Dr. Samuel Ferrell, a long time member of the Toccoa Falls Board of Trustees and beloved friend, has died. He suffered a massive heart attack last Sunday and never regained consciousness. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Donna, two children, five grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. Memorial services will be held on Saturday, July 2, at 2 pm, at Christ Community Church in Fort Myers, Florida.
Dr. Ferrell served as a Trustee for 37 years. He was the only remaining trustee of the class of 1973 and served as a trustee under the administration of five TFC presidents with the exception of the college’s founder Dr. R.A. Forrest, whom he knew as a friend. This past year he became a trustee emeritus and continued tirelessly to promote the college.
After hearing the news of his death, president emeritus Dr. Wayne Gardner said, “I am saddened at the passing of Dr. Sam Ferrell. Over the years, he provided the college with great insight and direction. He ministered for the Lord in many churches in Florida and was a well-respected pastor. We have certainly lost one of God’s greatest saints. Over the years, he was a dear friend and a powerful influence. He always gave sound advice and always had a plan for the college’s future. He was a true encourager.”
Samuel G. Ferrell was born in Miami, Florida on July 9, 1927. He accepted Christ as his Savior at the Miami Gospel Tabernacle under the ministry of Dr. T.G. Mangham, Sr. While attending services at Lake Swan Camp in 1945, he answered the call to Christian ministry and went on to attend Nyack College in Nyack, New York, where he received a ThB degree. By 1951, he completed two additional post-graduate years.
In 1958 while ministering in Fort Myers, Florida, God gave Dr. Ferrell the vision for a retirement community. Being a true visionary, he ended up purchasing 71 acres of waterfront property that many people thought could never be developed. Being a person who never bowed to discouragement, he became the founding visionary and project development catalyst for what is known today as Shell Point, one of the top rated retirement communities in the country. He also founded and became the first pastor of the Shell Point Village Church.
In May of 1974, he spoke during Commencement services at Toccoa Falls College and was awarded an honorary doctorate in recognition of his faithfulness to Christ and his involvement in the Shell Point project. He was the seventh person in the long history of the college to be honored in this way.
Dr. Ferrell’s diverse ministry included numerous pastorates, missions, and evangelism events. He also served as a Youth for Christ director, Bible conference director, youth camp director, district church growth planter, home missionary, tour director and church and missions consultant. He had been active in ministry in Haiti since 1991 and in the Bahamas since 1971. At the time of his death, he served as Minister-at-Large for Missions and Evangelism for the Bahamas under the banner of the Christian and Missionary Alliance.