George Herbert Cummings (Herb) left this life for a better one on April 20, 2019. He was a loving family man, pastor, and counselor who influenced many people for good.
Born on April 28, 1924 in Pasadena, California, as a small child he moved with his family to Indiana, then Illinois, and finally settled on a farm in St. Francis, Kansas during the depression and dust bowl years. Herb worked the farm fields with teams of horses from the age of nine to nineteen, at which time he was drafted into the U.S. Army. While he was on a ship in the Pacific, World War II ended, then Herb served in the Korea occupation forces as a chaplain's assistant. After his tour of duty, he co-pastored a small Nazarene church in Ordway, Colorado. While there, he met Imogene (Jeanne) Inskeep of LaJunta, Colorado. They married in June, 1948. Their first child, Catherine, was born in 1949. Called to ministry, they moved to California to attend Pasadena College, and their second daughter, Beverly, was born there in 1950. After graduation, Herb planted a church in Duarte, California, constructing a church building and organizing a thriving congregation. After that, as an ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene, he served as pastor of several churches in Northern California from 1954 to 1972: Seaside, Corcoran, Ceres, Fortuna, and Fremont. He is remembered for his lively, insightful preaching (peppered with illustrations from the farm), ability to lead building programs, compassionate counseling, and music ministry along with his wife. In 1972, the Cummings moved to John Day, Oregon, to pastor the Nazarene church there. In the midst of a flourishing ministry, Herb was bereaved and widowed when his wife, Jeanne, died of cancer in 1977. Returning then to school in his fifties, Herb completed a Master's degree at Western Evangelical Seminary in Portland, Oregon. While in Portland, he was invited to preach at the Olympia, Washington, Nazarene church, where he met a young widow, Faye (Reeder) Wright. They married in 1980. For a short time they pastored the Nazarene church in Novato, California. In 1982 Herb and Faye moved to Nampa, Idaho, where he opened a private MFCC counseling office and Faye worked as a financial aid counselor at Northwest Nazarene University. In 1983 Herb completed a doctorate in counseling from Columbia Pacific University in San Rafael, California. Herb was also a published writer/author/poet. His book on marriage was released in 2002.
In his last years, he enjoyed taking walks, gardening, reading, writing, and family visits. He performed, or participated in, the wedding ceremonies of four grandchildren. He has left a legacy of work ethic, lifelong learning, others-centered joyful living, lasting faith and will be greatly missed.
Rev. Dr. Cummings is survived by his wife, Faye; a sister, Martha May of Paradise, CA; two daughters, Cathy (Larry) Lawton, Greeley, CO, and Beverly Coons, Santa Rosa, CA; two step children, Dixie (Doug) Arant, Nampa, ID, and Doug Sandstrom, Long Beach, CA; five grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Jeanne, and by three sisters, his twin Catherine Hutcheson, Carolyn Smith, and Dottie Jenkins, who were all Nazarene pastor's wives.
A Celebration of Life Service for Herb will be held at the Karcher Church of the Nazarene, 2515 W. Karcher Rd., Nampa, Idaho at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 11, 2019 with military honors by personnel from the Idaho Army National Guard. All are welcome to attend. Services are under the direction of the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel, 415 12th Ave. So. An online guest book is available at www.nampafuneralhome.com
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