Rev. Hershel Wiygul



Tupelo-Reverend James Hershel Wiygul, 89, beloved retired United Methodist Minister, entered the Church Triumphant on Monday, May 15, 2017 at North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo after being hospitalized for 3 weeks with cancer. Herschel was born on December 31, 1927 in the Carolina Community of Itawamba County, the youngest of 8 children born to Ellis A. Wiygul and Alla Lee Bourland Wiygul. He spent his childhood days in Carolina, graduated from Itawamba Agricultural High School and married his sweetheart and wife of almost 70 years, Faye Franks Wiygul on June 14, 1947. In the l950’s and l960’s, Hershel was a self-employed master home builder and built many still existing homes all over Tupelo. He was a carpenter working first for Hodges Home Supply in Tupelo then for the Staub family in Itawamba County. He always felt a calling to the ministry and, after completing his undergraduate education at Mississippi State University, he began his seminary education at Duke University ultimately graduating with a Theology Degree. He later studied at Emory University in Atlanta. He became a Deacon in the United Methodist Church in l968 and was consecrated as an Elder in l971. Rev. Wiygul’s first charge was Hamilton UMC in Hamilton, MS. After several charge responsibilities in North Carolina while at Duke, he became the minister of the Baldwyn/Asbury charge. His other churches included Charleston UMC, Eupora First UMC and Wesley UMC in Tupelo. He retired from active ministry in June l993. He and his wife, Faye, joined First United Methodist Church in Tupelo in l993. He spent several years on staff there as visitation minister ultimately retiring from ministry in December, 2003. Rev. Wiygul was named by the North Mississippi Conference as Rural Minister of the Year in l967. Herschel was known throughout the Conference for his benevolence, his quiet, gentle love for all his parishioners, was a strong, intelligent pulpiter and an excellent spiritual resource for all God’s children. Ever the craftsman, Herschel revered his woodworking all his days and spent considerable time piddling in his basement shop. He enjoyed restoring inoperable carpenter tools and machinery. A lover of people in general, Herschel loved visiting and good conversation. He spent many hours in his last few years on his back patio observing God’s creation and creatures including red birds, squirrels and an occasional raccoon. His life was filled with wonderful family and friends and his walk amongst us was stellar. “Well Done-Good and Faithful Servant”.

A Service of Death and Resurrection will be held at 11 AM Thursday, May 18, 2017 at First United Methodist Church in Tupelo with Rev. Fred Britton, Rev. Tim Green and Rev. Andy Ray officiating. Private burial will follow in Lee Memorial Park. Visitation will be from 5 PM-7PM today (Wed.) at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors and from 10 AM-service time on Thursday in the Gathering Room at First United Methodist Church in Tupelo. Holland-Tupelo Chapel is honored to be assisting their friends.

His surviving family includes his wife, Faye; his daughters, Pat Baggett and Glenda Wiygul-Sasser (Joe) and his son, Britt (special friend, Teresa Tartt) all of Tupelo. His 6 grandchildren, Christopher Pennington, Joseph Pennington, Craig-Ellis Sasser (Paige), Anthony Baggett, Eric Baggett (Cora) and Aimee Baggett Brake (Jason). 5 great grandchildren, Nicholas Baggett, Lily and Alden Brake, Emma Pennington and Rhett Ellis Sasser. Numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, and 7 siblings: Lottie Hall, Evelyn Ridings and Russell, Ellis, Jr., “John”, A.D., Eliam and Trelby Wiygul.

Pallbearers will be his grandson’s. Honorary pallbearers will be past and present United Methodist clergy, Bill Beasley, Philip Williams, James Williams, Scott Collins, Ted Moll, Gary Hawkins and Steve Holland. Condolences may be e mailed to Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 854, Tupelo, MS. 38801.