Dr. H. Vinson Synan
December 1, 1934 – March 15, 2020
NOTICE For those wondering, the visitation scheduled for Thursday, March 19, WILL take place. In honor of the precautions and mandates that local and national leaders have put in place, visitation will be limited to small groups at a time. The family will meet and greet visitors and assist in taking small groups into the visitation room. Thank you for assisting us in honoring the Synan family during this sensitive time for both their family and our nation.
OBITUARY DR. H. VINSON SYNAN December 1, 1934 – March 15, 2020
Dr. Vinson Synan of Edmond, OK was born December 1, 1934 in Hopewell, Virginia. He is the son of Bishop Joseph Alexander Synan and Minnis Evelyn Perdue Synan. He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Joseph Alexander Synan, Jr., Maurice Edwin Synan, Ronald Kay Synan, sister Doris Jean Elliott, his twin brother, Hubert Vernon Synan, and granddaughter, Rebecca Marie Synan. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Carol Lee Fuqua Synan, of Edmond, OK, daughter Mary Carol Clark (Curt) of Falcon, NC, daughter Virginia Lee Taylor (J. Mark) of Edmond, OK, son Harold Vinson Synan, Jr. (Laura) of Edmond, OK, son Joseph Alexander Synan III (Ashley) of Piedmont, OK, and his eldest sister, Maurine Synan Gminder, of Salisbury, NC. He is also survived by his eight grandchildren, Lauren Ashley Smith (Brien), Victoria Elizabeth Ward (Jordan), Justin Thomas Clark (Mary Catherine), Lilly Cait Synan, Preston Alexander Synan (Maddie), Priscilla Jo Synan, Chad Anthony Synan, and Amelia Elise Synan, and seven great grandchildren.
Though he was an author, pastor, educator, and historian with a widespread global influence, his favorite titles were Husband, Dad, Granddaddy, and Great Granddaddy.
Vinson earned a B.A. in History from the University of Richmond, and both an M.A. and Ph.D. in History from the University of Georgia. He was the author of twenty-five published books – many of which have been college and university textbooks for years.
Early in his career, he served as pastor of four churches in Virginia and Georgia. After teaching at Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, GA for thirteen years, the family moved to Oklahoma City, where he served at the General Headquarters of the Pentecostal Holiness Church as the General Secretary, Assistant General Superintendant, and Director of Evangelism.
In 1970, Vinson co-founded and was the first President of the Society for Pentecostal Studies, which became an international organization with thousands of members. SPS celebrated its 50th Anniversary this year.
After serving as interim president of Southwestern College (now Southwestern Christian University) in Bethany, OK, and a professor of Pentecostal/Charismatic History and Director of the Holy Spirit Research Center at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK, he returned to his native state of Virginia where he was Dean of the School of Divinity at Regent University in Virginia Beach for twelve years, followed by several years as a professor and Dean Emeritus.
In 2017, Vinson and Carol returned to Oklahoma. He served as interim dean of the School of Theology at Oral Roberts University and developed the school’s Ph.D. program in Theology. Until his death, Vinson was Scholar in Residence at ORU, assisting President Wilson with various projects.
Dr. Synan’s life and ministry reached around the globe. He spoke many times in the two largest churches in the world, in Seoul, Korea and in Santiago, Chile, and played a significant role in uniting the 350,000-member Jotabeche Methodist-Pentecostal Church of Chile with the International Pentecostal Holiness denomination.
A great portion of his life was focused on a vision of unifying the Church at large in the power of the Holy Spirit. As a result, Vinson helped bring together as many as 50,000 Christians, including Catholics, Pentecostals, and Evangelicals from every major denomination, for multi-day Congresses on the Holy Spirit in The Superdome and the Kansas City Stadium, as well as in Orlando, Indianapolis, and St. Louis. He met and had dialogue with Pope John Paul. He has preached at the Vatican, and recently spoke to 30,000 Catholics at the Circus Maximus in Rome, sharing the stage with Pope Francis.
Visitation with family and friends in the Oklahoma City area will take place on Thursday, March 19, from 4:00-8:00 p.m., Hahn-Cook/Street & Draper Funeral Service, Oklahoma City.
Due to the coronavirus crisis, memorial services have been rescheduled as follows:
Oklahoma Memorial Service Saturday, May 30, at 1:00 p.m. Christ’s Chapel (Oral Roberts University, 7700 S. Lewis Ave, Tulsa, OK 74171) Bishop Doug Beacham, General Superintendent of the IPHC, and Dr. Billy Wilson, President of Oral Roberts University, will officiate.
Virginia Memorial Service Saturday, June 20, at 2:00 p.m. Regent University Chapel (1000 Regent University Dr, Virginia Beach, VA 23464) Dr. Pat Robertson, Founder and Chancellor of Regent University, Bishop Doug Beacham, General Superintendent of the IPHC, and Rev. Craig Walker will officiate.
A private burial will be at Sunset Memorial Cemetery in Chester, VA. Rev. Bert Synan, Dr. Synan's nephew, will officiate.
Memorial donations may be made in memory of Dr. Vinson Synan to the Holy Spirit Research Center at Oral Roberts University. Please make checks payable to: Oral Roberts University and forward to the following address: 7777 South Lewis Ave, Tulsa, OK 74171.
