A renowned church leader within The Wesleyan Church has passed away. Dr. O. D. Emery, 88, passed away in North Carolina, Sunday, November 1, 2015, at 3:05 p.m. A General Superintendent for The Wesleyan Church from 1980-1992, his service to The Wesleyan Church and Pilgrim Holiness Church spanned six decades.
Oren Dale Emery was born into the home of Oren and Roberta Emery on May 30, 1927 in Indianapolis, IN. He graduated from Broad Ripple High School and then served his country with the U S Navy during WWII; stationed on the island of Guam. He married his childhood sweetheart, Ruthanne Adams on August 5, 1946.
After receiving his undergraduate degree from Marion College, he earned his Master’s degree from Northern Seminary and was later awarded a Doctor of Letters from United Wesleyan College. He was ordained in the Pilgrim Holiness Church and served in pastoral ministries in Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Arizona.
From 1952-1959 Dr. Emery served as district superintendent of the Wisconsin District for the Pilgrim Holiness Church. Then, from 1959-1962, he served as district superintendent of the Arizona-New Mexico District of the Pilgrim Holiness Church.
He began headquarters service as General Secretary of Sunday Schools and Youth for the Pilgrim Holiness Church from 1962-1968, until the merger with The Wesleyan Methodist Church in 1968. He then served as General Secretary of Youth for the newly formed Wesleyan Church from 1968-1970. For the next three years, until 1973, he was called upon to serve as executive director of the Christian Holiness Association. Meanwhile, in 1972, he was elected as the General Secretary of Sunday Schools for The Wesleyan Church. In 1976, he was re-elected to the same capacity, but the role was renamed General Secretary of Local Church Education.
Four years later, in 1980, Dr. Emery was elected to serve as a General Superintendent for The Wesleyan Church, a leadership role in which he served with distinction until his retirement at the 1992 General Conference in Des Moines, Iowa.
Dale and Ruth moved to High Point, North Carolina, where he lived until his death on November 1, 2015. He was a member of First Wesleyan and then Hayworth Wesleyan Church.
Dale was preceded in death by his father, Oren, his mother, Roberta, his step-mother, Magdalene and an infant brother, Paul Bruce Emery.
He is survived by his wife of 69 years, his six children, Steven (Carol) Emery, Paul (Susan) Emery, Deborah (Andrew) Weaver, David (Donna) Emery, Timothy (Erlena) Emery, and Elizabeth (William) Tietje, 19 grandchildren and 42 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by three sisters, Frances Thomas, Doris Park and Jannette Thomas, one brother, Richard Emery, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The funeral service will be Friday, November 6, at 11:00 a.m. at Hayworth Wesleyan Church (1696 Westchester Drive, High Point, N.C.. 27262) with Dr. David Keith and Rev. Brian Matherlee officiating. The family will have a private family burial. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the funeral from 10:00a.m. – 11:00 am.
The family would like to express appreciation to the staff at Westchester Harbour and especially the staff of Community Hospice for their excellent care
Memorials may be sent to Hayworth Wesleyan Church Building Fund at 1696 Westchester Drive, High Point, NC 27262.