On Sunday, November 12, Tried Stone Missionary Baptist Church will celebrate a man who has given so much to so many—Deacon J. Cornell Proctor.
The special appreciation service will begin at 7 p.m. in the church sanctuary.
At a very early age, Deacon Proctor began playing piano for choirs, groups, and soloists all over the city of Asheville. In the early 1960s, while serving as the musician for Tried Stone Missionary Baptist Church, he formed the Tried Stone Young Adult Choir, now the Tried Stone Adult Choir.
Under his direction the choir traveled across the United States singing with music legends such as Rev. Isaac Douglas, the Walter Hawkins Family, the O’Neal Twins, Shirley Caesar, the Oak Ridge Boys, the Kingsman Trio, Big Freada Wallace, Barbara Mandrell, Luther Barnes, and John P. Kee. Deacon Proctor instilled in those he mentored the importance of being dedicated, and singing with the passion of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Following his retirement after more than 30 years at the Square D Company, Deacon Proctor dedicated his time to serve as church administrator, Minister of Music, Director of Programs, and Chairman of the Deacon Board. In addition to being a musician, Deacon Proctor and his wife, Constance, work as stage designers and wedding directors.
In 1985, an article written by Henry Robinson, the former Religion Editor of The Asheville Citizen-Times, quoted Deacon Proctor by stating, “We’re not the dignified church people you might find in other churches. We are God’s children and we love the Lord. We believe in the Lord, and we believe in showing our love.”
Deacon J. Cornell Proctor has always taken time to show love to others in the church or community. Now the church and community will do the same for Deacon Proctor on Nov. 12. Music will be provided by area choirs, groups, and soloists. Everyone is invited to attend.