In God’s divine Providence, he saw fit to take home to his eternal rest our dear Father, Son, Brother, Family Member, Friend, Mentor and Anointed Vessel of God, The Reverend Dr. Vernon Leanard Rovell Holland. The beloved son of Linzy Holland and Barbara Holland Baxter, Vernon was called home on Monday November 2, 2020 at his residence. Pastor Holland, as he was most affectionately called, was a larger than life personality. He never met a stranger and could communicate with anyone. His legacy of his pastorates and preaching will live forever in the hearts of those who heard him bear witness to the Gospel in countless church services, revivals, classes, workshops and retreats. Vernon’s goal was to achieve Kingdom and personal growth by operating within the many gifts God had instilled within him in a location that was ready to grow exponentially. Through the teaching and preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ AND through dynamic, hands-on, INVOLVED care, Pastor Holland reached people from the block to the boardroom. He attended the schools of Sumter, South Carolina. He participated in various school organizations, ran track and played football for the Sumter High School Gamecocks. He also played multiple community sports. Vernon graduated from Sumter High School in 1986 and enlisted in the United States Army. After a variety of service locations and serving in Desert Shield/Desert Storm, he became an inactive reservist and was Honorably Discharged from the Army. He was previously united in matrimony to the former Alphene Bligen in 1990 and to that union, six, much prayed for, sons were born. He was ordained as a Deacon in Lawton, Oklahoma at First World Outreach Christian Church and later accepted his call to the Gospel Ministry in Lawton Oklahoma at Greater Galilee Missionary Baptist Church. He was ordained by the Sumter Baptist Association. Pastor Holland returned to South Carolina in 1996 and worked several years with troubled youth at Willow Glen Academy in Clarendon County. He then worked as a drug abuse counselor within the South Carolina Department of Corrections. As he worked in those fields, he had an expanding track relative to his ministry. He pastored the Mill Creek Missionary Baptist Church, Bethune, SC; Liberty Hill Missionary Baptist Church, Bishopville, SC; Greater Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church, Society Hill, SC; and Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, Hartsville, SC. Although he did not pastor them formally, he shared a very special relationship with the Cousar Memorial Presbyterian Church (Moderated by The Reverend Dr. Franklin D. Colclough), Bishopville, SC. In every pastorate, the congregation saw exponential growth and was blessed with his amazing gift for caring pastorship and anointed preaching. Formerly, he was a past moderator of the St. John’s River Union and member of the Executive Board of the Wateree Baptist Association- Lower Division. Academically, he thirsted after the knowledge of the Bible that was first instilled in him by his mother. He attended Cameron University and Morris College. He graduated from Carolina Theological Bible Institute with a Bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Counseling and Master’s degree in Christian Education. He later attended Fisher Hill Community College and completed the requirements for the Master of Divinity and the Doctor of Theology. His educational coursework and experiences supported the anointed framework that the Holy Spirit endowed to provide a relevant and living Word to the people. The Reverend Dr. Vernon Holland was a much sought-after speaker and revivalist. His ministry was multi-fold. His teaching and preaching- phenomenal. His anointing was like no other. To say that he was amazing to hear and watch is an understatement of great proportion. He was a member of The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated and a member of Gum Springs Lodge #458. In addition to his heartbroken parents, Vernon leaves to mourn his untimely passing, his loving sons: Carlton Holland, North Charleston, SC; Julian Holland, Atlanta, GA; Sterling Holland, North Charleston, SC; Brodrick Holland and Bryce Holland, Sumter, SC; brothers: Jevon (Tawna) Holland, Fayetteville, NC; Alphonso (Kassie) Coley, Baltimore, Maryland; sister Janice (Anthony) Scriven, Hopkins, SC; embraced daughter Tiffany Brown, Sumter, SC; embraced sons: Levi James, Florence, SC; Travis Smith, St. Cloud, Minnesota; Philip (Deneshia “Shay”) Thomas, Bishopville, SC; and Jaicovielle Fortune, Columbia, SC; embraced brother Mike (Leila) Green, Bishopville, SC, a special cousin Emily Davis, and a host of nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts, cousins and many, many friends, acquaintances and colleagues. He was predeceased by his beloved son Myles Holland and embraced son Tavares James; paternal grandparents: Frank and Nora “Toot” Johnson and maternal grandparents Richard and Roberta Brunson. In accordance with the COV19 guidelines, the family is requesting face masks and social distancing be observed by relatives and friends during visitation at the home, 6815 Fish Road, Dalzell. Viewing and visitation will be Sunday, November 8, 2020 from 2:00 – 6:00 p. m. in the John Wesley Williams Sr. Memorial Chapel of Williams Funeral Home, Inc., 821 North Main Street, Sumter. Funeral Services will be held Monday, November 9, 2020 – 10:00 a. m. in the John Wesley Williams, Sr. Memorial Chapel of Williams Funeral Home, Inc., 821 North Main Street, Sumter, with the Rev. Walter Robertson, officiating, the Rev. Clifton Witherspoon, pastor of Grant Hill Missionary Baptist Church, eulogist. The procession will leave from the home at 9:30 a. m.
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