Joseph H Neal

Died: Tue., Feb. 14, 2017

Funeral Service

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The Reverend Joseph H. Neal, son of the late Mrs. LaVerne Kohn Neal and the late Rev. C R. Neal of Hopkins, SC, was the third of four children, having two brothers and one sister.  He was born August 31, 1950 and transitioned from this life at Palmetto Baptist Medical Center on February 14, 2017.

He attended the public schools of Richland County and Mather Academy in Beaufort, SC.   He graduated C.A. Johnson High School, class of ’68.  Rev. Neal also graduated from Benedict College in ‘72.  He studied at Colgate School of Divinity, Rochester, NY and continued his studies at the Pittsburg Theology School, Pittsburgh, PA.  He has done further study at the University of South Carolina and is the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Benedict College, Columbia, SC.

Rev. Neal has worked as an instructor in Richland School District One; Counselor for the Department of Juvenile Justice:  Personnel Recruiter for Fluor-Daniel Engineering Co.; and as a Recruitment Program Manager for the State Budget and Control Board, Division of Human Resource Management.  His most recent employment was as CEO for New Horizons Systems of Columbia, a multi-service consortium for personnel management training and development of customized software applications.

Rev. Neal was in his 24th year in the SC House of Representative serving District 70.  In the House he served as First Vice Chairman of the Medical, Military and Municipal Affairs committee which is responsible for legislation affecting the Department of Social Services, Department of Corrections, Mental Health and Mental Retardation.  He was past Vice-Chairman of the House Task Force for Consumer Finance Reform and past Vice-Chairman of the House Task Force for Welfare Reform.

Rev. Neal was currently serving on the Ways and Means Committee, the Education Oversight Committee, Rules Committee and was past chairman of the SC Legislative Black Caucus.  He served for 15 years as the Assistant Democratic Leader for the South Carolina House of Representatives.  Throughout his career, Rev. Neal has sponsored numerous pieces of legislation for improving the quality of life for all people and continued his battle to end racial profiling in SC.  He was responsible for the introduction and passage of South Carolina’s first anti-racial profiling legislation that became law in the 2005 session.

Rev. Neal’s numerous affiliations include membership in the following:  NAACP, Moving Forward Community Group, Lower Richland Water Authority and the Lower Richland Community Council.  Also the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., past board member of South Carolina Fair Share Inc., and First Union Bank Community and First Union Bank Community Reinvestment Act Advisory Board.  He was founder of the Area Communities in Economic Development, a non-profit corporation  He was also Chairman of the Citizens for Hopkins Neighborhood Associations, Co-Founder of SC Environmental Watch Network, past board member of the Funds for Southern Communities, a philanthropic foundation.  Other memberships include; Governor Hodges’s Transition Task Force, the Governor’s Nuclear Waste Task Force, Co-Chair of the South Carolina Progressive Network, a statewide grass roots organization.  Rev Neal was serving as a board member for “AAEJAN” (The African American Environmental Action Network, a Southern Regional Environmental Rights organization and board member of Carolina Peace Center as well as ReGenisis Community Development Corporation, Chester, SC.

Reverend Neal was a “preacher of the gospel” serving as Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Chester, SC.  He served Calvary as the Assistant Pastor during the pastorate of his father, the late Rev. C. R. Neal, Sr.  Under his leadership, Calvary was blessed with increased membership, establishment of a Youth Ministry, Food Bank an Outreach Ministry and a very successful building and renovation program.  He has always led his Church by example guided by the Holy Spirit in love and holiness.

Reverend Joseph H. Neal was loved and admired by many.  His rich and blessed legacy will be cherished by his family and friends  Fond memories shall always be lovingly remembered by his siblings, Dr. Green B. Neal, Sr., Columbia, SC and Wilma Neal Garren (Brent), South Orange NJ.  He was predeceased by his brother, Choatte R. Neal, Jr. (Loretta), Hopkins SC

Additionally, he leaves his nieces and nephews who each adored him in a special way.  They include LaVerne (Samuel) Smith, Tiffany Neal, Shawanda Neal, Akiyah Sumter, Reginald Neal,  Green B. Neal, II, and Marcus (Marcella) Neal.  Two grand-nephews of the home James Christopher Woods  and Joseph Smith.  He was predeceased by his nephew Christopher Neal.

Finally, he will be sorely missed by the members and friends of Calvary Baptist Church and the entire Chester SC community, as well as his District 70 constituents.

A Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, February 19th at Calvary Baptist Church, 130 Walnut Street in Chester, SC.  It will commence at 2:30 PM.

Funeral services will be held at 1 PM Monday, February 20th at First Nazareth Baptist Church, 2351 Gervais Street, Columbia, SC 29204.

