Reverend Gloria Alice Hairston Purcell

April 3, 1937 ~ July 26, 2023 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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Eden, NC - It is with profound sorrow we announce the death of Rev. Gloria Hairston Purcell of 226 Matthew St. Eden, NC, who passed away Wednesday, July 26, 2023, in UNC Hospital, Chapel Hill, NC.

She was born on April 3, 1937, to the late Samuel and Victoria Hairston in Eden, NC (formerly Spray). Gloria grew up in the Blue Creek section of Eden, NC, attended Leaksville Township Public Schools, and graduated from Douglass High School in May of 1955. A natural orator, and musician/singer, she developed a love for writing, history, and the arts at an early age. She would later pursue child development, religious studies, history, and music as a career choice.

In the early 1960’s,Gloria relocated to Washington, DC where she acquired various types of employment and would later return to North Carolina, where she would meet and subsequently, entered in holy matrimony with William Cleo Purcell, on January 30, 1970. From this union, they were blessed with three lovely daughters, and three stepsons.

From feeding the homeless, visiting and praying for those imprisoned, volunteering at the local Food Bank, to being a member of the Rockingham Eden Ministerial Alliance, her love for her community ran deep. She served for over 75 years and in many capacities at Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church including Associate Minister, Senior Choir President, Youth Department President, and Missionary Circle President just to name a few. One ministerial component closest to her heart was the Youth Department. She worked tirelessly for years with youth in the church and the community, with a program that would later be called “Youth Hour,” where the word of God and songs were taught. Simply put, she saw so much hope and promise in the next generation, and many young people would eagerly show up week after week, for years, and committed their lives to Christ through these efforts and would return years later to thank her for planting those seeds of service, faith, and Christian values.

Having heard the call to preach much earlier in her life, Gloria finally accepted the call, and on September 23, 1981, she received her Lay Mission License by way of the Southern District United Holy Church of America, Inc., and in the early 80’s would complete countless Seminary Extension Shaw University Divinity School courses, as well as courses at Rockingham Community College. Additionally, on June 11, 2000, she received a license from Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church to preach the gospel, perform marriages, administer the Sacraments, and various other functions of the ministry. On March 26, 2005, the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, Inc. in partnership with the Cedar Grove Missionary Baptist Association, Inc., Rev. Gloria Purcell completed the “Disciple Driven Life and Ministry Course.” Her pursuit to “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14” brought immense joy to her life and would profoundly impact those she would encounter.

Reverend Gloria Alice Hairston Purcell was proceeded in death by her husband William Cleo Purcell, her daughter, Alice Rohenna Purcell, her stepson, James Purcell, her father, Samuel Hairston, Sr., her mother, Victoria Hairston, her brother, Lawrence Minor, and two sisters, Lorine Williams, and Naomi Abbott.

Reverend Gloria Alice Hairston Purcell leaves to cherish her memories to her two daughters Felicia Purcell Fashina, Atlanta, GA, Victoria Purcell Coan (Jeffrey) Lanham, MD; two stepsons, Curtis Purcell (Lottie) Eden, NC; Edward Purcell (Norma) Eden, NC; brother, Samuel Hairston, Jr. (Dixie) High Point, NC; sisters, Nancy West (High Point), Eula Martin (Washington, DC), Brenda Williams (Greensboro, NC), five grandchildren, William Purcell (Eden, NC), Ikisha Gore (Greensboro, NC) Whittney Gore (Charlotte, NC), Jasmine Fashina (Atlanta, GA), Joshua Fashina (Atlanta, GA) and three beloved great-grandchildren, Marquez Gore, Mila Purcell, Rohen Scudder, her "adopted daughters," Donna Purcell, Debra Purcell, Margie Grant, Emily Wilson (Eden, NC), Ilkra Goss (Upper Marlboro, MD), and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Public viewing will be Friday, Aug 4, 2023; from 2 PM to 7 PM at Fulton-Walton Memorial Eden Chapel; 417 Price Street, Eden, NC 27288.

Family visitation for Reverend Gloria Alice Hairston Purcell will be Saturday, August  5, 2023; from 2 PM to 3 PM at Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church; 607 Stanton Street, Eden, NC 27288.

Funeral Services for Reverend Gloria Alice Hairston Purcell will be conducted on Saturday, August 5, 2023; at 3 PM at Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church; 607 Stanton Street, Eden, NC 27288.

Interment will follow at Hamlin Cemetery; 647 Creekridge Drive, in Eden, NC 27288.


You are invited to attend services for Reverend Gloria Alice Hairston Purcell virtually by clicking on the following link:

Reverend Gloria Alice Hairston Purcell (Funeral Services)

Should Live Streaming not be available due to certain conditions resulting from rural location with little to no Broadband connection, no WIFI signal and or little to no cellular coverage, we will record the services of your loved one in its entirety and post a link where you will be able to partake in the services within 48 hours.

All arrangements for Reverend Gloria Alice Hairston Purcell are entrusted to Fulton-Walton Memorial Chapel; 417 Price Street, Eden, NC 27288.

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August 4, 2023

2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Fulton - Walton Memorial Chapel
417 Price St.
Eden, NC 27288

August 5, 2023

2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church
607 Stanton St.
Eden, NC 27288

Funeral Service
August 5, 2023

3:00 PM
Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church
607 Stanton St.
Eden, NC 27288

Video is available for this event

Interment following funeral service
August 5, 2023

Hamlin Cemetery
647 Creekridge Drive
Eden, NC 27288


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