Bishop Joseph Pannell


Bishop Joseph Pannell, age 87. Sunrise October 7, 1929 in Powhatan, WV and Sunset September 12, 2017 in Columbus, OH. Bishop Pannell retired from The U.S. Postal Service and was the founder and Pastor Emmeritus of Little Rock Church of Christ.  He was preceded in death by his parents Horace and Lucy Hairston Pannell.  Left to Cherish his memory, wife, Naomi Robinson Pannell; daughters, Deborah, Linda, Constance, Andrea, Jodi, Tanez, and Nichole; special nephew/son Curtis; sons in law, Blair, Ernest and Christopher and a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.  On Friday September 22, 2017, Bishop Pannell will Lie in State from 12 noon-6 p.m. at Little Rock Church of Christ, 857 Frebis Ave. The Family will receive friends from 6-7:30 p.m.  and The Celebration of Life Service to follow at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, September 23, 2017 Bishop Pannell will Lie in State at Rehoboth Temple Church of Christ, 1111 E. Long St. at 9 a.m. and The Home Going Service will begin at 10 a.m. Interment at Franklin Hills Memory Gardens. Ministry of Comfort entrusted to MARLAN GARY FUNERAL HOME, THE CHAPEL OF PEACE EAST, 5456 E. Livingston Ave. To read the complete obituary, order flowers and to offer condolences to the PANNELL Family visit





 1929: Born in Powhatan, West Virginia; 4th child born to Horace Sr. and Lucy Pannell

1946: Baptized in the name of Jesus, receiving the Holy Ghost Nov. 10th the same year

1946: Ordained a deacon in the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ (C.O.O.L.J.C.) at the age of 17

  •  Helped build the Little Rock Church in W.VA where his name rests on the cornerstone

1947: Elected the “Most Outstanding Male High School Student of the Year”

1947: Graduated from Elkhorn High School with at G.P.A. of 4.0; National Honor Society

1949: Relocated to Columbus, Ohio

1951: Drafted into the United States Army

  • Served as a Medic in the Korean War (U.S. Medical Corp. Infantry Division)
  • Held the rank of Sergeant 1st Class
  • Recipient of 6 United States War Time Medals

1949: Became a faithful member of Rehoboth Temple Church of Christ

1952: Married Naomi Elizabeth Robinson

  • Held the office of Sunday School Superintendent at Rehoboth for 26 years
  • Held the office of Ohio State Sunday School Superintendent for 24 years
  • Held the office of International Sunday School Supt. and National S.S. Supt.
  • Created the National C.O.O.L.J.C. Sunday School Guide and Handbook

1974: Ordained as Elder in the Churches of our Lord Jesus Christ

1978: Founded the Little Rock Church of Christ, Columbus, Ohio (Jan 28)

  • Held the Pastorate of New Bethel Temple Church in Gary, West Virginia (36 years)
  • Retired from the U.S. Government

1983: Inducted into the National Sunday School Hall of Fame (Oklahoma City)

  • Initiated, developed and executed building project to erect a new edifice in the South-side community in Columbus

1992: Little Rock Church of Christ, Ohio Building Project completed (May)

  • District Elder over the Columbus/Cincinnati District Fellowship

2001: Little Rock Church of Christ, OH Church Mortgage Burning (June)

  • Served on the Sonshine Christian Academy School Board, Columbus, Ohio

2011: Ordained as Bishop in the Churches of our Lord Jesus Christ (Baltimore, MA)

2013: Transferred the baton to his son in law and became Pastor Emeritus of the Little Rock Church of Christ, Columbus, OH


Father to: 7 daughters, 1 nephew/son, 3 sons-in-law, 38 grandchildren, 28 great grandchildren, the New Bethel Church, W.Va, and loving  father to the LITTLE ROCK CHURCH OF CHRIST. Affectionately called, “Sir”, he is a father to many, a great leader in the national and state organization (C.O.O.L.J.C.) and the local community.




Condolence Messages

  1. I worked with joe for 30 years at post office super man condolences to family

  2. Jonathan and Cardella Wood

    Our prayers and love are with the family.

  3. Words cannot convey how I feel. Although Pastor was not not dad, he always treated me as one of his children. I will miss his contagious smile. His words of wisdom. Rest on Pastor. To my sisters in Christ, he taught you ,me and all those that would listen the TRUE word of God. My family will keep you all in our prayers.

  4. Litisia (tish) solomon

    The best Sunday school teacher,,,,ever! You and Naomi are my heroes. I love you both..

  5. When I first met Bishop Pannell he was Elder Pannell, his light shone and left an everlasting impression. Sister Naomi, Deb,Lin,Conn,Anne, Jodi,Tanez,Nicole, & Curtis; my prayers and love are with you all

  6. Evangelist Charlotte Moore

    My Heartfelt Love and Condolences go out to the entire Pannell Family.
    Knowing Bishop to be a great man who has inspired and mentored many sons and daughters. My prayers are with you all and especially you Mother Naomi Pannell. God will be your comfort and your peace every day.
    Bishop you’ve fought a good fight…you kept the faith. There is a Reward waiting for you….
    Your labor has not been in vain…

    Rest In Him
    Your Legacy remains….

  7. Sister Luana Howard & Family

    Our hearts go out to Mother Naomi Pannell, Sisters Deborah, Linda, Constance, Andrea, Jodi, Tanez, and Nichole, and Brother Curtis, the Little Rock Church of Jesus Christ Families and all your many, many families, friends, and loved ones. Bishop Pannell left an indelible mark on our lives. It is with an abundance of love for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, whom Sir exuded with every fiber of his being, that we are also blessed to call him “Brother Joe.” Not because of who we are, but because of who HE is; the loving, supportive, and kind man who embraced our family and welcomed us into the Little Rock Family.

    I remember helping install the ceiling fan in his office as a surprise years ago. I wish I was there for the unveiling! No doubt he smiled broadly and laughed, while he astonished, “is that right?” while he listened intently how the special gift came to be suspended above his desk. “Is that right?” In fact, that’s how he responded when he was lost for words, and I imagine he was that day. That day. But there’s another day coming! Hallelujah!!!

    Although he was so friendly and approachable, my favorite memory of Bishop Pannell will always be of him in the pulpit preaching. That’s when he was never lost for Words when he was bringing forth the Word of God. That is how I am going to remember him – doing what he loved – what he was called to do – with a hearty laughing, a flash of a smile, a stomp of a foot, a wipe of a brow, and bathed in the Spirit – how strangely enough, I find myself lost for words. Rest now, O’, good and faithful servant. You are sorely missed, but never forgotten. We love you, Sir, and we thank the Good Lord for you and your family.

    Our deepest and most heartfelt condolences go out to each one of you. If you need anything at all, please don’t hesitate to reach out to any one of us. We are here for you in your time of need! We love you!!!

  8. I want to express how sorry I am for your loss. Uncle Joe will definitely be missed, even though I have not seen him in years. I have a wonderful memories of him. He always loved me regardless of my flaws. Hw never judged me and he never allowed anyone else to judge me either. I love you all and my prayers are with you.

  9. To the family of Joseph, you have my deepest sympathy in the loss of your loved one. God blessed Joseph with special mightiness, for Psalm 90:10 says, “The span of our life is 70 years, Or 80 if one is especially strong.”That is a long life but not compared to future blessings! By means of God’s Kingdom, he promises that we will live forever, in the near future (Psalm 37:29)!

  10. David & Theresa Peppers

    Our hearts go out to Mother Pannell and family, Bishop was a true man of God and we loved him so much, Praying for the family.

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