Rev. A. Don Lesley, 81, of Fountain Inn, entered into the presence of the Lord surrounded by his family on Wednesday November 21, 2018. Born in Greenville on March 28, 1937, he was the son of the late Arnold Franklin and Lucy Weeks Lesley, and the husband of Darlene Eaton Lesley, who came into his life at just the right time. Don was a lifelong servant of Christ, having been in ministry as a pastor for over 50 years. He began preaching at Westview Baptist Church in Greenville, SC before leaving to help plant Zion Hill Baptist Church, which is still going strong to this day. He then served at Bethel Baptist Church in Ft. Pierce, FL where he also taught bible classes at a local private school. He eventually moved back to South Carolina to pastor Cannon Mountain Baptist Church and Saluda Hill Baptist Church, both in Pickens. Rev. Lesley also served as pastor at Tuxedo First Baptist in Tuxedo, NC and Santuck Baptist in Union, SC before ultimately ministering at Bethany Baptist Church in Fountain Inn, where he continued to preach even into the final days of his earthly life.
Don loved to golf and fish, and enjoyed being at the beach and the ocean. He was a talented artist, and had several of his paintings displayed in museums in Greenville and Charleston. He was well-known as the family comedian, and could always bring joy and laughter to those around him. Above all, Rev. Lesley was a selfless and relentless follower of Christ. He never passed up an opportunity to share the gospel, and continually strived to further his own knowledge of his Savior. He had a passion for reading and studying, which made him an excellent teacher and pastor. He was a faithful and steadfast leader, pastor, mentor, father, and friend, and will be deeply missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
In addition to his wife, Rev. Lesley is survived by his daughters, Martha Blackwell (Ronnie) of Laurens, Phyllis Simmons (Douglas) of Easley, Donna Payne (Stephen) of Iva, and Jessica Fowler of Greenville; step-children, Diana Emory of Chesnee, Martin Gipe of Edwards, MO, Kurtis Bradley of Port Charlotte, FL, Alan Bradley of Woodruff, and Aaron Bradley of Cowpens; grandchildren, Dana Wilkins (John) of Simpsonville, David Blackwell (Charity) of Travelers Rest, Tracy Blackwell of Greenville, Cameron Blackwell of Laurens, Ashley Israel (Colt) of Bozeman, MT, Bethany Alterisio (Joey) of Simpsonville, Todd McClinton of Columbia, James Atkins (Melinda) of Liberty, Hannah Payne of Iva, Michael Payne of Iva, Micah Gipe (Heather), Aubrey Williams (Kyle), Samantha Ayers (Ben), Adam Bradley, Jake Bradley, Robert Bradley, and Emma Bradley; great-grandchildren, Faith White, Dalton White, Grace Emory, Eli Emory, Cameron Ayers, Kayla Ayers, Ty Wilkins, Levi Wilkins, Emma Wilkins, Eri Blackwell, Anders Blackwell, Briggs Blackwell, Finley Blackwell, Avery Atkins, and Justice Atkins; a sister, Bobbie Ann Cooper; and a cousin, Ronnie Lesley.
In addition to his parents, Don was preceded in death by his wife and first love, Carol Lane Lesley.
Visitation will be held from 2-7pm on Saturday, November 24th at Bethany Baptist Church. The funeral service for Rev. Lesley will be held at 2pm on Sunday, November 25th at Bethany Baptist Church. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.
The family would like to extend their gratitude to the kind and compassionate nurses and staff at McCall Hospice House, who provided Rev. Lesley with warm and comforting care during his final days; and to all friends and church members for their continued prayers and support.