Reverend Joseph R. Faith went to be with his Lord and Savior on 20 November, 2023. He was 97 years old. He was born in Camden, New Jersey, the son of Paul D. and Maggie Faith. He had two brothers and three sisters, all of whom predeceased him. His wife of 64 years, Norma E. Faith (nee Gaskell) passed on before him in 2011. He was a graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School in Camden, and the Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, from which he received three degrees, including a Doctorate of Divinity.
Reverend Faith served churches in Keyport, New Jersey, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. His pastorate at the First Baptist Church of Lancaster was the longest in the history of that church, lasting over 16 years. While there, the church grew to such a size that a second Baptist church, Westgate Baptist, was founded by the congregation under his leadership. He also served in several churches as interim pastor including Rosedale Church in Camden, NJ, and Colonial Park in Harrisburg, PA. In retirement he assisted more than a dozen churches in eastern Pennsylvania by preaching when called upon to fulfill their needs. His kind and unassuming demeanor, and ability to move and inspire his audience made him highly sought as a preacher.
He also served in numerous leadership positions during his career as a pastor. These include: Moderator of the Harrisburg Baptist Association, President of the American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware, and president of the Eastern Baptist Seminary Alumni. In addition, he served on many community organizations such as the Lancaster Mental Health Committee, chaplaincy committee of Millersville University, and Lancaster General Hospital Chaplaincy Program. He continued to serve in his later years, teaching a weekly Sunday School class at the Fairmont Homes retirement community as long as he was able. His stalwart faith and devotion to serving his Lord was an inspiration to everyone who knew him.
He is survived by two sons, Jonathan Mark and Joseph Sayre Faith, and a daughter, Christine Anne Meneely. In addition, he is survived by 7 grandchildren, and 10 great- grandchildren. The family plans to have a grave-side internment service at Lower Marion Baptist Church, in Bryn Mawr, at a future date to be announced.
Memorial donations in his honor may be made to First Baptist Church of Lancaster, 2124 Old Philadelphia Pike, Lancaster, PA 17602.