Rev. Herbert Noe: Led church 50 years

March 16, 2004


One month after the church he led for half a century burned down, the Rev. Herbert H. Noe died of prostate cancer at his Brighton home. He died Sunday and was 86.

The Stanleyville, Ohio, native moved to Pontiac in 1952. Two years later, he relocated to Livonia, when he accepted a job as the pastor of Galilean Baptist Church. Last year, he moved to Brighton.

Raised a Methodist, he told others he was spiritually saved when he was in a tuberculosis sanitarium for five years. His illness -- which crippled his right leg and prevented him from serving as a foreign missionary later in life -- was discovered when he was 17 during a routine physical.

When Rev. Noe was discharged at age 22, he went to Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C., to finish high school. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1945 and a master's in 1952. He earned his doctorate of divinity from Midwestern Baptist College in Pontiac and was ordained at nearby Emmanuel Baptist Church.

Last year, Rev. Noe stepped down as Galilean Baptist's senior pastor and accepted an honorary position. His son, Dan Noe, is assistant pastor and must help shepherd the 150-member congregation as it recovers from the Feb. 16 fire that destroyed the church sanctuary.

"My father was never one to complain," Dan Noe said. "He never complained about his health, never complained about his family. He loved people."

In addition to his son, Rev. Noe is survived by his wife of 56 years, the former Mae Rust; two daughters, Neva Huff and Cheryl Trundy, and 14 grandchildren.

Visitation is 1-9 p.m. today and Wednesday at Manns-Ferguson Funeral Home, 17000 Middlebelt, Livonia, and noon to 1 p.m. Thursday at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 645 S. Telegraph, Pontiac. The funeral will begin at 1 p.m. Interment will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Parkview Memorial Cemetery, Livonia.

Memorial contributions may be sent to Galilean Baptist Church, 28875 Seven Mile, Livonia 48152.

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