Home > Our World > News > News Archives by Date > News Archive 2008 > June 2008 > News - June 2008
Funeral held for wife of Native American leader

The Rev. Sam Wynn was a delegate to the 2004 United Methodist General Conference. A UMNS file photo by Mike DuBose.

By Kathy L. Gilbert*
June 10, 2008

A funeral for Rosemary "Rose" Todd Wynn, wife of the Rev. Sam Wynn, a United Methodist pastor and Native American leader, was held June 10 at two United Methodist churches in North Carolina.

She was found unconscious in her home June 5 and died later at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center, Fayetteville, the same day.

Rosemary "Rose" Todd Wynn

Rev. Wynn, pastor of Holland's United Methodist Church in Raleigh, has been questioned in the case but is not being named a suspect, according to church officials. No charges have been filed.

According to news reports, Mrs. Wynn, 51, was attacked between 10:30 p.m. June 4 and 7 a.m. June 5. Rev. Wynn was not at home at the time of the attack. She was discovered unconscious by the couple's 10-year-old son, Christopher, and taken to the hospital. She never regained consciousness.

The Rev. Ned Hill, superintendent of the United Methodist Raleigh district, addressed members of Holland's on Sunday and asked for their prayers for the family.

"Most of you have read or viewed newspaper and television reports related to her death," Hill said. "I would remind you that whenever there is a death related to an injury there is a need to understand the circumstances of that death. Understandably, Sam, Rose’s family and all of us want to know what happened. We believe that our knowing will be an important part of our moving through our grief. And yet this time of inquiry is particularly painful for us all."

Rev. Wynn is a member of the Lumbee tribe and is on the executive committee of the Native American International Caucus of The United Methodist Church. He served as district superintendent and on numerous annual, jurisdictional and general church committees. He was endorsed by the Southeastern Jurisdiction Native American Caucus as an episcopal candidate in 2000. He served as a delegate to the 2004 United Methodist General Conference, the denomination's top lawmaking body.

Hill said Rev. Wynn has been cooperating in the investigation. At the time of her death, the couple was separated and living in different residences. Mrs. Wynn was living in Raeford, N.C. According to authorities, Rev. Wynn's home in Raleigh was searched June 6.

Bishop Alfred W. Gwinn, episcopal leader of the North Carolina area, is expected to announce Wynn's appointment as district superintendent of the Fayetteville Conference at the end of the annual conference being held June 11-14.

Bill Norton, director of communications for the North Carolina Conference, said he did not know when Wynn would resume his duties but said the congregation at Holland's was praying for him and for the Todd family.

"I know him personally," Norton said. "He's very compassionate, a very loving, caring pastor."

Funeral services were held at 11 a.m. June 10 at Holland's United Methodist Church in Raleigh and at 4 p.m. at Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church in Bladenboro. In addition to Christopher and Sam, Mrs. Wynn is survived by another son, Anthony Jackson, her mother, sisters, brothers and grandchildren.

*Gilbert is a United Methodist News Service news writer based in Nashville, Tenn.

News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

Related Articles

Former Bladen pastor a ‘person of interest’

Congregation prays for pastor questioned in wife’s death

Annual conferences put forth six candidates for bishop's post


North Carolina Annual Conference

Holland's United Methodist Church

Ask Now

This will not reach a local church, district or conference office. InfoServ* staff will answer your question, or direct it to someone who can provide information and/or resources.


*InfoServ ( about ) is a ministry of United Methodist Communications located in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. 1-800-251-8140

Not receiving a reply?
Your Spam Blocker might not recognize our email address. Add this address to your list of approved senders.

Would you like to ask any questions about this story?ASK US NOW