In lieu of flowers please send donations to the following:
1. The South Carolina Progressive Network Education Fund.  Donations can be made online at their secure site at or by calling the Network’s office at 803-808-3384.  
2. The Joseph H. Neal Scholarship Fund, c/o Calvary Baptist Church, Post Office Box 1206, Chester, SC 29706

Service was entrusted to Christopher King Funeral Home in Chester, SC

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Condolence Booklet

Gloria Neal Showers, President, Neal Family Association-Sumter,SC
   Posted Thu February 16, 2017
It is with heavy hearts that Representative Joe Neal's Family in the Sumter Area mourns the loss of our cousin, friend, leader who gave so much to support his family. We sincerely cherish his memory and will always work to fulfill the legacy he leaves with us. He taught us to love, help each other, and to always remember that family matters. Cousin Joe, you have earned your heavenly rewards. Rest in peace and thank you for sharing, caring, and teaching us to be in obedience to God's Holy Words. You will always live in our hearts.

Pastor Travien L. Capers
   Posted Thu February 16, 2017
I would like to offer my sincerest of condolences to the Neal family in their time of bereavement. Brother Neal was a blessing to have known and to have worked with. The Zion Benevolent Church family and the Capers family will have you in our prayers.

-Travien L. Capers, Hopkins, SC

Cheryl GOodwin
   Posted Thu February 16, 2017
With heartfelt sympathy to the Neal family. Representative Neal was truly a gentle giant. I saw him Tuesday morning at baptist hospital. He hugged me so tight and he asked about my family. He asked if I was okay and his expression of love was so touching. I never knew that would be the last time I saw him or felt his love. Memories are precious as gold and to have them to share is a blessing. He said yes to God's call and now in his heavenly home. Take your rest my friend, take your rest.

Jeanette Smith
   Posted Thu February 16, 2017
With deepest Sympathy. Truly Rep. Neal will be missed. He was a true advocate for the poor. I truly thank him

Dr. Gladys M. Grant
   Posted Thu February 16, 2017
Our condolences to the Neal Family. As you go through the next few days, weeks, months, and years to come, remember Paul as he explains in the Book of Romains 8:28, "And we know, that all things work together for goods to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose". May God continue to strengthen you as you think about the great legacy he leaves behind.

Be Blessed,
Dr. Gladys M. Grant (resident, Sumter County)

Laurie Hannah
   Posted Thu February 16, 2017
My sincere sympathy at the loss of your loved one. He was a great man. God bless and keep each of you during this time of mourning. Laurie Davis Hannah

Lakeisha Feaster
   Posted Thu February 16, 2017
My prayers to the Neal family and the Calvary Baptist Church Family. May god strengthen your hearts during this time of sorrow.

Maire A. Dugan, Ph.D.
   Posted Thu February 16, 2017
I am devastated by Joe's passing. He was the one person I trusted absolutely in the SC legislature. It is perhaps fitting that he died on Valentine's Day. He had the most generous heart of anyone I know.

Maire A. Dugan, Ph.D.
   Posted Thu February 16, 2017
I am devastated by Joe's passing. He was the one person I trusted absolutely in the SC legislature. It is perhaps fitting that he died on Valentine's Day. He had the most generous heart of anyone I know. I pray that the Neal family can take comfort in the love felt by so many for Joe.

Franklin Goodwin Jr
   Posted Thu February 16, 2017
I met Rep. Neal year ago when he was working at the merit system at 2221 Devine St.and he was always nice to me.l would see him all the time on the 3rd floor of the Blatt Building and we would talk about life issues and he would always give me good advice. I will miss him but never forget him.May God continue to bless the Neal family and I thank God for letting me know such a wonderful man.

Ronald A Thompson
   Posted Thu February 16, 2017
My sympathies to the family of a great and humble man and friend who I've known for years before his political and theological career pursuits. God has called home a champion for all. May He continue to bless the family richly.

Lisa C. Jenkins
   Posted Thu February 16, 2017
To the family of the Late SC Representative Rev Joseph Neal, the Calvary Baptist Church Family, and the SC House of Representatives,

My love, prayers, and sincere condolences to you all at this time of grief and sadness at the loss of a Great Man who wore many hats ... Pastor, Husband, Father, Brother, Historian, etc.

Rev. Neal was loved, cherished, and highly respected. He will truly be missed.

May God comfort, strengthen and keep you all, today and always.

Phillip A. Thompson-King
   Posted Thu February 16, 2017
To the Neal Family;

It is with a heavy heart that I extend my deep condolences. I pray that your faith in God as well as your many fond memories of Reverend Neal sustain you during this time of sorrow.

I am grateful for Reverend Neal’s tutelage and will forever cherish his friendship.

With sympathy,

Phillip A. Thompson-King

Zion Mill Creek Baptist Church
   Posted Thu February 16, 2017
The Zion Mill Creek Baptist Church Family would like to send our condolences to the Neal Family. Pastor Neal was Awesome man of God. We will continue to keep the Neal Family in much prayer. Bishop Wendell Sumter and The Zion Mill Creek Church Family

   Posted Fri February 17, 2017
A friend to all he met.No sweeter spirit I know.This is Joe Neal!!!

Shiryl S. Morgan
   Posted Fri February 17, 2017
May the Lord bless and keep you family. I do believe Joseph is one of His believed servants.

