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Former Georgia pastor Wesley “JW” Dykes died Jan. 3 in Sherman, TX. He was 83.

During his ministry Dykes served churches in Troup County as well as across the state line in Valley, AL. Georgia Baptist congregations included Gray Hill, County Line (now Creekside) and Davidson.

He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Julia; a sister, Mae Stone, of Camden, TN; daughters Denise Allen, of Gautier, MS, and Dianne Matthews, of Sherman, TX; eight grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Dixie Franklin


Dixie Jay Nicholson Franklin, of Monroe, died on Dec. 26. She was 93.

Franklin was a native of Athens who earned degrees from Tift College and Southern Seminary. She worked alongside her husband, Bob, for almost 67 years as a musician and pastor’s wife in North Carolina and Georgia until his death in 2013.

During her ministry Franklin taught and directed preschool programs, led leadership training conferences, and taught kindergarten in Georgia public and private schools, earning Teacher of the Year honors in two separate school systems.

Preceded in death by her husband and a brother, David B. Nicholson, Jr., she is survived by a sister, Laurie N. Johnson, of Gainesville, FL; daughters Lynne Goins and Laurie Franklin, both of Monroe; three grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.


Gordon Ingram Pittman, 85, of Columbus, died Dec. 21.

Ingram served for many years as an area missionary through the GBC South Georgia Area Missions Program in addition to being pastor of Friendship Baptist Church in Barney.

Preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Betty Jane O’Connor Pittman, he is survived by a son, John, of Rock Hill, SC; daughter, Stephanie Cullison, of Ellerslie; two grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

Archie Slaton, senior adult minister at Unity Baptist Church in Newnan, died Jan. 21. He was 66.

He is survived by his wife Ann, who serves Unity as its children’s minister; a son, Nathan; daughters Nicole Hughes and Tori Slaton; sisters Judy Northup, Rita Powell, Cheryl Young, and Debra Couch; and three grandchildren.