Theodore Bye McEachern

April 25, 1928May 17, 2020

Theodore (Ted) Bye McEachern passed away at age 92 on May 17, 2020. He was the son of Furman E. McEachern and Sarah Kirk Bye and was born in Great Falls, S.C. on April 25, 1928. He married Lucille Woodley Shingler on Nov. 19, 1954. Ted was the youngest of six children and was given the honorific of ‘Buddy’ by his father and was known as such by all until he and the family relocated to Nashville, TN where he and his wife Woodley raised four children of their own. He spent his early years in Chester and Fairfield counties, S.C. before moving to Columbia in 1945 where he matriculated at the University of South Carolina supporting himself using his artistic flair as the Director of Display at the Davison Department store on Main St. His interest in philosophy, psychology and curiosity about theology eventually led him to earn a Master of Divinity degree at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. Ted was a loving husband and a wise and temperate father managing with great empathy and skill the raising of a daughter and three sons. His deep empathy with and understanding of others was the essence of his service to his family and to the broader church community. His lifelong passions were the pursuit of social justice and civil rights. Ted was ordained as a minister of the Methodist Church in 1954 and served as Associate Minister at Bethel United Methodist Church, Charleston, S.C. and then as Pastor of Edgewood United Methodist Church, Columbia, S.C. He was the Director of Youth Work, South Carolina Methodist Board of Education, Columbia, S.C. from 1954 to 1958. He developed the Asbury Hills Methodist Camp near Cleveland, S.C. In 1959 he moved to Nashville, TN where he was on the staff of General Board of Education of the Methodist Church until 1967. From 1968 to retirement in 1995 he was the Executive Director of The Association for Christian Training and Service (ACTS), a ministry supported by fourteen denominations assisting churches supporting personal and community needs within the ten southeastern states through consultation, training, planning, research and evaluation. He was a member of Edgehill UMC and has served with the congregation in many capacities over the last five decades. He regularly met with members of his community in support and bible study over the past fifty years that included many of his ‘preacher friends.’ During his career he acted in various other capacities: Chairmanship of the Commission on Ecumenical Voluntary Service; International Executive Committee of the International Christian Youth Exchange; Advisor to the World Council of Churches, Uppsala, Sweden; Executive officer of the Action Training Coalition in the U.S.; member of Kappa Sigma Honorary Service Fraternity and Phi Kappa Sigma Social Fraternity. He authored the book Being There for Others and numerous monographs. Ted was an accomplished baritone singer, a self-taught carpenter and furniture maker, a photographer, and a close reader of southern literature with a particular fascination in William Faulkner’s work. He was preceded in death by siblings Elizabeth Harkey, Emily Fincher, Furman E. McEachern, Mary McEachern, and Clarence L. McEachern. Survivors are his spouse of 65 years Woodley Shingler McEachern, and children Kathryn McEachern (Edward Demmond) of Ojai, CA; Edward McEachern (Harmony Schroeder) of Boise, ID; Kirk McEachern (Phyllis Hockett) of Fernandina Beach, FL; and Bruce McEachern (Laura) of Nashville, TN. His grandchildren are Carson Demmond, Connell Demmond, Bevan Schroeder, Jackson McEachern, William McEachern and Sophie McEachern. He also is survived by many nieces and nephews. A recorded video memorial service will go live on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 21, 2020; please find the link to the video at the Edgehill United Methodist Church web site: Ted will be inurned in a columbarium at Elmwood Cemetery in Columbia, S.C. Please share your stories and memories on this webpage for all to read.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Theodore Bye McEachern

have a memory or condolence to add?

Judy Beisswenger

June 1, 2020

Although my friendship with Ted was relatively recent, Don and the Beissenger children had a long time connection. Don always looked forward to the Friday gatherings of the retired ministers. They worked together on many projects at Edgehill. Ted and Don both had ifentical red and blue checked shirts and often wore them on the same Sundays. Even after Don passed away, Ted still wore his every Sunday! This was another example of his ongoing blessing. Peace.

Jim Zralek

May 31, 2020

Ted was the essence of "gentleman" with the accent on "gentle."
I met him in 1968 when he, Bill Barnes, my wife Linda, Bob Golter, Don Beissweinger, and several others had formed a group of religious leaders to study who would be the best choice for directer of Metro Public Schools.
He dealt very bravely with his ailments toward the end of his life
with help of his wonderful wife,Woodley. I am proud to have been a friend.
Jim Zralek

Phil Michal Thomas

May 31, 2020

I have had the honor of knowing Ted for at least a quarter of a century while attending Edgehill UMC. Whenever we would cross paths, he would always meet me with a warm sincere and compassionate smile. I didn't have to question him about his faith because his actions spoke louder than any words would have. I am blessed to have known him.

