Maurice James Conner, was a devoted husband, father, brother, confidant, friend and most importantly a manservant of God. He stood as tall as giants with a heart and soul of a whispering hope and love. His appearance was sometimes intimidating but he had a soul that was ONLY for the Lord.
On February 27, 1956, Maurice J Conner was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Robbie Louise Conner and Johnnie Frank Conner (both proceeded him in death). He attended John Hayes High school in Cleveland, Ohio where he discontinued his education early but went on to receive his G.E.D. He went off to college on a basketball scholarship at Southwestern Christian College in Terrell, Texas where he earned his Associate Degree. From there he attended David Lipscomb University where he earned his B.A, B.S. and master’s degree.
If you knew Maurice, he loved to play sports. He was a big young man who was very athletic and tried many sports like baseball and tennis. But he found a true love in the game of basketball. He would play all day and all night just perfecting his skills, his game and trash talking. As Maurice grew, he had made the decision he was going to college at the University of Texas and major in History to become a college professor. But God had other plans for Maurice James Conner.
As he was playing basketball, as he normally did, at the park, Maurice went up for a rebound, landed on another person’s foot, and tore his Achilles tendon. Now at this time, Maurice stood at 81 inches and he had a cast from the tip of his toes all the way up his leg. His older brother Johnnie had been asking Maurice to come to church and Maurice was tired of seeing the same four walls because he couldn’t move around a lot with the cast; so, he decided to go to church with his brother. Maurice liked what he heard and was baptized Thursday, July 18, 1975 after attending their Thursday night Bible class. From that moment he never missed a service. Maurice had studied under Bro. J.S. Winston at University Church of Christ in Cleveland, Ohio in his Sound Doctrine class. After being under the teaching of Bro. Winston, Maurice received a scholarship to attend Southwestern Christian College in Terrell, Texas.
While in high school and before leaving for school, Maurice met a young lady at University Church of Christ named Beverly Ann Burston. They would find out that they had some differences and some similarities. But one thing was clear and that was the love that both had for the Lord and his Word. They were united in holy matrimony, August 11, 1979. In that matrimony, they were blessed with two children, Chante’ Louise and Joshua Aaron.
After getting married, Maurice and Beverly moved to Nashville, Tennessee so both could finish and further their education and to work. This is also, where they chose to raise their family and labor for the Lord. They both attended church at 15th Avenue Church of Christ and Schrader Lane Church of Christ where they participated in many programs for young couples and ministers. While at Schrader Lane, Maurice was asked to preach for a congregation in Springfield, TN because the minister at the time was sick. So, Maurice and his family went, and he was asked to come back. After a few times, the 19th Avenue Church of Christ asked Maurice J Conner to become their full-time minister. He labored there for 34 years until his death. His last sermon was entitled, “Where Do We Go from Here: Reflecting, Returning, Recalibrating for 2021.”
On Wednesday, January 20, 2021, Maurice James Conner was able to meet the Lord that had changed his life for the better and that he loved so much. Maurice was a walking testimony. He would talk to people about his upbringing and how his plans did not match God’s plan and how God had a way of changing his life for the better. He would talk and preach about how he dropped out of school and how God allowed him to earn his G.E.D., Associate degree, two Bachelor’s degrees, and Master’s degree. He would tell you that God blessed him with his soulmate and best friend, Beverly Conner who was his world and two children, Chante’ and Josh who were too much sometimes, a grandson who he saw as another opportunity to teach and show to him the love of the Lord and a church, [19th Ave Church of Christ], who was special and unique. He would say that God was good, and God blessed him more abundantly than he could ever imagine. His favorite scripture was Proverbs 3:5 which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” His favorite hymn was “It Is Well with My Soul.” He lived by these daily.
Maurice is survived by his wife, Beverly Ann Conner of 41 years, Nashville, TN; two children Chante' Louise Conner, Madison, TN and Joshua Aaron Conner, Nashville, TN; a grandson, Robert James Conner, Madison, TN; sister, Patricia Gaines, Cleveland, Ohio; aunt Roberta Conner, Beachwood, Ohio; mother -in-law Martha Burston, Cleveland, Ohio; church family of 34 years 19th Avenue Church of Christ, Springfield, TN; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends; a dear brother Eugene Ellis, and his fellow laborers in the Gospel--Ralph Draper, Ben Roberts, Willie Smith, and Nelson Wilson.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to 19th Avenue Church of Christ, Springfield, TN or the Maurice Conner Memorial Scholarship Fund at Lipscomb University.
There will be a private graveside service due to COVID-19 and the CDC regulations. The graveside service will be lived stream, on Highland Hills Funeral Home & Crematory Facebook page. “Please respect the family wishes, but the graveside service is private. You will be informed of the memorial service at a later date in the summer of 2021.
DUE TO COVID-19, A FACE MASK IS REQUIRED, UPON ENTRY OF THE FUNERAL HOME, TEMPERATURES WILL BE CHECKED AND PLEASE KEEP SOCIAL DISTANCE IN MIND AT ALL TIMES.