With Love

John Honor III
   Posted Fri February 17, 2017
Dear Neal Family:

I greatly regret your loss and Pastor Neal will be gone, but certainly not forgotten. Though I have lived far from South Carolina for a long time, Calvary is always home to me. To hear Pastor Neal preach was always both healing and inspiring to me, and to know him was to know that God still leaves some very bright spots in this world, no matter how dark it may seem at times. Please celebrate his life, as he brought so much to the Honor family ANYTIME we needed anything. Again, myself and my wife JeVon, and little John IV will be praying for you.

Best Regards,

John Honor III

Lille Parker Neil
   Posted Fri February 17, 2017
To the family of Rep. Joe Neal; I send my condolences in the transitioning of your love one. Rep. Neal was truly loved in the community and when a I reached out to him some years ago for help in finding my brother a skill nursing facility; he did not hesitate to help. He loved helping people and making their lives better.

May God comfort you and your family during this difficult time.

James "Mack"
   Posted Sat February 18, 2017
I met Representative Neal for the first time about seven years ago while he was participating on a panel at the Richland County Public Library. After the forum was over, we stood outside for about 2-1/2 hours talking about life and social issues. About three years later, I contacted Reverend Neal, as I was seeking assistance for my hometown church's 131st Anniversary. He agreed to be the speaker, did not charge our church a fee, packed the house, brought some of his church members with him, and gave us a powerful message regarding how we could move forward. After the anniversary, Representative Neal and I would get together and have lunch (always on him although I always agreed to pay), exchange conversations from time-to-time in reference how we could make things better in our state! Our lunch-dinner crew at Golden Corral had the privilege of him sitting and dining with us the latter part of 2016, and we enjoyed every minute of our time with Mr. Neal, as he provided a lot of advice.
First of all, may the Lord guide and comfort the Neal family, and continue to bless all of you (during this difficult time). Pastor Neal was sincere and true man of God, and they do not come any better than him. Second, on behalf of the Macedonia Baptist Church Family, I would like to send our condolences to the Neal Family. Third, I thank the Lord for letting me know such a wonderful man, a true and humble servant. Representative/Reverend Neal will sincerely be missed; he touched a lot of people’s lives in so many ways. It was definitely a pleasure getting to meet him and know him. As I close, all of us will see him again at the big homecoming reunion up above!

Representative Joe Jefferson
   Posted Sun February 19, 2017
Representative Neal meant so much to us all, and we will surely miss him very much. We extend our deepest condolence to the family.
The Impact of One's Life
When a stone is dropped into a lake quickly disappears from sight--
But its impact leaves behind a series of ripples that broaden
and reach across the waters.

In the same way,
The impact of one's life, lived for Christ
leaves behind an influence for good
that touches the lives of many others.

Deepest sympathy,

Representative Joe Jefferson and Family

Representative Jerry N.Govan, Jr.
   Posted Sun February 19, 2017
To the Neal family, Wanda and I would like to express our sincere condolences. I had the please of knowing Joe for the past 33 years meeting him when he was employed with The State Human Resources. We often talked about politics and making a difference not realizing that fate would bring us together in 1992-93 when we both would be elected and sworn in as members of the South Carolina House. Over the years he never lost his passion or zeal for helping others and that is why I respected him as truly great servant- leader. My friends presence will be truly missed. May God bless and keep you during this difficult time.

William @ Pat Jeffersons
   Posted Sun February 19, 2017
Our prayers are with you during this time.

William johnson
   Posted Sun February 19, 2017
May God comfort in your time of sorry. I am a better servant because of the words of wisdom from this giant of a man.

Mary C Williams
   Posted Mon February 20, 2017
I spent last few days reflecting on the character and the greatness of Joe Neal. I thought about the long hours doing community organizing in his District. We worked on several pieces of legislation, from the Housing Trust Fund (affordable housing grants for low income and rural families) to the Kinship Care legislation. Kin placement is now a priority for children who are placed in foster care. I recalled Joe’s grace and fight against the juvenile justice legislation to prevent young children from automatically being tried as adults. But, I will remember our conversations the most. Joe was an intelligent and progressive Democrat. He was a visionary change agent not just for his District but also creating economic development opportunities in Africa. I will miss you my friend. My prayers and love to his family.

Steven Larkin
   Posted Mon February 20, 2017
To the Family of The Honorable Joe Neal:

I am so saddened to hear about Joe's passing. Wow, I can remember like yesterday being age 6 playing with Wilma at the family house in Hopkins having the time of my life. There was Coy and GB always being in charge of everybody. Then there was Joe always just a smiling and laughing, saying Stevie & Wilma they are running game on you and you guys got to stop falling for it! Seems like every week we all had new things to learn and find out. And we walked all over the woods and rushed back to house to hear Joe's Dad tell us these great stories about life, imaginary wonderlands and new places to visit! And Joe would be over there just smiling and laughing at our amazement! It was funny!

Joe has been my friend since, through my teenage years and remains a part of me! I know that you will miss him, we all will. I can't be with you guys right now, but please know that I am praying for each of you! Joe has made his transition and please know that God is right there with you and Joe, even now! His Grace will make it peaceful especially when you don't see no way!

Earth has no sorrow that heaven can not cure! Stay strong and know you are cared about by many folk on this side of the Jordan.
Stevie Larkin

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