Pastor Jimmie Lee Varney, 74, entered heaven on Friday, February 17th, 2023. He was born on July 7th, 1948, in Williamson, West Virginia. His parents were Raymond Love and Carrie Elizabeth Williamson Varney. He had one brother, Gideon D Varney.
He joined the Navy in 1966 and served on the USS Kitty Hawk until 1970 as First Gunner’s Mate, Petty Officer E4. He was a Vietnam War Veteran and earned multiple commendations from the Navy. After returning from Vietnam, he met his beloved wife, Debra Kay and they moved from Seattle, Washington to Huntington, WV. There, they began their family and had two sons, Michael Lee Varney, and Carl David Varney.
In 1973, Jimmie and Debra were saved by the Grace of Jesus at Good Shepherd FWB Church. In the year that followed, Jimmie was called to preach, and became an ordained minister. The first church he pastored was Camp Creek FWB Church in Lavalette, WV where he pastored for many years. He would also pastor McCorkle, and Thomas Memorial FWB churches. He was the Moderator for the State of WV FWB Association for 8 years. Jimmie became the manager of the Beckley, WV division of Mountaineer Gas Company, and would retire there. Soon after his retirement Jim and Debbie moved to Grayson, KY where he became the pastor of Grayson Free Will Baptist Church. He retired from pastoring for a few years to move to Manchester, KY to be closer to his youngest son Carl and his grandchildren. During that time, he assisted several pastors by preaching, and volunteered at Chad’s Hope. Just this past October (2022), Jimmie and Debra were called back to the special fellowship and friends at Grayson FWB Church. Shortly after, Jimmie became ill. During his illness, the outpouring of love and help from the church, and the community of Grayson was an amazing example of the love of Christ. Throughout his 49 years of ministry, Jimmie Varney preached countless revivals, and helped too many churches and pastors to list. He was blessed to share the gospel, and see many people accept Jesus Christ as their savior.
Not only did Jimmie serve in the churches, but he also served in the community of Grayson through “Enough” and “Lifeline”, where he and Debbie and several other volunteers helped many people and their families overcome the challenges of drug addiction. He valued relationships and was able to meet needs and minister because of his ability to love others in this way.
Jimmie was preceded in death by his father and mother, Raymond and Carrie Varney and his brother, Gideon Varney. He is survived by his wife, Debra Varney and his sons, Michael (Cindy) and Carl (Amanda). Jimmie has four grandsons-Mikey, Gideon, Paul, and Silas. He was also blessed with two step-grandsons Aaron (Kim) McClung and Eric McClung. Jimmie has six step-great grandchildren-Caleb, Carson, Cameron, Christian, Cole, and Caroline McClung.
Funeral services will be held 12 noon, Thursday, February 23, 2023 at the Grayson Freewill Baptist Church, Grayson, Kentucky with Brother Kyle Burchett, Brother Tommy Blake, and Brother Larry Sanders. Burial will follow in the Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Northeast. Military honors will be conducted at the Graveside by the Kenova American Legion Post 93.
Friends may visit after 10 a.m. Thursday, February 23, 2023 and until the service hour at the Grayson Freewill Baptist Church, Grayson, Kentucky.
Grayson Funeral Home and Cremation Services are caring for of all arrangements for Pastor Jimmie Lee Varney.