Deacon Henry Grady Veal Sr.
Deacon Henry Grady Veal Sr., passed away on Monday, December 7, 2020 at his residence. Graveside services were held on Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 11:00 A.M. at Mt. Sinai Baptist Church cemetery with Rev. Henry Grady Veal Jr. officiating.
He was born on August 6, 1930 in Brooklyn, Michigan to the parentage of the late Mr. Grady Curtis Veal and the late Mrs. Gertrude Washington Veal. He was the youngest of three siblings, Ms. Ila jean Veal and Mr. Albert Curtis Veal.
When he was just a newborn, his parents moved back to Deepstep, GA. His mother died when he was only six months old and his father was killed when Henry was only six years old. After his parents’ death, he was raised by his grandmother, the late Mrs. Mattie Mae Veal. He was only fourteen years old when she passed away and he was then raised by his aunts: Ms. Ruth Veal, Ms. Mattie Mae Veal, Ms. Willie Joe Taylor and his uncle: Mr. Linton Veal.
Deacon Veal attended the California Junior High School at the Mount Sinai Baptist Church during the winter and spring. He learned reading, writing, arithmetic, spelling and history. The books that he used were worn books that had been used by other children at the school. He had to walk a total of four (4) miles to get to Mount Sinai, which was a total of eight (8) miles per day round trip. During the summer months, he had to work on his family’s farm. When he was promoted to the 8th grade, he did not go because he went to work at the sawmill. This was his first public job.
He joined the Mount Sinai Baptist Church at the age of fourteen (14), under the leadership of Rev. William Dixon. He was ordained as a deacon in 1968. He also served as a past Sunday School Superintendent and member of the senior choir. He served as Chairman of the Deacon Board for thirty seven(37) years. Even after his stroke in 2005, he was still a very active and devoted member. He NEVER, EVER let his stroke hinder him from attending services faithfully every Sunday and praising God. Many Sundays he could be heard singing along with the choir or with the congregation. On some Sundays, he blessed the members by leading songs with the choir. To witness his commitment and dedication Sunday after Sunday was remarkable and inspiring to everyone. He could offer many excuses for skipping Sundays or not even wanting to come at all. But not once, did he hesitate about going to the House of the Lord. Why? Because he was a true soldier who loved God and his church family!
He started carpentry work in 1960. During his years of good health, he completed countless remodeling and repair jobs on homes in Washington, Baldwin, Hancock, and surrounding counties. He also completed remodeling and additions on the following churches: Mount Sinai, Bold Spring, Mount Zion, Mount Nebo, Marshall Grove, Gum Hill, Piney Mount, Pleasant Grove, Bay Spring, Holly Spring and Middle Hill. Even after he became disabled, his knowledge about carpentry work was still very sharp. He could look at any structure and quickly say it was not built right, that something was uneven, was built out of cheap material, etc. He would be quick to boldly say “whoever built that, didn’t know what they were doing; I could’ve done a better job than that!”
He was a member of several gospel groups during his lifetime. He joined the 1st group when he was around 16 years old and it was called The Morning Stars. This group consisted of Mr. Charlie Poole, Jr., Mr. Clarence Hall, Mr. Roger Bridges, Mr. Jay Taylor and Mr. Willie Frank Thomas. He joined the second group around the age of nineteen (19) and it was called Stormy River. The group consisted of Mr. Charlie Collier, Mr. Willie Collier, Mr. Willie Clark, Mr. Willie Barnes and Mr. Marshall Reynolds. He is most famous for the third group, which he joined in 1953 at the age of twenty three(23), which was The True Gospel Singers. At that time, the group consisted of Mr. Herbert Johnson, Mr. Otis Daniel, Mr. John Poole, Mr. Willie King and Mr. Thomas Jones. They traveled throughout Georgia, as well as Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and New York. The group was blessed to record a forty five(45) albums, with the songs “Close to God” and “I’m Going Home,” which were both led by him and are now heard on Love 103.7 FM. Over the years, the group became well known for their original songs and smooth singing style. The group always celebrated their anniversary on the 4th Sunday in September. Even after the group stopped singing, he still wanted to have an annual gospel program. He referred to it as “his day.” Because of his love for gospel music and the many, many groups that he worked with over the years, he enjoyed going to gospel programs to show his support and enjoy an evening of gospel singing.
On December 15, 1962, he married the love of his life, Ms. Emma Jean Hall. They were blessed to enjoy fifty seven (57) years and eleven (11) months of marriage together. He truly exemplified how a God-fearing husband should be to his wife. The love and devotion to each other could be seen and felt by all who knew them. They were inseparable. If you saw one, you saw the other. In this beautiful union, they were blessed with two children, Cathy and Henry Jr. He fulfilled his duty as a loving father and cherished his children with all his heart and raised them in a Christian home with morals and standards.
He was a member of St. Andrews Lodge #32 since 1964.
Deacon Veal leaves to cherish his memories, a loving and devoted wife: Mrs. Emma Jean Veal, Sandersville, GA; two children: Mrs. Cathy (Rev. Ted) Stephens, Sandersville, GA, Rev. Henry (Minister Erical) Veal, Jr., Milledgeville, GA; six grandchildren: Master Jirran Poole, Jr., Ms. Jameria Poole, Sandersville, Ga, Ms. Javicia Smith, Milledgeville, GA, Ms. Diamond Smith, Cleveland, OH, Mrs. Patrilla (Mario) Johnson, Loganville, GA, Mr. Jerald Stephens, Woodbridge, VA; three great grandchildren: S’mari Johnson, Ian Johnson, Ethan Johnson, Loganville, GA, Amaya Stephens, Clarksville, TN Nova Smith, Cleveland, OH; five sisters-in-law: Ms. Willie Ada Armstrong, Milledgeville, GA, Minister Minnie Howell, Jasper, GA, Ms. Glenda Faye Finch, Decatur, GA, Mrs. Margaret (Willie) Love, Atlanta, GA, Ms. Laura Mae Johnson, Miami, FL; brother-in-law: Mr. George (Carolyn) Bridges, Woodstock, GA; three devoted cousins: Ms. Mary Lou Taylor, Sandersville, GA; Mr. Joe Taylor, Deacon Michael Poole, Milledgeville, GA; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. M.C. Smith Funeral Home in charge.