The Reverend Mark J. Richards, Jr.

The Reverend Mark J. Richards, Jr.


Let us remember with thanksgiving the life and ministry of Rev. Mark J. Richards, Jr., 82, who died on Monday, December 19, 2016. He died peacefully in his sleep after battling acute heart disease. He was affectionately known as Papa, Rev., Borbor, Bor Mark, Old Pa, John Schmidt, Fahdeh, Mr. Richards and Mr. Mark. He was also known as husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, counselor, confidant and elder.

Mark spent more than half of his life in his beloved native home country, the Republic of Liberia, West Africa. He was an ordained elder of the United Methodist Church for 56 years, ministering to churches in both Liberia and the United States. He became a member of the New York Conference in 1983. Since that time his primary residence in the United States was in the New York City area and later in Winston Salem, NC after his retirement. Mark served the following churches in the New York Conference: Epworth UMC in the Bronx; Yorktown Heights; Asbury UMC in Mt Vernon, NY and Church of Our Savior in Yonkers, NY; and Tremont UMC in the Bronx. Rev. Richards retired in 2000.

While in Liberia he owned and operated the Bong County Construction Company, developing and building key projects including the Sinoe United Methodist Church, several World Bank projects and schools in Bong, Nimba and Sinoe counties.

Mark enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, road trips and singing spiritual songs. If you got to know him well, he was quite the jokester who loved pranking and surprising people; a trait that has definitely been passed on to his family. Mark was preceded in death by his parents Mark Sr. and Mary Heidee Carter; and his siblings Malissa, Lawrence, Elizabeth, Ben, Hannah and Isiah.

Rev. Richards is survived by his wife of 56 years, Josephine M. Richards. Together they raised eleven children (biological and non-biological): Winston Davis (Musu), Henry Lynakgbe, Miamah “Mama” Moore, Kutu Paye, G. Orlando Richards (Hawa), Martu J. Richards, Mordred J. Richards, Morie Richards, Miamah “Baby Jo” Richards, Frederick Silikpo and Emmanuel “EK” Trueh. Mark is also survived by his grandchildren, Will Davis, Winnie Davis, Mornjay Dayunah (Tuatoe), Grandville “OJ” Richards, Jr., Anastasia “NaeNae” Richards, Meshak Massalee, JoJo Momo and Martu Momo; and by his great-grandchildren, Rhyan and Maikuser. In addition, he is survived by his siblings Nyema "Johnson" Richards & John “Coco” Richards, and many nieces, nephews, relatives and cherished family friends.

Viewing will take place on Friday, December 30, 2016 from 6–9 pm at the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, 1711 Claremont Ave. NE, Winston-Salem, NC 27105. A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, December 31, 2016 at 10 am at the Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church. Interment will take place following worship at Parklawn Memorial Park, 2730 Peters Creek Pkwy, Winston-Salem, NC.

Online condolences may be made at Notes and expressions of sympathy may be sent to Josephine Richards, 4941 Lighthouse Court, Winston-Salem, NC 27127.