IPHC minister Rev. F.M. Spargo celebrates his 102nd birthday today. An ordained minister in the Cornerstone Conference, to our knowledge Rev. Spargo is the oldest living IPHC minister. His pastor, Dr. Danny Penny, from the Stanley Pentecostal Holiness Church, shares this tribute to Rev. Spargo.
Rev. Spargo and Katherine were married April 27, 1940, and they faithfully served God together for 64 years. They met at the Stanley P.H. Church when Katherine visited with her church and pastor for a special service. The acquaintance turned into a life‑long commitment of love and service. Katherine went home to be with the Lord in 2004.
Rev. Spargo was born February 5, 1917, and grew up in Stanley, North Carolina, in the house which his father built. He had five brothers and ten sisters. His father worked hard as a mechanic, house carpenter, and farmer. His mother made their home a haven for the whole family and took care of them with a multitude of things that come with a large family.
Rev. Spargo grew up in the years surrounding the Great Depression and jobs were hard to find. After high school, his uncle helped him secure a job in the textile factory and he worked there until joining the Navy. Spargo served the United States in the Second World War (1943-1945) and was part of the armed forces fighting at Okinawa at the close of the war. He served aboard the USS Keokukas, a 2nd Class Naval Petty Officer.
After his service in the Navy, Rev. Spargo entered Holmes College of the Bible in Greenville, South Carolina, and studied there from 1946-1949, graduating with a Bachelor of Theology. During his final year at Holmes, he pastored the Asheville and Pisgah View churches. He preached the morning service in Asheville, North Carolina, then traveled to the Pisgah View church to preach and minister in the afternoon, and then back to Asheville to preach in the evening service. At the end of the day, he would travel back to Holmes College of the Bible to be ready for classes the next day. Later, Rev. Spargo continued his studies at King’s Business College and blessed the churches he served with solid business principles and practices.
In 1939, he joined the Stanley Pentecostal Holiness Church, four years after it was chartered. He remembers serving the Stanley PHC in multiple capacities including trustee, teacher, and deacon. He has always loved the church, its people, its ministry, and most of all, our Lord.
Rev. Spargo was licensed as a minister in May 1947 and ordained in May 1949. He served the following churches: Asheville, and Pisgah View, Charlotte, Kannapolis, Stanley, Hurt, South Henderson, Gastonia, High Point, and both East Marion and West Marion as interim. During his years pastoring, Rev. Spargo took one year off to serve as a full‑time evangelist–sometimes holding revivals that lasted as much as eight weeks in length. He has served the Lord as a pastor for more than 30 years and has served as interim pastor many times for churches in the conference.
Rev. F.M. Spargo retired in 1979 but has continued to serve his Lord and the church. As a former pastor (1953-1956), he added to the life and vitality of Stanley PHC, adding new Sunday School rooms, as well as members to the congregation. He was also very active in the community and positioned the church to bless the entire city and surrounding area. We honor him as a treasure both to our nation and to the Stanley Pentecostal Holiness Church.