Rev. William H. Hayes, in Church of Brethren

August 24, 1993|By Staff Report

The Rev. William A. Hayes, retired pastor of the First Church of the Brethren in Baltimore and a former national officer of the church, died Aug. 21 of kidney failure at his home in Columbia.

Mr. Hayes, who was 65, had served the church at 4500 Liberty Heights Ave. from 1977 until he retired in 1992.

During that time, he served on the General Board of the Church of the Brethren and chaired its parish ministries commission and an advisory committee on issues and concerns of black members of the denomination. He also served in 1988 as moderator, the highest elective office in the church, and had also represented the Church of the Brethren in the National Council of Churches.

Born in Tuscumbia, Ala., he was reared in South Bend, Ind., where he graduated from Central High School and, in 1946, was licensed to the ministry at a Baptist church, St. John.

A 1950 graduate of what is now the University of Indianapolis, he also earned a master's degree from the Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1953.

Ordained in the United Church of Christ in 1954, he served churches in New Haven, Conn., and in Brooklyn and Buffalo in New York.

Before coming to Baltimore, he was administrative director of St. Mark's, an ecumenical church in Kansas City, Mo., where he was active in civil rights work and head of a nonprofit housing corporation; and was vice president of Inter-Met, an interfaith seminary in the District of Columbia.

His first wife, the former Mary Eileen Fuget, died in 1967. His second wife, the former Vera Horne Johnson, died in 1987.

A memorial service is to be conducted at 2 p.m. Saturday at Heritage United Church of Christ, 3106 Liberty Heights Ave. in Baltimore.

He is survived by a daughter, Eileen Hayes of Seattle; his mother, Estella Howard of South Bend; a brother, James L. Hayes of Washington; two sisters, Novella Flint and Ruth Sanders, both of South Bend; eight nieces; and a nephew.

The family suggested memorial contributions to the New Organ Fund at the First Church of the Brethren, or to the Wendell H. Phillips Memorial Foundation at Heritage United Church of Christ.

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