Odell Young (1912-1995)

by Steve Hale

Finley Odell Young had a lasting and dynamic influence on the Mt. Juliet church. He was one of the best ambassadors we’ve ever had! He would quickly and efficiently make his way to greet everyone. Without using many words, he could say so much. “How are you today, brother Young?” His response was always: “Just right!”

Brother Young co-owned a pharmacy in Portland, Tennessee. He served the Portland church as one of her elders for many years. Brother Maurice O’Neal, who could not help with the funeral due to a mild stroke, shared one of the fascinating aspects of brother Young’s personality.

After he had preached at Portland for about eight years, brother O’Neal decided to leave. As he was leaving, brother Young asked him to go to a room and just talk awhile. As an elder, brother Young wanted to know how he, the elders, and the church could improve. What a remarkable man!

“Been there. Done that.” The Youngs should have a patent on that now famous phrase! In visiting funeral homes, hospitals, or homes, you usually found the Youngs there or they had already been there and left! They dedicated one day a week to visiting, and would visit even more as needed.

My fondest memory of brother Young was on a visit David Fleming and I made to the Youngs new home in Donelson. When it came time for us to leave, brother Young told sister Young he would see us to the elevator. He gave her an affectionate hug, and kiss on the forehead. That was just beautiful to behold! He was a Christian gentleman who retained good Southern etiquette that is now so rare.

We want to extend our love to his beloved wife, Frances, his son Larry, and his sister, Norma. You young men: try to be an Odell Young when you grow-up ( I Corinthians 11:1)!