and Gayle H. Joyner and special friend, Bill Neil, of Faison; nieces, Monika Sizer and Kelli Winchell; nephew, Michael Joyner; and members of the Swinson family.

Graveside services for Glenda will be held Sunday, July 7, at 2 p.m. at Wayne Memorial Park. Officiating will be the Rev. Jimmy Swinson and the Rev. Jimmy Whitfield.

The family will greet friends at the cemetery at the conclusion of the service.

Memorial donations may be made to Cures for the Colors, c/o Southeastern Cancer Oncology Center, 203 Cox Blvd., Goldsboro, N.C., 27534.

A Tyndall service.


Brian Smith

Brian Smith

Brian Smith

Dec. 18, 1976-July 1, 2019

Timothy Brian Smith, 42, Pikeville, passed away Monday, July 1, 2019, at his home.

Brian was born in Wayne County Dec. 18, 1976, to Mary Wilson Grady and Willard Ray Smith.

He was employed with S.T. Wooten Corp.

Brian was a true sportsman, most comfortable outdoors, on the water or in the woods.

He loved spending time with his son so he could share his love for hunting and fishing.

Brian was the kind of man who was loyal to his family and who took great pride in caring and providing for his family

A service to celebrate Brian’s life was held by the graveside Saturday, July 6, 2019, at 10 a.m. in Patetown Cemetery.

Brian is survived by his wife, Heather Wolfe Smith; son, Briley Dawson Smith; parents, Mary and Jarvis Grady and Ray and Martha Smith; sister, Angie Cianfarra and husband, Nick; nephew, Justin Cianfarra; stepbrother, Michael Moore; and stepsister, Amanda Garcia.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be given in Brian’s memory to the Briley Dawson Smith Educational Fund, c/o Seymour Funeral Home, 1300 Wayne Memorial Drive, Goldsboro, N.C., 27534 (an account will be opened with Kenly Savings for this fund).

Online condolences may be sent to the family at


M. Kevin Lane

M. Kevin Lane

M. Kevin Lane

May 10, 1965-July 4, 2019

Marshall Kevin Lane, 54, resident of Brock’s Chapel section near Mount Olive, passed away unexpectedly in the early evening of Independence Day.

Kevin was a 1983 graduate of North Duplin High School.

Soon after high school graduation, he gained employment with Duke Energy Progress, and remained a faithful employee until health issues hastened an early retirement.

Kevin was a good all-around country boy who loved the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing, and he was an enthusiastic with beekeeping.

He leaves behind two sons, Jason Lane of Grantham and Aaron Lane of Princeton; his parents, Peggy Faulk Sartin and Jeff Sartin of Mount Olive; a brother, Kenton Lane and wife, Karen, of Mount Olive; sisters, Dr. Kim Lane Bowers and husband, Mark, of Fuquay-Varina, Adina Sartin Burkette and husband, Donnie, of Eureka and Christa Sartin Waters and husband, David, of Calypso; and several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

His father, Gene P. “Pete” Lane, preceded Kevin in death.

The family will receive friends at Mount Olive First Pentecostal Holiness Church Tuesday, July 9, beginning at 1 p.m., with funeral services to follow at 2 p.m. Officiating will be minister Coy Brock. The service will conclude with burial in Maplewood Cemetery.

Family and friends are also being received at the Sartin residence.

Flowers are welcome, or for those who wish to make a memorial gift, the family suggests The Outlaw Foundation, P.O. Box 592, Faison, N.C., 28341, or Cure for the Colors, c/o Southeastern Cancer Center, 203 Cox Blvd., Goldsboro, N.C., 27534.

A Tyndall service.


Esther D. Bowman

Esther D. Bowman

Esther D. Bowman

Jan. 19, 1924-July 5, 2019

Esther Davis Stafford Bowman, 95, passed away Friday, July 5, 2019, at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington surrounded by her family.

Esther was born in Johnston County Jan. 19, 1924, to the late Samuel and Betty Peedin Davis. She was married to the late Edward C. Stafford and Earl L. Bowman.

Esther loved Church of God of Prophecy, and was a dedicated and faithful servant her entire life.

She will be missed, but greatly remembered.

