Bishop Ellis Finger Jr.
Homer Ellis Finger Jr., retired bishop
ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Homer Ellis Finger Jr., of Givens Estates died May 25, 2008.
A memorial service was June 4 in the Norma F. Pulliam Memorial Chapel at Givens Estates. Groce Funeral Home handled arrangements.
Born October 8, 1916, in Ripley, Miss., he was the son of the late Homer Ellis Finger and Bertha Rogers Finger and was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Mamie Lee Ratliff Finger in 2006.
He was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Millsaps College in Jackson and received a Master of Divinity degree from Yale University Divinity School. He held honorary degrees from five colleges.
He was pastor of the Coldwater and Oxford-University United Methodist churches before his election as president of Millsaps. He served as a chaplain in the U.S. Naval Reserve during World War II.
He was elected in 1964 to the episcopacy in the United Methodist Church and served in the Nashville Episcopal area for 12 years and the Holston Area in Knoxville for eight years.
Bishop Finger’s church wide ministries include the chair of the Commission on Deaconesses, chair of the Commission on Chaplains and Related Ministries, president of General Council of Finance and Administration, chair of Division of Health and Welfare Ministries and on the Board of Global Ministries. He was president of the Council of Bishops 1980-1981 and after his retirement in 1984, he served as administrative assistant secretary to the Council of Bishops for 12 years.
Survivors include: sons, Homer Ellis Finger, III of Easton, Pa., and William Ratliff Finger of Raleigh, NC; daughter, Elizabeth Ellen Finger of Arden, NC and five grandchildren.
Memorial gifts may be directed to Givens Estates, Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville, NC 28803 or to the Lake Junaluska Foundation, Lake Junaluska, NC 28745.