The Rev. Melvin Bucky Jordan, 77, died at his home surrounded by family on Monday, April 4, 2016. Bucky was born April 30, 1938, in West Frankfort, Illinois, to his parents E. Maxine (Melvin) and Elva W. Jordan. He graduated from West Frankfort High School in 1956. He attended McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois, where he met his wife, Pauline (Hermes). They were married August, 24, 1957, in West Frankfort, Illinois.
After graduating from McKendree in ’61, he continued his education at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. While attending Eden, he would live in a campus dorm during the week, but then return to the church parsonage and Pauline on the weekends so he could serve as pastor of Christopher Methodist Church in Christopher, Illinois.
It was during this time in Bucky’s life when the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing. Bucky was home on the Sunday night that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made a televised appeal to the nation’s clergy to come to Selma, Alabama. Dr. King asked them to come and march from Selma to Montgomery to protest the actions of local police and others in the events which came to be known as “Bloody Sunday.” Hundreds of clergy responded to Dr. King’s call and went to Selma to march, including Bucky. In addition to God’s call, this experience made a lasting impression on his life and for his ministry. Bucky finished two years at Eden and transferred to Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where he finished his graduate work. He earned a full scholarship to the school due to his excellent tenor singing voice.
In 1968 Bucky and Pauline chose Indiana as the place to establish his ministry and pastor many congregations until officially retiring in 2001. After retiring the first time, he served as pastor for two more churches until retiring for good in 2014. Over his 57 years of ministry Bucky served and ministered to more than 20 churches in Illinois and Indiana.
In recent years, Bucky was a member of the Meridian Kiwanis Club where he was a past president of the club and a past lieutenant governor of the Heartland Division Indiana District.
On October 13, 2013, Bucky was invited back to McKendree University as a distinguished alum where he was presented the Academy of Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Humanities.
Bucky will be missed by his wife, Pauline; two sons, Tim (Raye Lynn) Jordan of Southport and Sean (Yaya) Jordan of Dallas, Georgia; and two grandchildren, Luke Melvin Jordan and Hadley Danielle Jordan. He is also survived by his sister, Mary Ellen (Michael) King of New Jersey; a nephew, Jeremy (Jon Fortin) Jordan King of New York City; a niece, Kelley (Dan) Zieser of New Jersey; sister-in-law, Cheryl (Bill) Harper; a grandnephew, Zion Nieves of Georgia; and countless others who have been touched by Bucky’s ministry and friendship.
Bucky was preceded in death by his parents.
A funeral service and celebration of Bucky’s life and ministry will be held on Saturday, April 16, at 2 p.m. at Asbury United Methodist Church, 1751 27th Street, Columbus. Visitation for Bucky will be on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. at Jewell-Rittman Family Funeral Home located at 3855 25th Street, Columbus, and from noon until service time Saturday at the church. A reception will be held after the service at the church. Inurnment of Bucky’s cremains will be conducted in a private ceremony at Asbury United Methodist Church’s Columbarium at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made through the funeral home to Asbury United Methodist Church in Columbus, the Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Research Foundation and Premier Hospice and Palliative Care in Seymour.
***A very important part of Bucky’s ministry was through music. Therefore, a choir will sing during the funeral service on April 16. Those persons who would like to sing in this choir, be you a friend old or new, choir member from past or present or anyone who would like to sing, are invited to join this choir. Please come to Asbury United Methodist Church one (1) hour prior to the funeral service on the day of the 16th to meet and practice in the choir room.
You are invited to view his video tribute after 4 p.m. Friday, light a virtual candle and send a message to the family via the Internet.