Rev. Tony Spencer

Rev. Tony Spencer

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Reverend James Anthony Spencer, age 67, of Forest City died Saturday, February 11, 2023, at Hospice of the Carolina Foothills.

Tony, as he was known to family and friends, was born on July 11, 1955, in Greenville County, South Carolina and was a son of the late Charles Alton Spencer and Ophelia Bradley Spencer. Growing up in Taylors, he was a member of Fairview Baptist Church and a graduate of Greer High School. Tony went on to further his education and earned degrees at North Greenville Junior College, Carson-Newman College and finally at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Tony became the Minister of Music at the First Baptist Church in 1982 and remained there his entire ministry until his retirement in 2020. His tenure spanned nearly 40 years. He was truly dedicated to the ministry, the members and the mission of the First Baptist Church and its role in the community.

He was an active member of the ACDA (American Choral Directors Association) and served in numerous leadership positions both at the state and Southern Division levels. He was co-founder of the Cheerful Voices Choir and served as the Director of the Rutherford Community Chorus. Tony also served as a choral clinician at the North Carolina Baptist Assembly over the course of 20 years. He was an active participant in the North Carolina Handbell and Choral festivals, and active member of the Southern Appalachian Chamber Singers. He served as an adjunct professor and mentor at Gardner-Webb University.

Through community involvement and outreach, Tony was involved in many community projects, lending his time and talents wherever he could.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Michael Bradley Spencer.

Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Becky Stroud Spencer; his son, Charles Spencer, and girlfriend, Rachel Szymanski both of Charlotte; his daughter, Meredith Spencer Frees, and husband Nick of Bradenton, Florida; his grandson, Brooks Anthony Frees, and his granddaughter, Eliza Ann Frees; his mother-in-law, Doris Stroud of Shelby; his sister-in-law, Patricia Spencer of Greenville, South Carolina; and his niece, Melinda Spencer of Taylors, South Carolina.

A service of Resurrection and Thanksgiving will be held at 2 o’clock on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, in the First Baptist Church of Forest City. The Reverend Dr. Garin Hill, Reverend Clyde V. Buckner, and Reverend Dr. Diane Nelson will officiate. The family will receive friends following the service in the Family Life Center.

The family respectfully request that memorials in his memory be made to the First Baptist Church, 211 West Main Street, Forest City, North Carolina 28043.

The Padgett and King Mortuary & Crematory is in charge of the arrangements and an online guest registry is available at

The Greer Citizen

317 Trade Street Greer, SC 29651

Phone: 1-864-877-2076

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