Originally created 11/28/02

Featured obituary: Mr. Benjamin Mitchell



Members of Southgate Baptist Church didn't have to worry about missing their Sunday church service - Benjamin Mitchell made sure they got the message.

"He would make sure the services were recorded (on a cassette tape)," said his wife, Patricia Mitchell. "He made sure (the tapes) were sent out to the sick people and shut-ins."

Mr. Mitchell, 79, died Monday at the Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital.

A member of the church since 1983, Mr. Mitchell got the job of Tape Outreach minister one day when the original minister was unable to attend a service. For more than 12 years, he made sure that people received not only the taped sermons, but also a church bulletin so that they knew what was going on.

In addition to his duties, he volunteered years ago to be the last person left in the church after services.

"He was the last person to leave so that he could make sure that everything was locked up," his wife said.

When Mr. Mitchell wasn't helping out at his church, his wife said that he took pleasure in gardening and reading.

"He would always take the Mini Page out of The Augusta Chronicle for his daughter, and then he would take it out for his granddaughters," Mrs. Mitchell said. "He really loved to read - especially his Bible."

A native of Thomasville, Ga., he had lived in Hephzibah since 1976. His wife said that they moved to Hephzibah after his retirement from the Army - mostly because of the weather.

"He thought this was a nice place to live...with Fort Gordon being right there," she said. "He loved the weather, especially after being in the Army and going to all those different places."

Mr. Mitchell served in World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

"He told me that he was blessed to be able to go through three wars and live to tell about it," said his wife. "But as far as going into great detail, he didn't really talk about it."

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Southgate Baptist Church with the Rev. Joel Hawkins officiating. Interment will follow with full military honors in Bellevue Memorial Gardens.

Survivors also include a son, Ambrose C. Rhyne Jr.; a daughter, Tahjikita S. Walden; a sister, Dora M. Junior; four brothers, Jerry Mitchell, Clifford Mitchell, Willie Mitchell and Clarence Mitchell; and two grandchildren, Leleshwa Walden and Laquoi Walden.

Reach Amy Connell at (706) 823-3220 or amy.connell@augustachronicle.com.