John Rivers


The Rev. John Rivers, age 87, passed away peacefully at his home, Morningstar, in Black Mountain, N.C., the morning of Aug. 1, 2019.

He was born in Charleston, S.C., on Aug. 19, 1931, to Dorothy Reid Rivers and Elias Lynch Rivers. His wife, Jean Rivers, of 56 years preceded him in death. He had a brother, Elias Rivers ,who is deceased, and a sister, Mary Rivers Powe, who survives him.

He was the loving father to one daughter and four sons: Sallie, John Jr. “Jay” (Ann), Andrew (Joy), Joseph, and Benjamin (Sherri). He was blessed with 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. 

John attended Clemson for two years prior to completing bachelor degrees in English and history at the College of Charleston. He received his master’s of divinity at Episcopal Theological Seminary in Cambridge, Mass. For his transition to the Ministry to the Deaf, he completed postgraduate work at the University of Tennessee and Gallaudet University.

John ministered to the Low Country of South Carolina; Clinton, S.C.; Lexington, Ky.; Cullowhee and Western North Carolina. John delivered exceptional pastoral care in every community he lived in, and was known for his compassion, loving and understanding nature. His life was filled with the joy from his family, hiking in the WNC mountains, collecting buttons with his wife, and enjoying VW campers, apples, Civil War history and log cabins.

The family received friends Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, from 1-3 p.m. at Harwood Home for Funerals, Black Mountain.

A memorial service followed at 4 p.m. at St. James Episcopal Church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mountain Care Adult Day Services, 68 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville, NC 28803. 

  Harwood Home for Funerals assisted the family. Online