Reverend David Jerome Bell Sr. was born on April 29, 1950 to the union of the Late Reverend J.W. Bell and Dorothy Coleman Bell. He was the youngest child of 13 siblings. David received his formal education in the Matewan, West Virginia area schools. In 1968, he received his Bachelor of Science degree from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia; and received 15+ hours toward a Master in Special Education. He taught for approximately 20 years at several area schools. While as a school teacher, he coach Midget League basketball, football and baseball teams. Also, he was the assistant basketball coach for the Matewan Junior High School team. He considered the members of these teams as ‘his’ children also.
David advanced from a salesman to General Manager of the area Mountain View Memorial Gardens until he became disabled. In his leisure, he enjoyed his grandchildren as they participated in various activities; such as church functions, academics and sports. He was their greatest fan. David volunteered his services to the Mingo County Child Advocacy Center. He was a member of the Williamson Crown Lodge F&AM #16 and the Williamson Chapter of the NAACP. In 2015, he received the “Believe Achieve Succeed Award” for Outstanding Service and Dedication in conjunction with the Southern West Virginia Technical Community College and the local NAACP.
David loved spending time at the Williamson Area Senior Citizens where he taught bible class on Tuesdays. He loved dressing up for the senior citizens on special days. He was considered a “social butterfly” at the South Williamson Dialysis Center while receiving services. As everyone who knew David, he was a die hard “Cleveland Browns” fan.
David was baptized at an early age and became a member of Striving Valley Baptist Church which his father pastored. He later was ordained as a Deacon at the Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church where he served as Superintendent of the Mt. Lebanon Sunday School before he accepted the call to the Ministry. He has served as a Minister/Pastor for over 40+ years. During his pastoralship, he served as Pastor and Moderator of the Guyan Valley District Association. He currently served as Vice Moderator of the Tug River District Association. He participated in both Guyan Valley and Tug River District Auxiliaries.
Reverend Bell currently served as President of the West Virginia Baptist State Convention (WVBSC). He was involved in the various auxiliaries of WVBSC, especially the Minister’s and Deacon’s Union, Sunday School Congress and Laymen’s Auxiliary. He received a diploma in Pastoral Studies from the WVBSC Seminary Extension. He served as Camp Pastor and Young Adult Bible Teacher during the Abram Price Encampment for many years. He loved to travel to the Annual meetings of the National Baptist Convention, Inc. and Auxiliary Sunday School Congress in the various states. He has served as Pastor of the Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church for over 15 years. He was known for his keen sense of humor and infectious smile, but he was adamant about “winning souls to Christ and living a Godly life”. He never stopped learning more about God and teaching others. He never met a stranger.
After battling health issues for years, he went from labor to reward on April 28, 2020 at the Pikeville Medical Center in Pikeville, Kentucky. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by 11 siblings.
He leaves to cherish his memory, his lovely wife of 45 years, Eileen Donald Bell; his four magnificent children; David Jerome Jr., Demeris Jeannette (Ron) Joplin, Erica Denise (Rodney) Joplin and Tabitha Marie Bell (Mike Dotson); his 18 grandchildren: Michael Jerome Joplin, Dazia Marie Joplin, Ciera Jade Harrison, Deonte Malik Joplin, Nakiya Alexis Bell, Michael Liam Dotson, Amya Desiree Bell, Jace Michael Dotson, Maliyah Nicole Martin, Christopher Caleb Joplin, Isaiah Nicholas Joplin, Caraline Renee Joplin, Marshawn Christopher Joplin, Zion David Martin, Christian Dwight Joplin, Kaylin Jenae Joplin, Davion Jerome Joplin, and Kyson Atlee Dillard-Bell; his only living sibling, Evie Bell McCoy, Norristown, Pennsylvania; he will be missed by his “adopted in love” children; Nicole Blackwell Akers, including her family and Chris Hairston; he loved and cherished his relationship with his former daughter-in-law, Cortney Bell; a host of nieces and nephews that he loved as his own children; a host of other relatives and friends will miss him as his family.
Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. at Logan Street First Baptist Church in Williamson, West Virginia. Revered Frank Jones will officiate. Visitation will be held on Friday, May 8th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the church. Burial will follow in Mountain View Memory Gardens in Maher, West Virginia. Pallbearers will be friends of the family. Social distancing must be practiced and masks must be worn.
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