The Rev. Dr. Hugh Clarence Peacock, Jr. – pastor, musician, and community servant – passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 7, 2023. 

He had turned 90 just a few weeks earlier.

He was born on December 29, 1932, in Chattanooga, Tenn.  to Hugh C. Peacock Sr. and Elizabeth Perkinson Peacock, better known as Willie.

He grew up in Chattanooga, where he graduated from Baylor School.  He sang in glee club and other school music groups, met Harry Truman on a school trip to Washington, D.C., and excelled in baseball, football and wrestling.  He continued his athletic and sports pursuits, and not least a history major, at Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tenn. 

Still feeling the call to the ministry first experienced as a youth, he enrolled in Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.  He earned his M.Div., returning later to earn a D. Min.  An even more significant achievement was meeting and eventually marrying a classmate, Janie Joan Branyan in 1956.

In 1959, they moved south to Georgia, where he served as pastor of three churches:  First Baptist of Buchanan, North Broad Baptist in Rome, and First Baptist of West Point.  During his time in Rome, he was honored as Minister of the Year. 

Technically, he retired from full-time ministry in 1997, when he and Janie returned to Rome.  But he didn’t slow down. Someone called him “the most unretired retired person around.” 

He traveled throughout Georgia, securing financial and volunteer support for Morningstar Children & Family Services, which he, Janie and a number of others had helped found.  He spent 10 years as Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church of Rome.

He sang in the adult choir and served on the church’s music committee.  On Sundays, he co-taught the O. M. Cates Sunday School class, and each Thursday, recorded for Sunday morning broadcast the Scrap Iron Bible Class, First Baptist’s long-running program on WLAQ radio. (He tended to linger at the radio station for extensive off-air sports talk with friends on the staff.)  For several years, he took on the role of “Bing” in the Bottom Feeders baritone quartet.

He served as a Trustee of Mercer University and the School of Religion Board for Carson-Newman University.  He worked with young pastors during volunteer trips to the newly freed Bosnia and Bucharest and was a regular volunteer with Action Ministries of Rome, Good Neighbors, and other ministries in Rome.  Survivors include his wife, Janie; sons, Bran (Meghan) Peacock of Gainesville, Ga., and Chris (Michelle) Peacock of San Jose, Calif.; and grandchildren Mary Charlotte and Thomas Peacock of San Jose.  He was an uncle, brother-in-law, cousin and, as an only child, de facto brother to several first cousins who grew up as neighbors on Kilmer Avenue in Chattanooga.

Hugh’s family is extremely grateful to the many friends and caregivers who helped him through health challenges in recent months, not least Dr. James H. Douglas, who was both physician and dear friend.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the First Baptist Church Foundation or the William S. Davies Shelters in Rome.

A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, at First Baptist, Rome, followed by visitation. 

Henderson & Sons Funeral Home, South Chapel, makes this announcement for the family.