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Rev. Dr. James Murphy Bell, Sr., 82, resident of 4915 Hwy. 20, husband of Lois Alexander Bell, passed away Wednesday, March 2, 2011 at AnMed Medical Center in Anderson, SC.
Dr. Bell was born at Hickory Grove, SC, April 5, 1928, the son of the late Rev. Robert Murphy Bell and Elinor Ann Henry Bell. Following his graduation from Erskine College in 1948 and Erskine Theological Seminary in 1952, he served as an ordained minister for over 50 years in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian denomination, at the Sandy Plains (NC), Tirzah (SC), Old Providence (VA), and Due West (SC) ARP churches. He was appointed to several boards and committees of the General Synod, and was elected Vice-Moderator and Moderator of Synod. Valuing his commitment to the Scriptures, he challenged segregation at Erskine College and Seminary in the 1960's. He led the Church Extension Committee of Virginia Presbytery in adding a number of churches that now comprise Northeast Presbytery. He was granted the Doctor of Divinity degree by Erskine in 1979.
He is survived by wife Lois B. Alexander, whom he married on June 10, 1952. Surviving also are six children: James Bell, Jr., and Jaime, of Fleetwood, NC; Robert Bell and Alice, of Due West, SC; Ann Marie Hope and Steve, of Due West, SC; Sharon Griffin and David, of Greenville, SC; Paul Bell and Jeanne, of Due West, SC; and Allyson Huskey and Nick, of Donalds, SC; eighteen grandchildren: James, Grace, Hannah, John, and Ruth Bell; Richard Bell; Cyndi Nicholson; Charlotte, Glenn, Abby, and Graham Hope; Laura, Kelley, and Elinor Griffin; John Paul and Neely Bell; Keagan and Zeb Huskey; four step grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; and three step great grandchildren. He was predeceased by a sister, Laura Bell, and a daughter-in-law, Karen Bell.
Memorials in Memory of Dr. Bell may be made to the James M. Bell Scholarship Fund at Erskine Seminary PO Box 668 Due West, SC 29639 or to Samaritan's Purse PO Box 3000 Boone, NC 28607-3000.
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