Frank Nehemiah McElveen - In Memory
This future preacher was born on January 24, 1939, to loving parents Isaac, Sr. and Maggie McElveen in Bonneau, South Carolina. Inspired to preach as a teenager, Bro. McElveen had the support of his family to pursue his love for the gospel at Nashville Christian Institute.
He arrived in Nashville, Tennessee in 1954. At school he dedicated himself to his studies and graduated Valedictorian. Upon graduation, he transferred to Howard University where he majored in Psychology.
Frank received a call from his brother-in-law while at Howard University offering him his first preaching position at the Hugo Avenue Church of Christ. He was a single man when he arrived for the position but his sister introduced him to a young lady by the name of Rebecca “Goldie” Brown. They were married in January, 1959. As his partner and friend, she traveled with him every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday nights from Forty-one, South Carolina to Charleston, South Carolina. In 1972, he and Goldie, along with Carlton and Jackie, moved to Charleston and he continued his work as the full-time minister.
Locally, he was very involved with the up building of the Kingdom. He held many tent meetings in areas all over Charleston and other parts of South Carolina. He enjoyed a great relationship with his colleagues, preaching in every pulpit that requested his services. His reputation as a mediator and confidante afforded him the opportunity to work behind the scenes with other ministers and leaders to settle congregational disputes, help establish auxiliary ministries, and collaborate on many worthwhile projects. His innate ability to minister to people at difficult times was a blessing to Azalea Drive and their families. It was often said, “No matter what time he is called, Bro. McElveen was the first one there.”
In the years he labored with the congregation, the membership grew to nearly 500 members. The members moved from the small building on Hugo Avenue, to the building on Jacksonville Road with our last move in 1986. On September 21st, Bro. McElveen led the Azalea Drive family into their new home, a spacious 23,125 square-foot worship center in North Charleston. The brick veneer structure includes: a 1,000 seat auditorium, 22 classrooms, a sound room, nursery, toddlers’ room, commercial kitchen, fellowship hall and administrative offices. There is also a bus port for 2 church buses and a van. This area also includes a storage building from which our Benevolence committee can operate. The property also has an area designated for a Seniors’ Home in the future.
Bro. McElveen was a natural leader. He was a mentor to many of the ministers that are now preachers in the Charleston, Johns Island, Folly Road area as well as other parts of South Carolina and Georgia. Brother Mac (as affectionally called by many of the members) shared his pulpit for the growth of the Lord’s Kingdom. His leadership skills, calm demeanor and kind words of delivery earned him respect and admiration of those he met.
During his time, Bro. Frank McElveen became one of the most well respected evangelists in the brotherhood. From holding revivals to keynoting lectureships, his unique ability to deliver God’s Word left no doubt in your mind what one must do to be saved and inherit eternal life.
While there was certainly more he could have done in this lifetime, he had accomplished so much more than many could ever have thought possible. He planted the “seed” both near and far.
On September 18, 2015, the earthly journey of Bro. Frank Nehemiah McElveen was completed. While his immediate family, Goldie, Carlton, Jacquie, and Everett along with grandchildren Amber and Chad, his great grandson, his pride and joy Marquel were impacted the most, a void was left in the hearts of the Azalea Drive family that will likely never be filled. Saddened, but not discouraged, we “press on toward the mark” as we know he would want us to.
Even now, when we are having service and one of the ministers is preaching for a few moments, our hearts imagine that we hear a very distinctive, clear voice saying, “Well, Well” to a point made in the sermon.