Rev. James Nathan Blackwell, Sr., 84, a beloved pastor and resident of Travelers Rest, South Carolina, and long-time resident of Abbeville County passed away, Sunday at the Saint Francis Hospital in Greenville, South Carolina.
A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held 2:00 P.M., Wednesday (January 6) at the Chandler-Jackson Funeral Home, 208 South Main Street, Abbeville, South Carolina. Friends may visit with the family before the service from 12:00-2:00 P.M. at the funeral home chapel. His son, Rev. Nathan Blackwell, Jr. will officiate. Those wishing to sign Rev. Blackwell's guestbook online may do so at www.ChandlerJacksonFH.com.
Pastor Blackwell was born May 1, 1931 in Newport, Tennessee to Jessie James& Ota Blackwell. He was the oldest of twelve children. He was a graduate of North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina. He served as the pastor of Nine Forks Baptist Church and Peter's Creek Baptist Church in Pickens County. His last pastorate was the West Side Baptist Church in Abbeville, SC, where he faithfully served from 1964-1998 and founded West Side Christian School. He was affectionately known to everyone as "Preacher" Blackwell.
Rev. Blackwell has received numerous awards and recognition for his outstanding service to his community. In 1997 the South Carolina Senate and the House of Representatives both recognized Rev. Blackwell for his 21 years of exemplary service to the Abbeville County Emergency Medical Services System: Serving as a Certified EMT since 1975, serving as the County EMS Director since 1986; teaching EMT courses at Piedmont Technical College; serving as an Emergency Care Instructor for the Red Cross; teaching classes for DHEC; and personally answering countless calls for emergency medical help. In 2000, Abbeville County EMS honored his leadership and service by naming the county control station the James Blackwell Emergency Operations Center.
He is survived by his wife, Lacerne Clark to whom he was married for nine years. Other surviving family members include three sons: Nathan (Trish) Blackwell of Saint Cloud, FL; Phil Blackwell of Altamonte, FL; and Ken Blackwell of Kissimmee, FL. Brothers: Clint (Dorothy) Blackwell of Travelers Rest, SC; Harold (Darlene) Blackwell of Dacusville, SC; Sisters: Patricia (Roger) Clontz of Travelers Rest, SC; Doris Compton of Travelers Rest, SC; Brenda (Luther) Taylor of Travelers Rest, SC; Step Children: Thomas (Lindsey) Moncrief of Yankee Town, FL; Shawn (Jeffery) Stanton of Augusta, GA, and Patsy (John) Caroline of Sevierville, TN; 7 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Nell Carroll Blackwell to whom he was married for 55 years until her death in 2005.
"Preacher" Blackwell will be laid to rest at Forest Lawn Gardens in Abbeville.
In Lieu of flowers memorials in memory of Rev. Blackwell may be made to Cornerstone Church Memorial Fund, 2925 Canoe Creek Rd. St. Cloud, FL 34772 or Peters Creek Baptist Church 972 Shoals Creek Church Rd. Easley, SC 29640.