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Rev. Christopher A. Townsend, Sr., 50

Rev. Christopher A. Townsend, Sr., pastor of Concord M.B. Church in Batesville, died after a brief illness Tuesday, Dec. 15. He was 50.

A longtime U.S. Postal Service employee in Oxford, Townsend is being remembered for his tireless volunteer work, especially his desire to mentor and guide young men in their most impressionable years.

“He loved God, loved his church, loved his family, and loved his community,” said fellow pastor Rev. Zannie Leland, Jr., pastor of Macedonia M.B. Church, and moderator of the Sardis District Association. “He sought to make a difference, and he provided physically and spiritually for all he could.”

Townsend was also a life member of the SDA, and was serving as first vice moderator at the time of his death.

“Rev. Townsend’s passing is an opportunity for those of us in the community to continue his legacy, and inspire others to take up the mantle of service,” Leland said. “I feel like he will never be forgotten in Batesville because the things he accomplished are a testament to his life.”

Townsend was a youth baseball and basketball coach, served on a variety of civic boards, participated in many food drives, clothes collections, and did endless charity work.

Graveside services were held Monday at Olive Ray Cemetery in Pope.

He is survived by his wife, Nyanthia Lloyd-Townsend, a son, Christopher A. Townsend, Jr., and his father, Willie B. Townsend.  He was preceded in death by his mother, Lena Townsend.