Rev. Vern Graham, longtime Associated Churches head, dies at 71

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The Reverend Vernon Graham, executive pastor of Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County for more than two decades, has died. He was 71.

Rev. Graham served 22 years as the executive pastor of Associated Churches of Fort Wayne and Allen County, beginning in 1988. That year, the Associated Churches Food Bank was launched and with 73 churches in the member congregation, the food bank distributed 219,000 pounds of food.

In 2016, Associated Churches’s flock had grown to 140 churches, and the food bank distributed more than 1.4 million pounds of food and served 1.4 million meals.

As head of Associated Churches, Rev. Graham oversaw the creation of A Baby’s Closet in 1994, Vincent House in 1990, the One Church One Offender jail chaplaincy program in 1998, Habitat for Humanity in 1986 and Hope in a Handbag in the early 2000s. He was appointed to the Allen County Planning Council for the Welfare to Work initiative in 1998.

Rev. Graham also founded the Timothy L. Johnson School Academy and served as the vice president of its board of directors.READ | Rev. Vernon Graham obituary

In a guest book established by D.O. McComb & Sons Funeral Homes, friends and loved ones remembered Rev. Graham’s kindness and faithfulness. One woman wrote about Rev. Graham: “His smile and warmth was a blessing each and every day that we worked together.”

A funeral service for Graham will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. at Trinity English Lutheran Church at 450 W. Washington Blvd. Visitation will be held from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Friday at Messiah Lutheran Church at 7211 Stellhorn Road.

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