By KAROLYN GEPHART
Former First Baptist Church pastor Norman Fry passed away June 12, in Temple where he moved upon retirement. He had served the Friendswood church for almost 37 years.
Fry was loved for his compassionate and pastoral spirit, and his willingness to be available to anyone who was in need. He was also known for his preaching, which balanced a passion for the Gospel with wise and scholarly teaching. Countless people credit him with having pointed them to Christ.
“This great man baptized both my parents, married them and then went on to baptize me and all of my siblings in First Baptist Church in Friendswood. The Landers family will always hold Brother Fry as a hero of the faith,” Lindsey Landers said on Facebook.
Pete Shuffle agreed.
“Back in 1981 we attended a Wednesday night Bible study prayer time and were very impressed with Bro Fry and with the loving church family. We joined the church soon after that,” Shuffle said.
His kindness and compassion are remembered by many.
“Brother Fry was a very kind man with a dry sense of humor,” Friendswood resident Jane Ann Quevedo said. “He was very compassionate to all religions. He knew and impacted the lives of many people. He will be missed.”
Fry was ordained to the Gospel Ministry and over the next 50 years served Texas Baptist churches in Collegeport, Oyster Creek, Three Rivers, Freeport, and Friendswood. Following his retirement, he continued to serve as interim pastor at the Dyess Grove Baptist Church in Temple He also served the Southern Baptist denomination beyond the local church level, serving two terms on the Southern Baptist Sunday School Board (Lifeway), several terms on the Executive Committee and the Administrative Committee of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, and several terms as moderator of the Galveston Baptist Association.
Fry and his wife, JoAnn were married almost 66 years and had three children: daughter Evelyn Fry Aker who preceded her father in death, and sons Father Wallace Fry of El Paso, Stephen Fry of Houston and the Rev. Norman Fry of Elgin, Illinois.
A celebration of Fry’s life will be held on Saturday, July 22, 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church Friendswood located at 111 E. Heritage Dr. A luncheon will follow at the church.
Memorial gifts may be made to Mission Dignity, which supports retired Baptist pastors and spouses: Mission Dignity, 2401 Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas, TX 75201 (www.missiondignity.org); or to First Baptist Church Friendswood.