Reverend Jerry Martin Hilton (Retired)
Jerry was born at home in Bentonia, Mississippi September 4, 1933 to Otto & Frances Hilton. He transitioned July 25, 2020 in Nashville Tennessee.
Survived by his wife of 66 years Dottie Hampton Hilton, sons Robert & Richard, daughter Jerri Lynn; grandsons Robert Otto & Russell Keith and great grandson Otto Love. He is also survived by former daughters-in-law Judy & Michelle and former granddaughters-in-law Jana & Brittany. He is also survived by brothers Drury Day & Benny Otto and sister Brenda Ruth, sisters-in-law Barbara, Nina, Billie, Judy, and Cheryl, brothers-in-law Jim & Ron, and honorary brother in-law Nick Felton. He is also survived by numerous truly beloved nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in passing by his parents Otto & Frances, his grandson Ethan and his son Martin. He was also preceded by brothers-in-law John K. Myers, George Hampton, Jr. and sister-in-law June Hampton.
Jerry graduated from Millsaps College in Jackson MS, and St. Luke’s School of Theology, The University of the South, Sewanee, TN.
Jerry ministered to countless congregations in the Mississippi and Tennessee United Methodist conferences for nearly 60 years, and realized the true nature of his calling when he was involved in, or pioneered the formation of social programs that began to address the needs of society’s most vulnerable. Jerry, along with other like-minded ministers, helped found United Methodist Urban Ministries. In service to UMUM and its many social initiatives, he was heavily involved at Community Care Fellowship whose mission is to provide care for the poor and homeless with dignity and respect. In his own words about his service to CCF he said “Whatever needed to be done, I tried to do it”, but for all us who knew him, we know there’s so much more there, and everywhere, than he would ever take credit for.
After his official retirement Jerry spent the majority of his days tending to his family’s needs and enjoying the time that retirement afforded him to spend with them.
His family is struck by the simple yet profound quotes from a sermon recently discovered in a news article from over 50 years ago and how those same words are just as relevant today. “Giving ourselves in relationships is the only work that endures” He continues “Where is the hope? As long as there is one of us alive who recoils, protests and rejects the evils and folly of war, hope is alive… And just as long as two people of different races or classes will stop, listen and talk to each other… and look upon each other as persons… hope is alive and with us”
Anyone who was ever touched by or was part of his witness, his ministry and legacy will live on within us. Celebration of Jerry’s life is a daily ritual and until it’s safe to gather again that is the most that we could hope for.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Community Care Fellowship at ccfnashville.org.Print Obituary & Condolences