Rev. Henry J. Bevel Jr. entered into eternal rest on October 14, 2018. He was born to Henry J and Clyde Thelma (Tice) Bevel on March 9, 1934 in Madison, Florida.
After graduating from Dasher High School, Valdosta, GA in 1951, he entered Morris Brown College, Atlanta, Georgia. In 1952, without the knowledge of his parents, Henry joined the U.S. Army at age 17. While serving in Korea, he excelled in athletics by competing in football, track and boxing on U.S. Army teams. After his discharge, he enrolled Kentucky State College, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education in 1959.
Henry accepted his call to the ministry in 1965 after suffering a heart attack at age 31. While enrolled in Lexington Theological Seminary he served as student pastor of Wilsonville AME Church, Parksville, Kentucky and St. James AME Church, Stanford, Kentucky. In June, 1971, he received his Master of Divinity with a special emphasis on Counseling. He accepted the position of Associate Pastor for the Inner City Cooperative Parish (Burns, Gatchel and Trinity United Methodist Churches) and he and his family moved to Des Moines in September, 1971. For several years he taught the Afro-American Religion course at Drake University. He remained at the Inner City Cooperative Parish until 1976, when he accepted a special appointment as Staff Chaplain at the Des Moines V.A. Medical Center. He remained in that position until 1976, when he accepted a special appointment as Staff Chaplain at the Des Moines V.A. Medical Center. In 1994 he retired as Chief Chaplain and was appointed District Superintendent of the Council Bluff District for the Iowa Conference. Henry served on many District, Conference and General Boards of the United Methodist Church. He retired from the Iowa Conference in 1998.
Henry was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Novella Baker. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Shelvy Ann; three children Henry, III (Daphne); Walt (Nikki), Roxanna (Ron); six grandchildren: Malcolm (Jazmine), Kwame, Gabrielle (Jamie), Layla, Solé and Khalil; two great-granddaughters, Vivienne and Florence; five nephews, three nieces, great nieces and great nephews; two sisters-in-law, a brother-in-law; many friends and the members of the Dasher High School class of 1951.