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Reverend Oland (Olin) Bernis Isenhour was called home to glory on Friday, October 20th, 2023, at the age of 89. Olin was born in Catawba County on February 6th, 1934. He was the youngest of 13 children - proceeded in death by his parents, Guylo Reid and Dora Belle Isenhour, nine brothers, and three sisters. He graduated from Mountain View High School and was named the salutatorian of his class. One of Olin's teachers saw potential in him and encouraged him to attend college after graduation. Her efforts in securing scholarships allowed Olin to attend Lenoir Rhyne College. He pursued a teaching degree which highlighted his love of math and attention to detail. Prior to graduation, Olin was assigned to Fred T. Foard High School where he would complete his student teaching. It was also there where he would meet the love of his life, Shirlie Ann Simmons who was a senior. After a whirlwind romance, they were married on Christmas Eve 1956. They were blessed with many happy years together serving the Lord. On October 31, 2018, just a few months before their 62nd wedding anniversary, Shirlie was called home to be with the Lord.
Soon after they were married, Olin was drafted into the US Army. During his enlistment, he joined the Army choir. One day during chapel, while singing in the choir, Olin was called into the ministry. They were singing This is My Story which to this day was his favorite hymn. Upon his return home, he pursued his Divinity degree at Duke University.
He served as a pastor for 42 years in 13 churches throughout NC. His first charge began in Siler City, NC where he pastored 4 churches. Other appointments included Vale, Lenoir, Charlotte, Mt. Holly, Eden, and Granite Falls where he retired. The Bethlehem/Bethel charge in Statesville was his longest tenure where he pastored for 8 years.
In addition to serving as a pastor for the United Methodist Conference, he was also appointed as the United Methodist Conference Statistician, Conference Treasurer, and District Superintendent.
At the completion of these assignments, he returned to his first love, preaching the gospel until his retirement in 1999.
The Lord continued to use Olin even after retirement as he served as interim pastor for Bethlehem United Methodist. Spending time in God's word was a favorite pastime. Over the years, Olin read the Bible from cover to cover 7 times.
God's call on Olin's life was not only to serve behind the pulpit. He also called Olin to serve on the mission field where he helped to build churches in Alaska and Puerto Rico during the earlier years of his ministry.
His heart loved helping people and he was able to use this gift as a volunteer at Iredell Memorial Hospital for 14 years. He continued to serve until February of this year. He was recognized by the Red Cross for donating over 100 gallons of blood. He continued to give through the pheresis program.
Olin was also active in his community. A long-time member of the West Iredell Ruritan Club. During his time in the club, he served as president and was named the Ruritan of the Year.
In his free time, he loved gardening, fishing, and filling the bird feeders. Many days were spent watching the birds and enjoying the blueberries from his bushes. He also enjoyed woodworking. Olin loved to make gifts for his family that were created in his workshop.
Time spent with his family brought him tremendous joy. Although his children found him to be strict, he was gentle and fair and loved unconditionally to a fault.
He made road trips were especially fun. Olin used this time to keep the children entertained while playing cow poker and the alphabet game. While busy for the Lord, he was never too busy to spend time with his grandchildren and the great grands. They were his joy. He especially loved to swing them and hear their laughter fill the room.
Olin is survived by his 4 children, Terri Watt (Darrell), Philip Isenhour (Annette), Lisa Isenhour (Steve) and son Brian Isenhour. Olin has 9 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren. He is also survived by one sister-in-law, Margie Isenhour and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be Monday, October 23rd from 6:00 to 8:00 at Bethlehem United Methodist Church in the CLC. Funeral Service will be Tuesday, October 24th, at 3:00pm at Bethlehem Methodist Church. Burial to follow in the church cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks memorials to be made to Bethlehem Methodist Church or Gordon Hospice House. The family would also like to give a special thanks to the staff at Gordon Hospice House for everything they have done and the care they gave for Rev. Olin Isenhour. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.troutmanfuneralhome.com.