John Tenney (1925-2002)

Jeff Wyeth

Junior Lloyd "John" Tenney was born on February 22, 1925, at Upshur County, Buckhannon, WV. He was the son of Peter and Dolly Caroline Tenney. John served on the USS Saratoga in World War II in the U. S. Navy. Afterward he attended college in Salem, WV, with former WV Governor Underwood. As a young man, he began preaching in the United Brethren Church but was converted to the Lord and His church in December 1963 at Anadarko, Oklahoma. He had stopped at his brother's house on his way to live in Arizona and found a church of Christ. After talking to the preacher and much study, he was baptized.

On December 8, 1946, he married Lela Ruth Eskew. She died of a massive stroke at the Shelby Hospital in Washington County, Marietta, Ohio, and was buried at Buckhannon. John and Lela had three children: Linda Ruth (Tenney), wife of Tom Burke of Reynoldsburg, Ohio; Lloyd John Tenney (wife, Kathy), a preacher at the Coshocton, Ohio, Church of Christ; and Judy Kay Tenney, a teacher at the Greater Atlanta Christian School, a school affiliated with the churches of Christ in Atlanta, Georgia.

John married his second wife, Loraine Dotson, on December 25, 1982. She died of cancer and is buried in Sutton, WV. John's third wife was Ioma Kathryn "Kay" (Weekley) Dotson, whose husband, Lloyd Dotson, had passed away. He was a cousin to Cecil Dotson, a faithful Gospel preacher. John had five stepchildren.

After John was converted, he worked in Mesa, Arizona, from 1963-1966. He began preaching at the Church of Christ in Apache Junction, Arizona, in 1967 and continued to 1971. John then returned to West Virginia. He preached at the West Union Church of Christ June 1971-1974; Camden Avenue of Parkersburg supported him. He preached at Pennsboro (1974-1981); Camden Avenue in Parkersburg, as an assistant under Charles Pugh (1981-1982); and at Sistersville (1982-1983). He then moved to Sutton and did not preach for a while. He attended at Gassaway Church of Christ and later filled in at some of the area country churches of Christ from 1984-1985. John preached at Wayne from 1985-1988. He moved back to Sutton, where his wife Lorraine died in 1993, and he stopped preaching for a while. After marrying Kay on December 3, 1994, they moved to Charleston where he was hired at the Elkview Church of Christ in 1995, holding that position until his death.

John died on July 14, 2002, while preaching for the Elkview, WV, Church of Christ. A plaque is on the wall there in his honor. It states: May John be remembered as he lived, as one who loved God and His Word and also had a fervent desire to spread the Gospel and be a servant of God. His wife, Kay, who survives, said, "He was the most wonderful preacher I ever heard, and I could sit and listen to him all day. He gave everyone the benefit and tried to help them, and all who knew him loved him. He was a very loving husband." John's body was donated for medical purposes to the University of West Virginia at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, WV.

John had returned to West Virginia, the land he loved, and wanted to preach the truth to those he felt, at one time, did not hear it from him. He preached the truth boldly to many and fulfilled what he had set out to do in his homeland of West Virginia. 1050 A Walker Addition, Elkview, WV 25071.

(Editor's note: When I moved to Salem, WV, in 1982, I met Ray and Delsie Ash. They had been members of the United Brethren Church, but, when brother John Tenney returned to West Virginia from Arizona, he taught them the gospel and baptized them into Christ on November 28, 1971. They both died in the Lord. Their grandson, Galen, his wife, Becky, and their sons, Curtis and Cody, are faithful members of our congregation.)


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