OBITUARY: Telford Fain Tharp

Telford Fain Tharp

Telford Fain Tharp, age 78, former long-time pastor of The Pentecostals of Columbia, husband of Jonnie Marie Tharp, and a resident of Columbia, went to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Thursday morning, July 22, 2021.

A funeral service will be held on Sunday, July 25, 2021, at 4:00 PM at The Pentecostals of Columbia, 955 Baker Road, Columbia, Tennessee, with Pastor Jerry Richardson, Paul Stringer, and Josh Hodum officiating. Entombment will follow in Maury Memorial Gardens Mausoleum. A visitation will be held on Saturday, July 24, 2021, from 4:00 – 8:00 PM at the church. Heritage Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Born on September 10, 1942, in Lewis County, Tennessee, Bishop Tharp was the son of the late Escar Fain Tharp and the late Lockye Elizabeth Turnbow Tharp. He was a 1960 graduate of Lewis County High School and worked as a service manager for Kelly Motor Company in Hohenwald for many years. He married Jonnie Marie Armstrong on October 10, 1966, and together they had two children, Michael and Wendy.

Bishop Tharp was baptized many years ago at the First Pentecostals Church in Hohenwald. He later began his journey in the ministry at The Pentecostals of Columbia which started with just a few families and a small building. With God’s blessing, Bishop Tharp’s dedication, and the help of others, there is now a beautiful facility and an abundance of members. He served as the Pastor of the Pentecostals of Columbia for forty-one years.

Bishop Tharp ministered many years alongside his dear friend, Dennis Herrin, at the Turney Center Prison in Only, Tennessee, where he baptized over 100 men, a few of which went on to become ministers.

He simply knew the Word and believed in never straying from it. Bishop Tharp was a true shepherd, and only eternity will reveal how many lives were changed through his ministry. There is joy in knowing that he will spend eternity rejoicing around the throne of the one true God.

He enjoyed drag racing and even built the cars he raced. A great sense of humor, he got a good laugh out of an occasional prank or joke, but most of all he loved the Lord and doing God’s work. “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his son, Michael (Penelope) Tharp of Hohenwald, daughter, Wendy Anderson of Columbia, brother, Bill (Doris) Tharp of Linden, sister, Evelyn Curtis of Columbia, very special grandchildren, Cameron Michael Tharp, Kendall Marie Tharp, Peyton Mikale Anderson, and several nieces and nephews.

Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his stepmother, Maude Tharp, brother, James Tharp, and sisters, Loyce Barber and Betty Sue Tharp.

Pallbearers will be Cameron Tharp, Barry Conner, David Parker, Wayne Reed, William Adams, Conner Holt, Sawyer Holt, Te’ Carson, and Chandler Michael. Honorary pallbearers will include Kendall Tharp, Peyton Anderson, and the members of Pentecostals of Columbia that he dearly loved.


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