Ella Faith Bryan, of Fincastle, retired executive of International Mission Board, passed away July 17, 2021 after a long illness.
Known to everyone as Faith, she was a member of Bonsack Baptist Church, and the daughter of the late Adam and Mary Ruth (Cliburn) White, also of Fincastle, and the proud mother of five sons. Born in MacDonald, Miss., she moved to Baltimore when she was 7 when the family home burned down. She met her late husband, the Rev. James H Bryan, at Towson’s Teachers College and they married on April 5, 1958, knowing that their lives together would be one of ministry. While a Missionary and Pastor’s wife, she played the piano, directed the choir, led children’s church, and cleaned the church. She was a homemaker until her children were old enough, and while they were in school, she operated a local Christian Radio Station as a “DJ,” and ministering on her “Woman’s World” program. As a 40+year-old she went back to finish her college degree, then went on to obtain two Master’s degrees, in Communications and Religious Studies with high honors. She had a passion for her sons, children’s ministry, mentoring women, and her Friend, Jesus. She spent 10 years with the IMB, with her final position as VP of the Prayer Office.
She is survived by a brother, Joe Max White (Patti); three sons, Jim of Maryland, David and his wife Theodora of Chicago, Jonathan and his wife Suzanne of Fincastle, and Joel and his wife Susan of Mosley, Va.; four grandchildren, JoJo C. Friday (Joshua), Stephen, Lauryn, and Gabriel Bryan, and three great-grandchildren, Ava, Skyla, and Kia Ellis. She is also survived by brother- and sisters-in-law, many nieces and nephews, and cousins. She joins her son Adam Paul Bryan, who went to be with the Lord in 2014. She had three siblings predecease her: Glenn A. White (Delma), Donald C White (Mary), and Marylynn Koslowski (Ed).
A celebration of Faith’s life will be 2 p.m. Saturday, July 31 at Rader Funeral Home, 630 Roanoke Road, Daleville. Burial will be at Pleasant Dale Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at the funeral home one hour prior to the service Saturday, and a meal at Fincastle Baptist Church will be held after the burial.