OBITUARY

Rev. David G. Atkinson

July 5, 1960April 7, 2021
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If you knew Rev. David Atkinson, you knew his smile, his laugh, his way of always having a story to relate to make you smile. You also knew his concern and care for others. In the words of his best friend, Rev. Sky McCracken, "David loved the church, loved God, and wanted to be the best pastor to any church he served." You knew that when David said he would pray for you or that he was thinking about you, he meant it. He touched so many lives here at Collierville United Methodist Church, as well as those during his other appointments over the years.

David was born in Jacksonville, Florida on July 5, 1960. From an early age his work ethics hone through. By the time he answered the call to be a pastor, he had proven himself to be a grounded, well-spoken man of God. From his appointment as a Wesley Foundation Campus Minister at Murray State, to his time at Benton's First in Kentucky, to his most recent appointment in 2015 at Collierville United Methodist Church, David had amassed great philosophical knowledge and oratory skill. His ability to relate stories from his past to applicable biblical teachings created a mental picture for all. He crafted a clear image of the characters and the scene, making you feel like you were there yourself. With his humble and humorous nature, many know David’s typical response to questions like, "How ya doing, David?" would be "Oh, better than I deserve." And his always common blessing was, "Be at Peace."

David and his beloved wife Susan were blessed as parents of three fine young men; Christopher, Stephen, and John Michael. His family meant the world to him. He is also survived by his sister Stephanie (Reggie) Hope, brother Patrick (Beverly) Atkinson; his aunt Patsy Linville and cousin Lori Carter. Every time he spoke of Susan and the boys, he would get this twinkle in his eye and a wide smile would light up his face with joy. You could see that this great pride in his family extended to his congregational family and friends as well. As Sky McCracken said, "if he liked you, he loved you," which was seen and felt in the warmth in which David greeted others. David was a magnanimous presence and had an immense delight for life and Christ. Beverly Crossnoe, David's administrative assistant and friend, recalls that if you didn't appreciate the hymns sung with gusto, don't stand beside David!"

A gathering for family and friends will be held on Monday, April 12th from noon until the memorial service begins at two o'clock in the afternoon at Collierville United Methodist Church, 454 W. Poplar Avenue, Collierville, TN 38017.

David will be greatly missed here at Collierville United Methodist Church and by all those lives he touched in all areas. Bishop Bill McAlilly stated that, "It was my humble privilege to serve alongside David. I grieve this great loss to the people called Methodists, and celebrate his life and his legacy.” That legacy at CUMC and everywhere he served is one of following the Great Commission to transform lives by extending God's love to all. We are greatly saddened by his passing, but we know, that if he were here, he would be telling us to "Be at Peace.”

  • FAMILY

  • Susan Atkinson, Wife
  • Christopher Atkinson, Son
  • Stephen Atkinson, Son
  • John Michael Atkinson, Son
  • Stephanie (Reggie) Hope, Sister
  • Patrick (Beverly) Atkinson, Brother
  • Patsy Linville, Aunt
  • Lori Carter, Cousin

Services

  • Visitation

    Monday, April 12, 2021

  • Memorial Service

    Monday, April 12, 2021

    VIEW VIDEO

Memories

Rev. David G. Atkinson

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Laurie & Jeff Jackson

April 13, 2021

Rev. Atkinson will always hold a special place in our hearts. We first met with him 4 years ago when we lost my father-in-law, and he conducted the service. Like I have heard so many people say, he made a special connection when he found something in common with us since they both were from Halls, TN. Then in January, we lost my mother-in-law, and her minister became ill just two days before her service. I called Rev. Atkinson, and he immediately dropped everything to conduct the service. I wish I had spoken to him and thanked him for everything he has done for our family the last time I saw him at my uncle Jack’s funeral in February. We will truly miss his wonderful presence and sermons, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Love,
Laurie & Jeff Jackson

Christopher Atkinson

April 11, 2021

The hardest working man I've knew and one of the most loving and caring person that I have ever known I knew him as dad and my best friend ever one else David Glenn Atkinson or bro David or pastor. I will miss him more than you could ever imagine love you dad just keep an eye on me from the mountains top and keep on telling me that I am going to get through this and I will see you soon as he always said "be at peace " and my God bless you and keep until we meet again in the loving arms of the farther the son and the holy ghost.

Love you dad

JD Peeples

April 11, 2021

Collierville United Methodist Church has long had a Mission Statement: “To Know Christ and to make him known.” Though we had a mission statement, we did not have a Vision statement. I was on our first Spiritual Leadership (SLI) Team with Reverend David and we had the task to put one together. We came up with “Reaching out to transform lives by extending God’s love to all". I was always taught that less is more and I didn't really think it needed the "to all" on the end, for after all isn't understood when you extend God's love it is to all? So I advocated to drop it, but David insisted we keep it in. He was right and I am glad we left it in.

David was a great listener, preacher, and had wonderful sense of humor combined with the best laugh.

He pretty much left every conversation with "Be at Piece". At first I didn't get it and thought it was just a preacher thing. But the more he did it the more it sunk in and I grew to appreciate it. I learned to examine my own point of view and question my stance - is it one that I am at peace with?!

Rest in Peace Pastor David takes on a special meaning for one who always wanted everyone to Be at Peace.

Sandy Page

April 10, 2021

Pastor was such a great man, Pastor, leader and friend. No matter if you saw him at Church, Walmart or Waffle House he always had a smile and a hug. He was my rock when my granddaughter passed away. He was driving to Florida but he stayed on the phone with me for hours. He helped me find the strength I needed to support my youngest son as he buried his daughter. He married my oldest son and daughter in law. I loved his sermons. He always preached with his heart and soul. He was a wonderful teacher. He loved a good joke and he had his mischievous side too. Pastor David, thank you so much for all you have given to me and my family. Rest in Peace dear friend. Hugs to Susan and your boys.

