The Rev. Edward Ostend Hunt, 89

March 06, 1995|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,Sun Staff Writer

The Rev. Edward Ostend Hunt, who became assistant minister at Ebenezer AME Church in Baltimore after careers as an insurance salesman and postal worker, died at St. Agnes Hospital on Thursday after a long illness.

Mr. Hunt, 89, had been hospitalized since Jan. 11 for treatment of an intestinal obstruction and died of complications after surgery.

"He had been thinking about the ministry all his life, but it solidified when he retired from the postal service in 1974," said a son, Dr. Edward O. Hunt Jr.

Mr. Hunt was placed on the "cradle roll" at Ebenezer Church shortly after his birth in Baltimore on Sept. 9, 1905, and was active in religious activities all his life, said Dr. Hunt, a retired Baltimore physician.

After graduating from Douglass High School in 1924, Mr. Hunt entered Hampton University on a basketball scholarship -- which meant working in a campus job as well as playing, his son said.

After receiving an undergraduate degree in English and physical education in 1932, Mr. Hunt became a physical education teacher in Winston-Salem, N.C., and a volunteer director at the local YMCA. He left teaching in 1936 to become a sales agent with Winston Mutual Life Insurance Co.

Mr. Hunt was active as a layman in African Methodist Episcopal churches in several North Carolina communities before moving his family to Baltimore in 1943, when he joined the Southern Life Insurance Co. He also renewed his association with Ebenezer Church, and held virtually every lay office there before his ordination in 1984.

Mr. Hunt went to work for the post office in 1951, becoming active in Local 202 of the National Alliance of Postal and Federal Employees. Dr. Hunt said his father worked for "the full involvement of women in the postal system" and helped teach new recruits how to progress through the system.

The legacy he gave those workers is the same one he shared with the church, the son said: "If you have a firm idea and a firm faith and believe in what you're doing, you will be successful."

Mr. Hunt made pastoral care the cornerstone of his ministry, seeking to serve the sick and senior citizens especially. "He was always there when a family needed comforting," Dr. Hunt said.

It was a ministry he practiced not only within his church and community, but with his family, said his other son, the Rev. Lawrence Everett Hunt, a resident of Columbia who is pastor of Trinity AME Church in Ridgeley, near Tuckahoe State Park on the Eastern Shore. "He was always there for us -- in good times and bad times, whether we did good or whether we did bad," Lawrence Hunt said. "He gave us encouragement when we needed it, direction when we needed it and cheerleading when we were successful."

Mr. Hunt was also a member of the South Hilton Street Community Club, the Southwestern District Community, the Urban League and the YMCA, and a life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

He was married on Christmas Eve, 1936, to the former Roselle McKinney, who died in 1990.

Surviving, in addition to his sons, are a sister, Augusta Murray of Baltimore, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The family planned to receive friends from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. today at Ebenezer Church, 20 W. Montgomery St. where services were planned for noon tomorrow.

Donations may be sent to Hampton University, Class of '32, Development Office, Athletic Department, Hampton, Va. 23668.

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