Cover photo for Gerald "Vaughn" Drummonds's Obituary
Gerald "Vaughn" Drummonds Profile Photo
1932 Gerald 2021

Gerald "Vaughn" Drummonds

January 8, 1932 — February 25, 2021

Reverend G. Vaughn Drummonds

Born to Jacob M. and Bertha S. of the Claiborne County Tennessee Drummonds on January 8, 1932 in Monroe, Michigan, Gerald Vaughn Drummonds grew up in Monroe, MI. Vaughn, as he preferred to be known, attended Monroe public schools through the eighth grade—then transferred to the Academy at the Bible Holiness Seminary in Owosso, MI, later becoming known as Owosso Bible College, eventually folding, through merger, into what is now Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, IN. Vaughn graduated from the Academy in 1949.

As a tenth grader, Vaughn was invited to join the college quartet, the Glad Tidings Four. As their popularity grew, the quartet became a weekly feature for the college radio program heard across the country. He remained with the quartet until graduating from college in 1954 with a five-year Bachelor of Theology Degree.

While touring, the quartet was covering the state of West Virginia. It was in West Virginia Vaughn met a young lady from Ravenswood by the name of Elsie Weekley. She was preparing for services playing the piano at her church at the time. After their first meeting, Vaughn called home to Monroe that same afternoon and told his mother, "Mom, I just met the woman I am going to marry." Her response was a simple, "Does she know this yet?" The result of their meeting was Elsie and Vaughn marrying six months later on Christmas Day, 1950, in Monroe, Michigan. Vaughn and Elsie were married 69 years.

In 1954, they accepted their first pastorate in the village of Scottville, Michigan just 5 miles from Ludington and the shores of Lake Michigan. On October 1st of that year their son, Jerry (Gerald Vaughn II), was born. After two years they transferred to Midland, Michigan where they planted a church. While in Midland their daughter, Laura Lee, was born. The Drummonds family was formed. They remained in Midland for three years.

In 1959, the Drummonds' moved to Alma, Michigan. Very early on, the church burned literally to the ground. With new facilities built, (and Vaughn personally laying brick and mortar with his church crew and own two hands) they had a successful growing ministry there for eight years.

In 1967, Vaughn and Elsie accepted a call to Battle Creek, Michigan to a church that became known to the community simply as "First Wes" (now Woodland Church). During their eight years at First Wesleyan Church, the church experienced excellent growth. It was also during those eight years the Drummonds' developed the Wesleyan Singers television ministry at ABC Channel 41. The weekly half hour Sunday show featured music and Pastor Drummonds as speaker.
The program eventually expanded to four network television stations and approximately 28 cable outlets across the country. The ministry continued for nearly 15 years under the direction of Vaughn and Elsie.

In 1975, Vaughn was unexpectedly elected to the post of District Superintendent for the West Michigan District of the Wesleyan Church where he served for 8 years. Under his guidance, the West Michigan District became one of the strongest Wesleyan districts nationally and added new churches like Kentwood Community Church in Grand Rapids. Other district churches experienced exceptional growth such as Holland Central Wesleyan Church, who grew from 200 plus to one of the larger Wesleyan churches in America.

From there, Vaughn was selected Assistant Director of the Office of Extension and Evangelism for the Wesleyan Church at the denominational level in Indianapolis, IN. Again, growing and planting churches was his mission. One such example was working with Kevin Myers going door to door announcing the first services of 12Stone Church just outside Atlanta, a ministry that has grown to 7 campuses and some 16,000 in weekly attendance. Planting churches, and supporting pastors and their congregations, was the love of his pastoral life. Those that worked ministerially with Vaughn knew they were his personal congregation.

In 1988, Vaughn was elected District Superintendent of the Western New York District of the Wesleyan Church. He loved his pastoral group there uniquely, and once again, that district became one of the strongest districts nationally in the Wesleyan Church for growth and church strength with congregations like Hamburg Wesleyan (Watermark Wesleyan Church), Eastern Hills, and College Church in Houghton, NY, leading the way.

Upon his arrival to Western New York, Rev. Drummonds was selected to the Houghton College Board of Trustees and immediately elected Secretary of the Board—placing Vaughn on the Executive Committee of one of the finest Bible schools in America.

Vaughn considered his 12 years in Western New York fulfilling and productive years. In the year 2000, Rev. G. Vaughn Drummonds was honored by the Wesleyan Church through the receiving of the District Superintendent's Eagle Award. At the time of this awarding, Vaughn was only the second in the history of the Wesleyan Church to receive the recognition.

At the end of that church year, and after 46 years of full-time ministry, Vaughn officially retired. Well, sort of. He later served for five additional years in part-time ministry on the staff of a prominent United Methodist Church in Stuart, Florida. He saw potential and had to help.

In retirement, Vaughn and Elsie purchase a condo in Stuart, FL and a condo in Battle Creek, MI on Goguac Lake where through the years Vaughn relished boating, water skiing, and ski/kite flying. In 1992, they built their home in Jensen Beach, FL., (Eagle Marsh Country Club) making it their primary residence through 2019. It was in May 2019 Vaughn and Elsie made their return to Battle Creek, Michigan and assisted living. His beloved Elsie passed on December 12th, 2019.

Vaughn is survived by his children Jerry (Kristine) and Laura (Ned); grandchildren Laura Layne (Troy), Jenee Lonielle (Anthony), Lindi Layne (Brent), Holly Laurynn, Kristofer Drew, Jacob Daniel, and Nicolaus David; great grandchildren Lylianne Vaughn (Hunter), Myles Dean, Lawson Brandt, M.E. (Madlyn Elsie), Gavin James, Kaileb Wayne and Demi Layne, with his great-great grandson, Remington Smith Thompson (due to Lylianne July 30, 2021). Vaughn Drummonds was preceded in death by wife Elsie, his parents Jacob and Bertha, and his half-brothers, Henry (Beulah), Wren (Alma), and Walter (Pearl).

Vaughn's favorite Scripture passage is Philippians 4:19. If he ever prayed with/or for you, you heard him end every prayer with this passage: "And my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

Vaughn's personal ministry verse was Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NASB)
"For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart."

Memorial donations to further the ongoing ministry of the fruits of Vaughn's labors can be made to:

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, February 28, 2021

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care

105 Capital Ave NE, Battle Creek, MI 49017

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Funeral Service

Monday, March 1, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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