Grady L. Fannin


(Mar. 3, 2008)

Pastor and evangelist Grady L. Fannin, 97, died Monday, March 3 at Bonnie Bluejacket Nursing Home in Basin.

He was born Aug. 13, 1910, in Cottle County, Texas, one of seven children born to Ozell and Jess Fannin. In 1932, he graduated from Bible school and married Lucile Hall.

Grady pastored his first church at the age of 22 in Brawley, Calif. After pastoring several churches in southern California, he moved his family to New England in 1947. There, he pastored two churches before becoming superintendent over churches in the six New England states in 1953.

In 1959, he was voted in as one of eight non-resident executives serving on the governing board of the Assemblies of God to represent the northeastern United States. In 1961, he resigned these positions to join teen Challenge, an organization established to help drug addicts and youths in trouble by introducing them to the Savior.

In 1962, he was asked to go to Chicago to direct the second Teen Challenge Center opened in the United States. During his term in Chicago, Grady was invited to be the guest speaker at the Peruvian Assembly of God Convention where Lucile’s brother was a missionary.

In 1967, he was asked to take over as director of the San Francisco Teen Challenge. In 1967, the work there was established, and he felt it was time to let someone else take over. He then went on the field for Dave Wilkerson, the founder of Teen Challenge, as his associate evangelist. By 1975, the couple knew it was time to retire, but Grady managed to be relatively active for several more years.

This is the 50th anniversary year of Teen Challenge which has now spread around the world.

He is survived by his daughters, Elaine Merz of Meeteetse and Gwen Fannin of Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.; one sister, Nita Wimberly of Bakersfield, Calif.; eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

A celebration/memorial service is set at the Community Church in Meeteetse at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 15. Private interment was in Meeteetse Cemetery with arrangements by Ballard Funeral Home.