Wilfred Graves, Sr.
November 5, 1941 - July 28, 2020
This page is dedicated to the memory of a wonderful father and great man of God. Please sign the guest book below.
Video of Virtual Homegoing Celebration
Elder Wilfred Graves, Sr. was born on November 5, 1941 in Reserve, LA to the late Robert Graves, Sr. and Hilda Williams Graves. Most of his formative and teenage years were spent in the city of New Orleans, LA. His fondest memories from childhood were of the love, friendship, and counsel of his mother and the special moments he shared with his siblings. Among her many talents, Hilda was a culinary artist who taught her children how to prepare traditional New Orleans cuisine. Wilfred’s father, Robert, also taught him essential skills of building construction.
Wilfred was introduced to Holiness-Pentecostal churches by the parents of several childhood friends. He discerned and answered the call to preach during high school and was ordained in his late teens as an elder in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC).
Wilfred graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1959. He matriculated at Louisiana State University, New Orleans, and Feltus Theological Seminary before joining the U.S. Army in 1964. He was trained as a medic at Fort Sam Houston, TX and was later sent to Fort Benning, GA.
Wilfred met his future wife, Glendolyn, at a local church in Columbus, GA. Glendolyn was known for her beautiful piano-playing and melodious soprano singing voice. They married and settled in New Orleans in 1969. Three years later, their only child, Wilfred Graves, Jr. was born. The Graves family moved to the small town of Bogalusa, LA in 1974, and then to Columbus, GA in 1982. In the 1970’s and early 1980’s, Wilfred served as the lead pastor of two churches. He and Glendolyn also traveled throughout the Southern United States conducting revivals. Wilfred gained a reputation for delivering sermons with accuracy, clarity, and unique power.
Wilfred and Glendolyn divorced in the mid 1980’s but remained great friends through the years. Both were exceedingly proud of the academic accomplishments and journey to ministry of their son, who eventually became a high school valedictorian; a graduate of MIT, Stanford University, and Fuller Seminary; and a member of the executive team of West Angeles Church of God in Christ (COGIC).
Dr. Wilfred Graves, Jr. credits his father with inspiring his love for Bible study. Elder Wilfred Graves, Sr. believed in rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). He was a friend, mentor, and source of encouragement to his son and to others pursuing the call to ministry. He preached the Gospel (in pulpits) for over fifty years until failing health forced him to slow down in 2011 when he suffered a massive heart attack and stroke.
Elder Wilfred Graves, Sr. was moved by his son to California in June 2015. There he gained new friends, a new church home, a new daughter-in-law, Dr. Malaika E. Graves, and a new outlook on life. He lived in Los Angeles for five years until our Heavenly Father called him home.
Elder Wilfred Graves, Sr. died peacefully in his sleep on July 28, 2020 at Windsor Gardens Convalescent Hospital in Los Angeles, CA. He was preceded in death by his former wife Glendolyn Kathleen Graves and his brother Ernest Graves.
He leaves to celebrate his life: one son, Wilfred (Malaika) Graves, Jr. of Cerritos, CA; three brothers, Robert (Carolyn) Graves, Jr., Charles Graves, and Leonard (Marilyn) Graves of New Orleans, LA; two sisters, Lillie Mae Brown and Gertrude (Charles) Spooner of Lutcher, LA; and a host of loving nephews, nieces, other family members, and friends.
The gallery below is a tribute to Elder Wilfred Graves, Sr. from his family and friends (48 pics).
This is the last video recording of Elder Wilfred Graves, Sr. which was made on April 10, 2020 as the country was shutting down because of the Coronavirus pandemic. In this video, Elder Graves comments on the spiritual disciplines of solitude and silence after watching a teaching on the topic by his son.
In this video, Elder Wilfred Graves, Sr. talks about the grace and goodness of God with his son Dr. Wilfred Graves, Jr. This video was made in January 2020 at Windsor Gardens Convalescent Hospital, Los Angeles during a visit with Dr. Wilfred Graves, Jr. It captures the preacher in action.
Wilfred Graves Sr. offers a short congratulatory message to his son Dr. Wilfred Graves Jr. and daughter-in-law Dr. Malaika Graves on the occasion of their wedding on June 24, 2020.
In this video, Wilfred Graves Sr. and Glendolyn K. Graves offer a short message to their son, Dr. Wilfred Graves Jr. on the occasion of his 40th birthday (September 17, 2012).
In this rare clip from March 2011, Elder Wilfred Graves, Sr. sings before preaching a sermon.
Wilfred's Guest Book
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