September 17, 1925 August 26, 2013
September 17, 1925 -- August 26, 2013

Fletcher Merle May

Rev. F. Merle May was born to Fletcher and Esther May in Dry Creek, Texas, on September 17, 1925. He joined the Navy in 1944 and spent two years in service to his country. Upon his return home, he began courting Virginia Little who would become the love of his life for over 64 years. They were married on June 15, 1946, and soon after, God blessed them with a daughter, Sharon Darlene May, on May 26, 1947. While supporting his young family as a cable car operator in Dallas, he was called to the ministry and attended the Bible Baptist Seminary in Ft. Worth (now Arlington Baptist College) receiving his degree in theology in 1950. He later received a Master of Theology degree from North Texas State University. After completing his studies, Rev. May founded Central Baptist Church on the last Sunday of July, 1951. The church had a small beginning with seven persons signing the original charter. Meetings were originally held in the old Texas Theatre building in downtown Garland before moving to Chandler Drive and later to their permanent home at 2700 Broadway in Garland. Rev. and Mrs. May grew and faithfully served the church for forty years. Along the way they were blessed again with a second daughter, Terri Elaine May, on December 21, 1961. After a very brief retirement, Rev. May went on to found Victory Baptist Church in Garland where he has continued serving God and his congregation for the last 20 years. Rev. May dedicated more than 60 years of his life to his ministry. During that time he provided spiritual education and support to thousands, supported missionary families around the world, and touched countless lives. He will be remembered for his strength in the face of adversity, a deep compassion for others, and an ever present sense of humor. More than anything, he will be sorely missed by all of those who are better for having known him. In addition to his daughters, Rev. May is survived by two grandchildren, Kelly Tompkins and Kenny Gunnels, and two great-granddaughters, Juliana and Elyse Tompkins. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Arlington Baptist College, 3001 West Division Street, Arlington, TX 76012; (817) 461-8741.