Bishop Elmo W. Woodbury, Sr., of Norfolk, Va., entered eternal rest on Saturday, February 6 2021, as he transitioned peacefully in his home, he was surrounded by his loved ones, family and extended family.
He was predeceased by his parents Mary A. Woodbury-Brooks, Fred Woodbury, and uncle, Thomas Flowers, brothers, Fred, Raymond, James, and William, sisters, Corine, Pearl, Ida and a surviving sister, Mary G. Jackson. He is survived by his devoted wife of 66 years, Lelia M. Woodbury; four daughters, Rene Y. Potts (Daryl), Shelia R. Butler (Eric), Jacquelyn Y. Woodbury and Lorraine Lett- Brown, Leon A. Woodbury, Sr. (Diana), Elmo W. Woodbury, Jr. (Margaret) , seven granddaughters, nine grandsons; and twenty six great grand children.
Bishop Woodbury was the presiding bishop of the The Refuge Assemblies of Yahweh from 1970 - 2003 . His years in ministry spanned over six decades. He served as senior pastor at the The Refuge Assembly of Yahweh which he founded and is located at 2808 Granby Street in Norfolk, VA. In 1951 young Elmo Woodbury, Sr. received the gift of the holy spirit in Littleton N.C and later moved to Richmond, VA. where he stayed with his very first pastor at that time the late Bishop Roscoe Hunt and his wife Sis. Lucy Hunt. He went into the ministry in 1952 at the age of 19 years old with a burning desire to minister and destined to become a born evangelist. He met the love of his life Lelia M. Simms, in the spring of 1954 and they married on October 2, 1954. In 1955 his ministry of evangelism was born through meeting the late Robert Terry and Lucy Terry of Manson N.C. It was through this relationship that a work was started in Manson N.C. by Bishop Woodbury. During that year of 1955-56 over forty souls were baptized in a creek, many souls were saved under that ministry. Bishop Woodbury held services in an old tobacco strip house. His love for Yahweh's word was certainly evident as he would often carry as many as ten to twelve people in his car headed to Manson, N.C to have service on Saturday night. He held house services in King William county at the homes of various relatives and friends where he proudly said, often that he was tarrying with his beloved niece, Joyce Gaston when she received the holy spirit at six years old. He was so proud of that moment in his ministry. The late 1950's and early 60's were years that the imprint of his evangelist gifts were manifested as he held revivals and preached up down the east coast in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, New York, Philadelphia, and Alabama. Almighty Yahweh moved upon his heart to start a work in Norfolk, VA. He started driving down to Norfolk, Va., in the mid 1960's to start an assembly. He met with many set backs and obstacles along the way. After his first attempt to establish a work in Norfolk, VA he left and returned back to Richmond, Va. Like Yeremiyah, a fire burned, shut up in his heart for Norfolk, VA and he returned in 1966 to start again, driving for over three years back and fourth from Richmond, VA to Norfolk, Va with his wife and family. In 1970 he moved his family from Richmond, VA to Norfolk, VA to established what is today The Refuge Assembly of Yahweh Yahshua the Messiah. While as pastor at Refuge Assembly of Yahweh he was still not finished with spreading the glad tidings of Yahweh. He is also responsible for starting works in Manson N.C, Elizabeth City N.C, Ahoskie N.C, New York, and Richmond, Va. A life of service to Yahweh "What A Labor Of Love"
The Funeral Service will be livestreamed at 11:00 on Keith Matthews Funeral Home Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/keithmatthewsfuneralhome/
The Woodbury family is requesting that in lieu of flowers that a donation be made in Memory of Bishop E. W. Woodbury, Sr.
To the Leukemia $ Lymphoma Society. The link is listed below. The link will asked if the donor wish to forward an acknowledgement card, which can be sent to 6360 Sedgefield Drive Norfolk, Va. 23513.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Bishop Elmo W. Woodbury, Sr., please visit our floral store.