Donniella Sullivan

April 10, 2021

Dear Susan and boys,
I am so very sorry for your loss. Please know you're all in my thoughts and prayers.
Much love to you all.

Erin Bakken

April 10, 2021

Dear Susan and family,

Although I only had the privilege of serving with David since September of 2019, he left a lasting impression. I often would joke with him or we would banter back and forth picking on each other. He ALWAYS knew how to make me laugh or catch me off guard. We worked together on many things for CUMC. I’ll never forget trying to get him to dance during one of the videos we did! His smile, humble nature, fantastic memory, among many other traits, spoke of his heart and care for others. I will miss him greatly and will never forget that belly laugh of his.

With peace,
Erin

Stacey Bradley

April 10, 2021

Writing about Brother David’s influence on those he met is not possible within the confines of this space. I cried the day he moved on from Benton, I cried the morning he passed when Chris called to let me know. He would not want us to cry, but to lift each other up. I had the pleasure to work with his boys through our school system. Watching him cheer at soccer matches, basketball games, track meets, and attend meetings at school, always brought me closer to God. He would however voice his opinions at ball games with an earned father’s voice. Many of us enjoyed privileged moments working for others on mission trips, Great Commission Day, or other church events, and always gave us a chance to see David’s services to others. When my sister passed away, he drove to Chattanooga so I could lean on him. He visited my father in law in Memphis in the hospital, Kim when she went through breast cancer treatments. He did this for many, many people. He was simply everywhere all the time, and I can see him sitting here beside me now, with his trademark big smile and white beard. I know that the big man will be missed here on Earth, but that he is resting high on that mountain. He was most humble (umble), quick to deflect praise to others, and simply the best human being one could meet. We love you friend.

Joe Thorn

April 10, 2021

David and I, a long with Susan were appointment neighbors from 2004-2015. Our parish lines were blurred , so we conducted funerals together and especially worked closely together in our County’s Cooperative Ministry . I cherished the time we served together . I enjoyed David’s personality and sense of humor and how his comedic, sarcastic timing could in and make a difference at strategic times that would arrive in conversations and meetings . I laughed every time we got together , if not but for a short time . When I was in his presence I could be at peace . My prayers and kindness to Susan and his sons, his siblings and the Conference ( and beyond) of people he touched.
Rev. Joe Thorn

Debbie Ward Rushing

April 9, 2021

I feel so honored to have had David as a classmate at Halls High School. Knowing him was truly a blessing. He would always be there to help anyone he could. He will be missed by the class of 1978. Prayers for his family.

Dotti Hicks

April 9, 2021

Susan and family.. I am so sorry to hear of David's death. Robin joins me in sending love and prayers to you and the family. May your wonderful memories of your life together bring comfort and peace during the difficult days ahead.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

If you knew Rev. David Atkinson, you knew his smile, his laugh, his way of always having a story to relate to make you smile. You also knew his concern and care for others. In the words of his best friend, Rev. Sky McCracken, "David loved the church, loved God, and wanted to be the best pastor to any church he served." You knew that when David said he would pray for you or that he was thinking about you, he meant it. He touched so many lives here at Collierville United Methodist Church, as well as those during his other appointments over the years.

David was born in Jacksonville, Florida on July 5, 1960. From an early age his work ethics hone through. By the time he answered the call to be a pastor, he had proven himself to be a grounded, well-spoken man of God. From his appointment as a Wesley Foundation Campus Minister at Murray State, to his time at Benton's First in Kentucky, to his most recent appointment in 2015 at Collierville United Methodist Church, David had amassed great philosophical knowledge and oratory skill. His ability to relate stories from his past to applicable biblical teachings created a mental picture for all. He crafted a clear image of the characters and the scene, making you feel like you were there yourself. With his humble and humorous nature, many know David’s typical response to questions like, "How ya doing, David?" would be "Oh, better than I deserve." And his always common blessing was, "Be at Peace."

David and his beloved wife Susan were blessed as parents of three fine young men; Christopher, Stephen, and John Michael. His family meant the world to him. He is also survived by his sister Stephanie (Reggie) Hope, brother Patrick (Beverly) Atkinson; his aunt Patsy Linville and cousin Lori Carter. Every time he spoke of Susan and the boys, he would get this twinkle in his eye and a wide smile would light up his face with joy. You could see that this great pride in his family extended to his congregational family and friends as well. As Sky McCracken said, "if he liked you, he loved you," which was seen and felt in the warmth in which David greeted others. David was a magnanimous presence and had an immense delight for life and Christ. Beverly Crossnoe, David's administrative assistant and friend, recalls that if you didn't appreciate the hymns sung with gusto, don't stand beside David!"

A gathering for family and friends will be held on Monday, April 12th from noon until the memorial service begins at two o'clock in the afternoon at Collierville United Methodist Church, 454 W. Poplar Avenue, Collierville, TN 38017.

David will be greatly missed here at Collierville United Methodist Church and by all those lives he touched in all areas. Bishop Bill McAlilly stated that, "It was my humble privilege to serve alongside David. I grieve this great loss to the people called Methodists, and celebrate his life and his legacy.” That legacy at CUMC and everywhere he served is one of following the Great Commission to transform lives by extending God's love to all. We are greatly saddened by his passing, but we know, that if he were here, he would be telling us to "Be at Peace.”