The Rev. London Columbus (L.C.) Knuckles, 94 of 193 Shady Grove Road was called from labor to reward on Wednesday June 24, 2015 at his home.
Son of the late John Spurgeon Knuckles and Julia Wilkins McJimpsey Knuckles, he was born on October 12, 1920 in Cherokee Springs, S. C. (Spartanburg County).
He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Mary GaffneyKnuckles. Left to cherish his memory are his children, Dr. Mary Knuckles Jones and husband Lucious of Gaffney; Lee Clinton Knuckles and wife Sara of Sumter, SC., and Grace V. Knox and late husband Macon Knox of Lanham, Maryland.
Also surviving are grandchildren Hyacinth Jones Phillips and husband Al of Gaffney, Sommer Jones ofFort Mill, SC, Savitri Bostick and husband Dr. Anthony Bostick of Tega Cay, SC., Lucia Jacobs and husband Gregory of Irmo, SC, Sergeant First Class Lee Knuckles, Jr. and wife Johnetta, of Columbia, SC ; Sara Hunter and husband 1st Sergeant ( Retired) Marvin Hunter of Virginia Beach, VA, and great grandchildren: Maya Bostick, USC-Columbia; Jabari Bostick, Tega Cay; Citadel Cadet Nigel Bostick, Charleston, SC; and AkilahBostick, Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC. Also Willie Bernard Wright, Rock Hill, Cori, Lee Knuckles III, Jazmin Brown, Sonalli and Nandi Knuckles; Columbia; Skyla Grace Phillips and Jaila Phillips, Gaffney/Spartanburg; Solomon, Jasmine, and DeAngelo Jacobs of Columbia; and Brittney and Brianna Hunter of Virginia Beach, VA and a host of other relatives and friends.
London Columbus, known as “L.C.” to family and friends, received his early education at Foster’s Grove School and joined the Foster’s Grove Baptist Church at an early age. There he received his early religious training and loved sharing those valuable lessons of life with others, oftentimes in the form of poetry and rhymes. He loved his teachers and always reminisced about the experiences he enjoyed. “L. C.” had a penchant for telling jokes and stories and always seemed to be able to recall an appropriate story to tell on any occasion. Family members and friends always loved hearing stories about the rustic living in the rural countryside of Cherokee Springs.
After his marriage to Mary Gaffney in 1939, he joined Shady Grove Baptist Church in Gaffney where he served as Adult Sunday School Teacher, Deacon, and Chairman of the Deacon Board, for more than twenty years. During these years, he realized the calling on his life to preach and live the Word of God. While employed by the Cherokee Memorial Hospital, this calling grew as he served and ministered to the patients he cared for. There he made many friends and met many needs.
During this time, he accepted God’s call to preach the gospel, and in 1960, he heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then he said, “Here I am! Send me,” Isaiah 6:8.
Recognizing the need for more schooling, he returned to school and earned his high school diploma in May 1968 from the Cherokee County Adult Education program. Later he attended Gardner-Webb University, Southern Baptist Convention Seminary Extension, and Mid-Atlantic Baptist Theological Seminary. In 1987, he was awarded the Associate of Arts Religion Degree and the Bachelor of Arts Religion Degree in May 1988. He also received the Certificate of Completion in Pastoral Counseling.
His pastoral ministry began at the Haynes Grove Baptist Church in Cliffside, NC around 1965, and he pastored Palmer Grove Baptist Church in Lawndale, NC; Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, Bessemer City, NC; Foster’s Grove Baptist Church in Cherokee Springs, SC; and worked with New Vernon Baptist Church in Bostick, NC. He poured his whole heart and soul into his ministries, and gave all he had to build up the kingdom of Christ.
Upon retiring from his pastoral positions, he began a radio ministry which aired for more than 25 years each Sunday morning at 9:30 AM on WEAC-AM Radio Station, Gaffney South Carolina until the station ceased. Rev. Knuckles retired from the pastoral vineyard, but not from numerous other ministries honoring our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Rev. Knuckles worked passionately in numerous areas of the Lord’s vineyard. He organized the Cherokee County Consistory #267 along with Rev. Dewey Whittenburg, Sr., and served as its Commander in Chief and as Senior Warden of the Limestone Masonic Lodge #117 for many years.
In 1996, he was awarded a plaque and lifetime membership for his years of dedication and outstanding service, and in 2011, received a plaque and 50 Year Masonic Pin for his service of more than 60 years. He received the citation for a 32nd Degree Mason in May of 1997. He was a member of the Thickety Mountain Ministerial Alliance, Cherokee County Ministerial Alliance, a ten (10) year volunteer chaplain with Upstate Carolina Medical Center, and served also as chaplain for Brown Packing Company of Gaffney.
He was a member of the Executive Board of the Thickety Mountain Baptist Association and was honored for more than 50 years of meritorious service during the 136th session of the Thickety Mountain Baptist Association in 2013, serving as secretary of the association, a member of the Trustee Board, and in other capacities. He also served on the Executive Board of the Burning Bush Ministry, Limestone Cemetery Foundation, and received numerous awards including a citation for being most instrumental in the Shady Grove Church mortgage debt elimination, the Cluggeon Black Senior Citizens Award, the Shady Grove Church ‘Mighty Oak’ Award, committed service to the Limestone Cemetery Foundation, Knuckles Family Reunion, Rices/Gaffney/Fernanders/Linder-Family Reunion, and a retirement plaque in appreciation for 28 years of employee service presented by B.D. Lee School, Cherokee County School District.
In recognition of his dedication and commitment, Shady Grove Baptist Church named its fellowship hall, the London C. Knuckles Fellowship Hall and Life Center in 2011.
Rev. Knuckles worked tirelessly serving God, family, church, and community with his wife by his side … “living in a house by the side of the road and being a friend to man.”
He was selfless in his passion and zeal to make this world a better place. He loved his family and his fellow man and took special care and pride in serving and teaching God’s word. He believed in the benefits of hard work that produced strong character and lofty principles. He always went the extra mile and left no stones unturned on behalf of those who needed him.
His services to mankind were many, visiting the prison-bound, the sick in nursing homes, the weak and lonely, helping the rejected, initiating projects to right wrongs, ease pain, heal broken hearts, help build churches, encourage the weak, lift the fallen, convert the unsaved, preach forgiveness,and extend an outstretched hand to anyone who needed or requested his help.
Rev. L. C. Knuckles loved the Lord, and he loved humanity.
He would often say:
“I see from my house by the side of the road,
By the side of the highway of life,
The men who press with the ardor of hope,
The men who are faint with the strife.
But I turn not away from their smiles nor their tears-
Both parts of an infinite plan;-
Let me live in my house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man”
(A verse by Sam Walter Foss)
The family wishes to thank his daughter and son in law, Mary and Lucious Jones, who cared for him daily over the long years; daughter Grace Knox, who also assisted; Ms. Nellie Sarratt, Mrs. Jacquelyn Graham, and Hospice Care of South Carolina.