Paul Slentz

May 31, 2020

The very first time I met Ted was at the wedding reception for a very young John Lozier and Jossi Lemaire. Will Campbell led the ceremony which was held in Benton Chapel at Vanderbilt Divinity School. At the reception afterwards, Ted, who I had never seen before, came up to me with a big Ted smile and said “Who are you and why should I want to get to know you?” To be perfectly honest, I was terribly shy at the time and a little taken aback. I think I mumbled something about working on peace issues with Jossi through the Clergy and Laity Concerned organization where she was working with Carol Feeney before I shuffled away. But that was so Ted -- very friendly, very outgoing, and ready to make acquaintance with a bushy-bearded, long-haired peacenik twenty-five years younger than him. Over the years since, I got to know Ted and the whole family and am so grateful for his and their lives. God's peace surround you all!

Teree Campbelle McCormick

May 30, 2020

My heart and prayers are with you. I wish you Peace and God's Healing.
It's a given that some of my fondest memories are of my EUMC Youth Group days; but what I don't express often enough is the love, wisdom and the embracing courage of the families...the parents that were members. EUMC was founded on the sacred principle that God's Love is meant for all and its congregation enmeshed itself in the philosophy and the act of standing in the gap. Ted and Woodley, embodied that very sentiment and were always "present" in all the moments that I had the pure luck to speak to and with them, which weren't nearly enough. Those moments I hold dear as they always felt comfortable, familiar, and welcoming. Ted's quiet wisdom and humor always reminded me of my Dad. I am grateful for his life.
Woodley, Kathryn, Edward, Kirk, and Bruce - thank you for being a family of love and kindness.

Butch Durst

May 30, 2020

Dear Woodley, please accept Mimi's and mine heartfelt sympathies. What a wonderful and caring person Ted was. He now joins the rest of the other saints from Edgehill: Bill, Leo, Fred, Roy and others. What a wonderful career and family he had. We wish we could give you a hug. Our Love
Butch and Mimi

Garlinda Burton

May 30, 2020

Woodley and family, Ted was a lovely person whose spirit and energy were matched only by that of his loving partner. Please know that I am sharing your grief, even as we celebrate Ted's earthly life and, now, his life among the Saints! Garlinda

Steven Barefield

May 27, 2020

Reading through the rich and wonderful memories that people are sharing, hope another impactful way in which Tad was involved in our lives. It was early in 1970. Ted, among the very many things he seem to always be involved in, was a local representative or leader for high school exchange program, perhaps ICYE? He had placed a German student, Georg, with the Whites, who had a daughter, Teresa, in my class as well. That Winter, the stage production of _Hair_ came to Nashville. Georg and his girlfriend, Mary Ida Mitchell, went, over the objections of Georg’s host parents, the Whites. When the Whites found out, they contacted Ted and said that they could not tolerate such and silence and that your work would need to be relocated. That day, as I recall. Thankfully for us, Ted reached out to my parents, Sam and Mary now, and it was decided that we would have Georg stay with us through the end of the school year until his return to Germany. I would probably have slipped through my childhood and teen years without ever having had an international “brother”, except for this. And to make matters even better, he made a great French tutor!

Georg, who had since become one of the leading neuro-surgeons on Switzerland, attended an international Neurolgy-surgery symposium at Vanderbilt some 30 years later. He found my parents in the phone book (phone book - ha!), called them up and insisted on taking them to dinner to thank them for “rescuing” him.

Thank you, Ted, for the opportunity!

Steven Barefield

May 27, 2020

Barefields and McEacherns shared an interwoven life at church, school, and neighborhood through most of our years growing up. One story that sticks with me has to do with an event that occurred with the youth group, that eventually was lost inside of my memory for 35 years! It must’ve been about 1969, give or take a year, and the parents of the youth group got together and decided to host a collective sex education workshop At Vanderbilt. It was a frank look at humans as sexual beings. Nothing about morality, (other than trust trust and caring). It presented interviews with and images of all sorts of combinations of people engaged in sex and talking about it from a holistic standPoint, in ways that we would otherwise never have been able to hear dispassionate discussion to help us form our own opinions and grow into our own best selves.
Funny thing is I forgot all about that until about 15 years ago. In my role as a youth development trainer with the local juvenile welfare board, I’d been asked to develop competency training examining cultural biases around non-hetero-normative relationships. I found a workshop being offered that I thought might be helpful, and attended a Train the Trainer seminar. About three hours into that workshop, I realized the images I was seeing were images that I had seen somewhere before. It all came flooding back to me as I saw more and more of the distantly familiar images.

The impact of that initial opportunity, back in Nashville, seems to have led me full circle back to becoming trained in presenting that same workshop. I have to think that the collective parenting that went on among our folks has similarly impacted all of us in ways we may not even always appreciate!

May peace be with you, Woodley, Kathryn, Edward, Kirk and Bruce.

Liza Ramage

May 26, 2020

I'm so glad to have known Ted, he was an irreplaceable spirit.
I was never quite sure what Ted's job was. I knew he was an ordained United Methodist pastor, that he did not pastor a church, and that he did important work... My confusion notwithstanding, Ted was a pillar of Edgehill United Methodist Church - a church with a big heart that welcomes everyone, finding endless ways to advance social justice in this world. I believe that "justice for all" was an organizing principal of Ted's life, and he always pursued it with a calm spirit and a smile. We will miss him.


Learn more about the McEachern name