The family will receive friends Monday, July 8, 2019, from 1 to 2 p.m. at Seymour Funeral Home, followed by a service to celebrate Esther’s life at 2 p.m. in the chapel, with the Rev. Dennis Pollock officiating. Interment will be in Wayne Memorial Park.

Esther is survived her sons, David Stafford and special friend, Terezia Jambor, and Charles Stafford and wife, Yvonne; daughter-in-law, Deborah Stafford; grandchildren, Stephen Stafford, Lisa Tyner, Jennifer Attanasio, David Calvin Stafford, April VanScherpe, Michael Stafford, Donald Eric Stafford, Joseph Dustin Stafford, Meredith Stafford and Jason Stafford; 18 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents and husbands, she was preceded in death by a son, Donald Stafford; brothers, Herman, Clarence, Billy Ray and Walter Davis; and sisters, Betty Hillard, Pearl Johnson and Gladys Capps.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at


William H. “Bill” Menley

William H. ‘Bill’ Menley

William H. ‘Bill’ Menley

Oct. 4, 1939-July 5, 2019

William H. “Bill” Menley, 79, Goldsboro, passed away Friday, July 5, 2019, at his home.

Bill was born in Pontiac, Mich., Oct. 4, 1939, to Thomas and Vivian Brown Menley.

He later moved to Anaheim, Calif., where he graduated high school and joined the United States Army.

He was stationed at the 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, N.C., as a paratrooper. While in Fort Bragg, he met his wife of 57 years, Carol Anderson Menley.

Bill is survived by his wife and four children, John Menley of Raleigh, Cecilia Menley of Goldsboro, Jeanna Menley McKeel (Jeff) of Pikeville and Wayne Lawrence (Nina) of Sanford; nine grandchildren, Melissa Pearce (Roy), Heather Menley, Donna Menley (Jeremy), Maranda McVige (Mark), Bradley Easton, Jessica Menley (Kris), Brandon Hanger, Kayla McKeel and Krystal McKeel; 14 great-grandchildren; nine great-great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas and Vivian Menley, and four siblings, Thomas “Tom,” Charles “Chuck,” Emma Jean and Patricia Menley.

A private memorial service will be held at a date to be determined.


Gregory Miller

Gregory Miller

Gregory Miller

Gregory Miller, 64, 400 E. Main St., Mount Olive, died at his residence.

He was born to Robert and Dora Baker Miller in Los Angeles, Calif.

He is survived by a son.

In keeping his wishes, the service will be private.

Arrangements are by Haskins Funeral Home and Cremations.


Koba A. Hall

Died July 1, 2019

Koba Amir Hall, 4 months old, Kenansville, died Monday.

Funeral was noon Friday at Prayer of Faith Church, Warsaw. Interment was in Duplin Memorial Gardens, Teachey.

Angelina C. Camacho

Jan. 7, 1944-July 1, 2019

Angelina Calzada Camacho, 75, Rose Hill, died Monday at home.

Memorial service was 2 p.m. at Dobson Chapel Baptist Church.

She was born Jan. 7, 1944, in Luquillo, Puerto Rico, to Angel Calzada and Felicita Robles Torres. She was married to Victor Camacho.

She is survived by three children.

Arrangements are by Community Funeral Home of Warsaw Inc.

Virginia Holland

Virginia Holland, 56, 2228 Smallwood St., Wilson, died Thursday at home.

Arrangements are pending at Stevens Funeral Home, Wilson.

Carolyn Price

Carolyn Price, 65, Snow Hill, died Thursday at Lenoir UNC Health Care.

Arrangements are pending at S. Connor Memorial Funeral Home, Snow Hill.

Hunter R. Dawson

Hunter Reid Dawson, 24, died Friday.

Arrangements are pending at Howell Funeral Home and Crematory.

Larry L. Johnson

Larry Lee Johnson, 57, died Wednesday at Wayne UNC Health Care.

Arrangements are pending at J.B. Rhodes Funeral Home and Cremations.

Dorothy M. Raynor

Dorothy M. Raynor, 90, 597 Elmore St., died Thursday at home.

Arrangements are pending at Garris Funeral Home.