For more information on the process of giving to ORU, including giving on-line, use the following link:
The family would like to thank the staff of the Oklahoma Heart Hospital, Mercy Hospital, and AMG Specialty Hospital for their diligent care during the last seven weeks.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Joseph Alexander Synan, Jr., Maurice Edwin Synan, Ronald Kay Synan, sister Doris Jean Elliott, his twin brother, Hubert Vernon Synan, and granddaughter, Rebecca Marie Synan.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Carol Lee Fuqua Synan, of Edmond, OK, daughter Mary Carol Clark (Curt) of Falcon, NC, daughter Virginia Lee Taylor (J. Mark) of Edmond, OK, son Harold Vinson Synan, Jr. (Laura) of Edmond, OK, son Joseph Alexander Synan III (Ashley) of Piedmont, OK, and his eldest sister, Maurine Synan Gminder, of Salisbury, NC. He is also survived by his eight grandchildren, Lauren Ashley Smith (Brien), Victoria Elizabeth Ward (Jordan), Justin Thomas Clark (Mary Catherine), Lilly Cait Synan, Preston Alexander Synan (Maddie), Priscilla Jo Synan, Chad Anthony Synan, and Amelia Elise Synan, and seven great grandchildren.
Thursday, March 19, 2020
Saturday, May 30, 2020
Saturday, June 20, 2020
Dr. H. Vinson Synan
March 20, 2020
I praise God for Vinson Synan in my life. From the time I met him during my first visit to Regent University he was the career coach and mentor I’d searched for my whole life. His guidance and help set me on a path I still follow as an educator, a writer, and as a servant of Christ. He spoke wisdom into my life, and opened doors for ministry. I remember so many things he told me and treasure the memory of his warm, loving, and Christ-like friendship. He was a true Apostle, a man for his times, and a leader whose name will not be forgotten by those who knew him and the many impacted by the writings of the greatest Pentecostal Historian of all time.
Mark and Dindy Wilson
March 20, 2020
We have so many wonderful memories of you and Vinson related to our time together in Virginia Beach. We shared a similar academic journey both at ORU and at Regent, although not at the same time at ORU. Since we've moved to Turkey, our paths have separated. But we've followed your journey from a distance. May the Lord comfort you and your family in your loss of a blessed servant of the Lord whom we loved and respected greatly! Mark and Dindy Wilson
March 19, 2020
From my Emmanuel College days, as a student of Dr. Synan, our lives have intertwined through the years. I returned as a faculty colleague with Vinson , where our families grew up together in Franklin Springs. We shared often the results of his dissertation research at the University of Georgia, that would become his first of many books, launching his career as a renown historian & leader of the Pentecostal world. I recall his excitement & joy when he was invited to speak at Notre Dame, enlarging his circle of influence in the Charismatic world., leading to an invitation to the Vatican.
As this circle enlarged through his speaking and multiple writings, the outstanding characteristic of Dr. Synan was grace. His grace and forgiveness flowed to critics, to those who did not see his heart, and to denominational officials. Favor and grace enabled him to rise above all of that to attain the highest positions in the religious and academic worlds of Oral Roberts University and Regent University.
The evidence of his grace is manifested in his love for his wife, Carol, a faithful wife and partner, and his family. All of them can rise up and shout “Blessed!” for the wonderful memories and heritage that Dr Synan gave to them. And the body of Christ will join with them to say, “What a great gift Vinson was to all!” A life well lived! Love and prayers for the family!
Blessings ! Garnet & Frances Pike
March 19, 2020
What an honor it was to meet and work alongside Dr. Synan briefly while at Oral Roberts University. Another general receives his promotion! He was a humble gentleman, a great listener with a quiet demeanor. He dedicated His life to the calling God had placed in him and truly fulfilled it. Thankful to God for sharing this general's life--speaking for myself, I'd had never imagined or planned to meet such a man of stature in this lifetime; the one who fathered Pentecostalism and who was such an example of Jesus on this earth. I remain eternally grateful!
March 17, 2020
Santiago Chile, March 16, 2020
Mrs. Carol Lee Synan
Mary, Virginia, Vince and Joe Synan
Dear Mrs. Synan and Family
I have just learned of the sudden death of this great man of God, my dear and beloved Pastor Vinson Synan.
I can’t tell how shocked I am by this sad news. I know what he meant to you and your family, and I send you all my deepest sympathy.
I am sure that many hearts must be heavy with sorrow now; for I never Knew anyone with such a host of friends as Pastor Synan. I believe he’ll be keenly missed by everyone around the world who knew him.
I had the privilege of knowing this fine and brilliant man, and I’ll never forget my Pastor, Sponsor
Teacher , Counselor, Friend and US Daddy, Doctor Vinson Synan. From this kindly person I learned to love your family, and all the IPHC family.
I pray that our Heavenly Father give you all peace, strength from heaven, and the blessing of our merciful Lord will never cease up on you all.
In the lord’s Name.
Bishop Eduardo Durán Castro
Rev. Daniel Campbell
March 16, 2020
A man full of of Faith and the Holy Spirit, humble,kind,caring. A leader but not a Church Politician, he trusted God to direct his steps. He also played the Guitar and sang. Dr. Vinson Synan, was a friend and an encourager. It was a honour to know him and several other members of his family, including his Father the late Bishop J. A. Synan. Heaven gained and Earth lost a Godly man. May God bless and comfort his family,friends and colleagues, around the world.