The Rev. James R. Connelly, Jr., 89, formerly of Lexington, SC died on April 29, 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama. A Native of Sumter, SC, he was a graduate of Newberry College (1954) and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (1957). During his ministry, Pastor Connelly served as Mission Developer and first Called Pastor of Gethsemane Lutheran, Columbia, SC; Pastor of Redeemer Lutheran, Macon, GA; Shades Valley Lutheran, Birmingham, AL; and Mt Tabor Lutheran, West Columbia, SC. He served for over 10 years on the staff of Division of Parish Services of the Lutheran Church in America, working in Evangelism and Parish Leadership Development. Following retirement, he also served five Interim Ministries in SC and AL and for four years served as Director of Church Relations of Newbery College. During his ministry, he served on numerous institutional boards and committees, including Newberry College Board, LTSS Board, serving as Secretary, Lutheridge Board, and many other Synodical committees. He was a delegate to two LCA National Conventions and served as Chair of the Board for National Academy of Evangelists. He was president of Ministerial Associations in Macon and Birmingham, and a life-long member of Sertoma Club. He loved spending time with his family, traveling with his wife and close friends, and a smooth glass of scotch. Reverend Connelly is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Faith Bunger Connelly (a native of Savannah, GA) daughters, Kathy Anderson (Lee) and Karen Pierce (Mark) of Birmingham, AL, and the Reverend Dr. Rachel Connelly (Mike Goyne) of Walhalla, SC. sisters Mary Brueggemeier (Garry) and Ellen Hall (Ron) of Tampa, Florida. 8 grandchildren: Jessica Partin (Paul), Jason Pierce (Lauryn), James Pierce (Lindsay), Jared and John Anderson, Jacob Goyne (Lara), Jesse and Faith Goyne, 6 great-grandchildren (Halle and Ben Partin, Charlotte, Hayden, and Avett Pierce, Aribella Anderson, and a host of beloved niece and nephews.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Lexington, SC on Tuesday, May 3 at 2:00pm followed by burial in the St. Stephen’s cemetery. Visitation will be on Monday, May 2 from 6:00-8:00pm at Barr-Price Funeral Home, Lexington.
In lieu of flowers: Memorials may be made to St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, 119 N Church Street, Lexington, SC, 29072 or Newberry College, James and Faith Connelly, Scholarship fund, Newberry, SC 29108