Rodney Wayne Friend, 64, of Houghton Lake passed this life on January 20, 2020.
He was the son of Wayne Albert Friend and Mary Virginia Mulliken of Florida, both having preceded him in death. He was born in Easton, Maryland on September 16, 1955, the eldest of four sons; Jeffrey D. (Nancy) Friend of Lakeland, Fl., Randall K.(Lexa) Friend of Hendersonville, TN, and Daryl J. Friend of Hendersonville, Tn. all of whom survive him. He was married to Carolyn Sue Leslie on July 2, 1983 in Madison Heights, Michigan, she survives him as well. To this ministry partnership and marriage of 36 years were born 2 children, Daniel R. Friend of Cleveland, Tn. and Leslie C. (Michael) Waye of Kettering, Ohio. He has 5 surviving grandchildren, Jordan B. Stocksdale, Brandon M. Friend, Aaliyah M. Friend, Logan R. Allen, and Morgan E. Waye. He was also blessed with many cousins, nieces and nephews.
He graduated from Easton, Maryland High School in 1973, Chesapeake College in Maryland in 1976 with an Associates Degree, Lee College in Tennessee in 1978 with a Bachelors Degree, Gordon-Conwell Theology Seminary in Massachusetts in 1982 with a Masters Degree and Masters Degree Equivalent in 1997, and 3 years of Doctoral Ministry Studies followed.
He served as a credentialed minister in the Church of God, Cleveland, Tn. denomination for 42 years, serving in such positions as Minister of Education in Madison Heights, Michigan for 9 years, Church of God World Missionary for 16 years. As a missionary he was a professor at Pentecostal Theology Seminary in Bucharest, Romania after the communist fall, Church of God Education Coordinator for Western Europe and Middle East, Teacher and campus pastor at European Theology Seminary in Germany, and Director of Berea Theological College University, Lusaka, Zambia. Lead Pastor of 3 churches in ME., SD., and MI. He currently served as pastor of Houghton Lake Church of God.
He was an Eagle Boy Scout, and enjoyed people and especially being with his family when able. He was an avid student of the American Civil War. With God's help he tried to be a good servant of Jesus Christ.
A homecoming celebration will be held at the Houghton Lake Church of God, 9949 W Lake City Rd, Houghton Lake, MI at 1:00 pm Saturday January 25, 2020 with Bishop Kip Box officiating. Interment will be in Denton Township Cemetery, Prudenville, MI. Visitation will be at the Houghton Lake Church of God on Friday January 24, 2020 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm and on Saturday January 25, 2020 from 12:00 pm until the time of the service at 1:00 pm. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to the Church of God World Missions, P.O. Box 8016, Cleveland, Tennessee 37323 in memory of Rodney W. Friend. Christler Funeral Home, Houghton Lake Chapel is serving the family. Condolences can be sent to the family online at www.christler-holdship.com
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