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Rev. James LaVon Gleese, III

Rev. James LaVon Gleese entered the world as the Blessed off-spring of of Rev. James Samual Gleese, Sr. and Mrs. HenriettaGleese on July 5, 1927. His only sister, Annie Lee Gaskin, preceded him in death.
In 1945, Rev. Gleese entered the ministry and pastored Pearl Street African Methodist Episcopal(A.M.E.) Church and West Point A.M.E. In Jackson, Mississiippi. Around 1950, He moved to Memphis, TN. His first assignment in the West Tennessee Conference was at Wayman Chapel A.M.E. Church. He later joined St. Andrew under the pastorate of the late Rev. Ralph Jackson.
Between 1954 and 1965, He founded and operated the Beale Street Mission at 432 Beale Street. This mission housed homeless men. Counseling, employment assistance, and worship were also provided. He and his family lived in the upstairs quarters so that he could be close to the clients he served. Friday nights at the mission were devoted to the young people in the Beale Street area. His Youth For Chirst Choir was made up of young people from St. Andrew A.M.E. Church and other A.M.E. Churches. In 1967, The mission moved from Beale Street. To Georgia Avenue.
From 1954 to 1969 he served as pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church on Wicks Avenue and continued with the mission. From 1964 to 1980 he pastored Providence A.M.E. Church and returned to the pastoral ministry fulltime. He served Providence for sixteen years, and served as Assistant Administrator of the A.M.E. Publishing House in Nashville, Tennessee for ten years. He was very active during the 1968 sanition strike, a struggle for human dignity and the right to earn a decent livelihood.
In 1980, he was appointed Presiding Elder of the North Memphis District of the West Tennessee Conference of the A.M.E. Church. He also served the South Memphis District for a brief period, then returned to the North Memphis District as Presiding Elder, where he continued to serve with distinction. Since the 1980's, Rev. Gleese has been a delegate to the General Conference of the A.M.E. Church several times, served on the General Board of the Connecetional Church, 1988-96; served on the general conference Commission, 1996; a member of the General Board,Statistics and Finance Commission and member of the Episcopal Committee.
He has always been very active in politics, involving himself in those issues which have a great impact on this community; especially, the African-American community. He involved himself in voter education/registration and "Get OUt the Vote Campaigns."
He is a member of: St. Stephens Lodge, Operation Push, A.M.E. Minister's Alliance and the International Minister's Alliance. Rev. Gleese is well Known throughout the Memphis Community and throughout the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
He departed this life on May 31, 1997 at 3:00 am at his home in North Memphis.
He was eulogized on June 5, 1997, at St. Andrew A.M.E. Church by Presiding Prelate of the Thirteenth Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Church, Rt. Rev. Hamel Hartford Brookins, one of his oldest and dearest friends.
He was the loving husband of Georgia Bland Gleese.
He was the loving father of Patricia (Reginald) Gates, Deborah (Calvin "Duke") Barnes, Judy LaVonne Brown, James Guy, and Antonio Gleese: and step-Children Julius Braswell and Joseph (Kim) Braswell. He also leaves to cherish his memory sisters-in-law: Margaret Bland-McKissick, Josephine (Joe Louis) Bland-Johnson, and L'Annette Bland. Brothers-in-law: Charles Bland, Cleophus (Regina) Bland and Larry E. Bland, Sr. Grandchildren: Henrietta Egypt E. Horton (Patricia), DeShon L. LaVon G. Brown, Stephanie Leonia J. Brown (Judy), Calvin James Barnes, II, Christopher Leon Barnes, Carla Marie Barnes, Courtney Alexander Barnes (Deborah), Joseph Braswell, Jeremy Braswell (Joseph), Cameron Braswell, Teresa Braswell, and Jonathan Braswell (Julius). Greatchild: Dimitri Faulkner (Egypt). One aunt: Prudence Gleese Taylor, one uncle: Spencer Gleese. And a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives, and friends.

His Favorite Scripture

23rd Psalms

The Lord is My Shepherd

The Lord is My Shepherd; I shall not want,
He maketh me to lie down in green pasture;
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the path
Of righteousness for his name sake.
Yea, though though I walk through the valley
Of the shadow of death, I will not fear evil;
For thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou prepareth a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou anointeth my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.