Reverend Jerry Van McGhee MDiv

September 29, 1937March 5, 2019

Rev. Jerry Van McGhee, Pastor of Sun Lakes Community Church, Sun Lakes, AZ, joined his Heavenly Father on March 5, 2019, surrounded by his family. He touched the lives of many while on this earth and he will be sorely missed by his family and many friends here and across the world. Jerry was born in Chicago, IL on September 29, 1937 to Bevie and Chester McGhee who preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Ernestine, his three children, Cathy McGhee, Mike McGhee (Shari), and Crystal Bashaw (Paul); six grandchildren, Stephanie Robnett (Brian), Courtney Orban (Travis), Shaylin, Cody and Chance McGhee, Julia Bashaw; as well as six great-grandchildren (Brice, Paris, Gracie, Fiona, Hannah, Kevin). Jerry is also survived by his sister, Sue Whittaker (Jerry) of Scottsdale, AZ, and brother, Ed McGhee of Cleveland TN. Jerry graduated from Lee College, Cleveland, TN in 1967 and earned his Master’s Degree from California Graduate School of Theology in Glendale, CA. He served 50 years as Pastor of churches in Noblesville, IN, Norwood, OH, Richmond, VA, Phoenix, AZ, Chandler, AZ, (22 yrs.) and most recently in Sun Lakes, AZ. While pastoring in Chandler, Jerry also taught classes on two occasions in Russia for Campus Crusade International Leadership Academies, and ministered in the villages of Romania on two separate occasions. Jerry served four years with the City of Chandler as a council member (1984-88); two as Vice-mayor. In 2003 he retired from pastoring the Sun Lakes Community Church in Sun Lakes, AZ and joined a volunteer ministry called SOWERS (ServantsOnWheelsEverReadytoServe), serving 6 yrs. as President. After 13 yrs. of volunteer work, he returned to pastoring the Sun Lakes Community Church for the 2nd time for almost 4 yrs. before passing away on March 5th.

A memorial service and celebration of his life will be held at the Sun Lakes Community Church, 9240 E. Sun Lakes Blvd. N., Sun Lakes, AZ 85248, at 2:00 on March 16th. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the church for the "Water Well Project" in Sierra Leon.


  • Celebration of Life Saturday, March 16, 2019
  • Reception Saturday, March 16, 2019

Reverend Jerry Van McGhee MDiv

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Shari Barrett

March 8, 2019

The thoughts of Jerry are flashing through my mind continually as he was my "favorite father-in-law". I always admired his willingness to help wherever he could from being on his hands and knees helping us install a paver driveway to something simple as hanging a towel bar. Jerry WANTED to help.

He held a deep sense of love and genuine concern for people all over the world to know the Lord. In fact, one of his greatest joys this past year was to see two of his longtime friends come to know Jesus. It is clear to me that he was the rock and guiding light of this family. It is because of his prayers, teachings, and most of all, his undying love of our Savior, that his children and grandchildren know the Lord. Although we are all saddened by his passing, we still have to smile and know that he is the lucky one. He is the one that sees Jesus face to face.

Shari McGhee, "favorite daughter-in-law"

Marlene Anderson

March 7, 2019

I am saddened by the loss of a wonderful man of God, friend, and human being. Pastor Jerry had the most beautiful blend of Godliness, compassion, wisdom, patriotism, and humor. Although he will be missed, he has been welcomed by heaven, including my mom and dad (Elston and Wilma Dibble). Condolences to his family at this difficult time. We will always miss and love you Pastor. Thank you for always being there for our family.