John McCann

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Bishop John Wesley McCann, known as “The Preacherman,” 88, of Benton, passed away on Saturday, July 25, 2020, at a Chattanooga hospital.

He was the Bishop and Founding Father of Mercy Tabernacle in 1960, which was formerly known as Pentecostal Tabernacle. "The Preacherman" has preached the gospel since he was 15 years old, and has traveled across most of the United States, from North to South, and in Haiti, Jamaica and Israel with many exciting experiences and baptizing thousands in the lovely name of Jesus Christ.

For the last 15 years, he has traveled with First Lady Hazel McCann, preaching in many churches and telling his experiences. During this last year he has preached from his kitchen table through Facebook Live, still telling folks to “look up, He will be back.”

He was preceded in death by his parents, John Wesley McCann and Julia Moses Black McCann; the mother of his children, Lorene McCann; brothers: Eulis McCann, the Rev. Burkett McCann, Amos McCann, Rosco Black and Ernest McCann; sister, Mamie Goins; children: Joseph McCann and Ressie Deal; sons-in-law: Jack E. Allen, Victor Wiggins and Mike Henderson; grandchildren: Joanna Ruth Blair, Jon’ David Hembree and Justin Goodman; and great-grandchildren: Gabrielle Phillips and Michael Sanders.

Survivors include his wife, First Lady Hazel McCann; children: Edith (Kenneth) Blair, Joyce (Gene) Pack, Julia (Bobby) Burger, Hazel (Scott) Hembree, Wilma Allen, Abigail Wiggins, Ellen Ledford, Diane Henderson, Gene (Lori) Ledford, Timmy (Amanda) Ledford and Amy Ledford and friend, Louis; 27 grandchildren; 39 great-grandchildren; lifelong friend and sister-in-law, Irene Ogle; several nieces and nephews; special nephew, Pastor Burkett McCann Jr.; extended family too numerous to list; and the grandchildren that helped him in the ministry at Mercy Tabernacle: ReBecca Allen, Heather and G.W. Sanders, Samuel (Danyelle) Burger, Jon’ David Hembree, Justin Goodman, Bethany Brady, Joseph Allen, Thomas Carter, Stanley Allen, U.S. Airman A1C Jordan Allen, Gabriel Sanders, Kenny Ledford, Makayla Ledford and Mikel Sanders (who helped and always entertained Papaw John), and they took the time to visit over the last couple of years to glean from his wisdom about Jesus Christ.

A special thank-you to Rob and Diana Solomon for their faithfulness to drive “The Preacherman” and “First Lady” anywhere they needed or wanted to go; Carolyn Harbold, who looked to him as a father figure and called him faithfully each day to check on them; and John Stinnett and Red Blackwell, who stood by his side for the last several years while he preached after he lost his sight.

Due to the current government restrictions, the service will be a private Celebration of His Life and will be live-streamed at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020, with Pastor Crockett Kennedy and Pastor Kevin Tollison officiating. It will be live-streamed on Facebook at Mercy Tabernacle, Benton.

Interment will follow in Benton Memorial Gardens, with Debbie Biggerstaff, Carl Stinnett, John Stinnett, Red Blackwell, Johnny Neace, Rob Solomon, Roger Thompson, Tim Lay and Timmy Ledford serving as pallbearers. A white dove release ceremony will conclude the service.

His family will receive friends from 3 until 8 p.m. on Monday, at Fike-Randolph & Son Funeral Home.

We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the McCann family guestbook at www.fikefh.com.

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