100 and living in the shadow…of the Lord!

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On 10/10/10 at approximately the same time he was born 100 years ago, Deacon Leroy Yuille celebrated his birthday under the covering of his beautiful church and in the presence of his beloved God. All who have come to know this man of God agree that he is a man of determination, dedication and discipline.

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DEACON LEROY YUILLE CELEBRATES 100 YEARS (Photos by Rossano P. Stewart)

Born in Lawyers, Va., he credits his parents for instilling a deep-rooted Christian foundation of faith, love and respect. Accepting Christ at the early age of 11, the centenarian boldly states, “The Lord has kept me.” A long-time resident of the East Liberty area since 1928, the young man arrived in the Pittsburgh area at 3 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon. By 8 a.m. Monday morning, he was employed.

The committed Baptist states his biggest disappointment in life is discrimination.

After serving with the Navy during World War II, he found it difficult to find employment when he returned from the war. However, unafraid of learning or achieving, he completed his education through night courses at Schenley High School, while working skilled and unskilled positions in the fields of construction, masonry and trades and crafts. After working 35 years, he retired from U. S. Steel Corporation’s Homestead Plant. After 51 years of a beautiful marriage to Lena Barclay Yuille, the love of his life, she went home to be with the Lord 16 years ago.

The beloved Deacon’s love for the Rodman Street Missionary Baptist Church can, in no way, be emulated by another. On 10/10/10, a celebration was held, honoring the oldest active member of the church. “Deacon Yuille,” states Rev. Dr. Darryl T. Canady, “has navigated through Jim Crow and lived long enough to see a president with the same ethnic background.” During the Sunday services, the title of Deacon Emeritus was bestowed upon the man who has touched so many ministries. Rev. Canady said the greatest gifts he has received from this leader are “wisdom and dedication. He has probably forgotten more than I know. His legacy will be ‘May The Work I’ve Done Speak for Me.’”

Ken Fair, chairman of the Deacon Board, is grateful for his path crossing the pathway of Deacon Yuille. It began his indoctrination into foreign mission outreach.

Following Rodman’s infamous fire, Yuille was dedicated to the rebuilding of his beloved church. The layperson was instrumental in the launching of new ministries, such as Men of Rodman, Christian Education and a Newcomers’ Class, to name a few. His service to God includes work with the AUBA and the Lott Carey Convention. Independent and self-sufficient, he continues to drive himself to church and also remains active with the trustees, the Sunday School and “any other ministry that is in need of assistance.”

On Oct. 16, family and friends from New Jersey to California arrived to celebrate and sing happy birthday. Niece Eleanor Tidline said her uncle, “set an example of how he lived his life. His greatest blessings to his family are his love and service to God, his faith and love, and his honor and respect for his mother and wife.”

Guided by his obedience to God’s Word, the vision of this man of God is for his beloved church “to be here when Christ comes back.”

Yuille’s description of a leader is “one who should have the love of God and the love of the church.” This deacon’s life embodies that degree of leadership.

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