Deacon Sammy McClure, Sr., a man of great character and integrity with a love for all people was born on February 20, 1948, in Dallas, Georgia to the late Sam McClure and Jurda Mae Posey McClure. He was the fifth of seven children. He was a lifelong resident of Paulding County and departed this life on November 9, 2023. He touched the lives of many people in the Paulding community over the years.
Sammy McClure Sr. received his elementary and secondary education in Paulding County and graduated from Matthews Consolidated School as the valedictorian of the Class of 1965. Being blessed with parents who encouraged education, he received several scholarships and recognitions as a student scholar. He continued his studies at Savannah State College in Savannah, GA, earning a Bachelors degree in Pure Mathematics and a minor in Physics with honors. Following graduation from college he began teaching at Union Elementary School on a provisional certificate. He enrolled the following summer in West Georgia College completing the education courses required to become fully certified. He continued his education at West Georgia College, completing his elementary certification, Masters, and Specialists Degrees in Educational Administration.
Sammy McClure Sr. started his career in education in 1969 as an sixth grade teacher at Union Elementary School. Mr. McClure was the youngest teacher at Union and said many of the older teachers nearing retirement age took him under their wing and taught him a lot. He began his first administrative job in the fall of 1977 when he was selected to serve as the assistant principal at Paulding County Junior High. Three years later he was promoted to principal at Paulding County Junior High. He served as principal at Paulding County Junior High, which was later re-named Herschel Jones Junior High and Herschel Jones Middle School for the next 17 years. The last five years of his career were spent working in Paulding County as the Math and Science Curriculum Coordinator for the district.
Sammy McClure Sr. was the first African American male in Paulding County to have a school named after him. Sammy McClure Sr. Middle School located in north Paulding opened in 2007 and was named after him for his years of service and dedication to the Paulding Community. He was the first elected black member of the Paulding County School board where he served as Chairman of the Board. He served on the board for 15 years, from 2003 to 2018.
Sammy McClure Sr. confessed Christ as his personal Savior at an early age and was an active member of his childhood place of worship the Edgefield Missionary Baptist Church of Temple, Georgia. The Lord blessed him to serve in many roles in the church. He was an active participant in the Congress of Christian Education of the Carrollton Union Baptist Association where he served as president of the Sunday School Department for many years. He participated in Edgefield's church choir, male chorus, deacon and trustee boards, and was the adult Sunday School teacher. He inspired and shared his wisdom in several churches, schools, graduations, and community events throughout Paulding and surrounding counties. Mr. McClure was an avid learner and one who would do anything for his Lord and his church. One of his most proud but challenging achievements was the design and completion of the new Edgefield Baptist Church. With much prayer and dedication, he, the members of the building committee, and the members of the church were able to construct the current Edgefield structure establishing a new chapter in the history of Edgefield in the Draketown community.
Christianity was the most important thing to him. He believed that Christianity drove the decisions that you make and how you treat others. He often stated that he had been blessed not because he had been so good but because of the Lord's grace and mercy extended toward him.
Mr. McClure met the love of his life Margaret Perkins and they were married for 51 years. Together they raised three children, were pillars in their respective churches, and active role models in the lives of thousands more in the Metro Atlanta community. He enjoyed spending time with his family, baking, fishing, coaching baseball, and watching his children and grandchildren play sports.
Deacon Sammy McClure Sr. leaves to cherish his memories his loving wife Margaret C. Perkins McClure; his three children: Dr. Tonnya McClure of Douglasville, Georgia, Reginald (Jill) McClure of Acworth, Georgia, and Sammy (Chaka) McClure Jr. of Powder Springs, Georgia; five sisters: Mary McMullin of Rome, Georgia, Barbara Vance of Atlanta, Georgia, Joyce Bryant of Rockmart, Georgia, Wanda Heard of Atlanta, Georgia, and Dr. Sheila McClure of Mableton, Georgia; one brother: John Robert (Cora) McClure of Temple, Georgia; eight grandchildren: Broderick (Je-Mirra) Sellers, Bryce Sellers, Victoria Sellers, Sammy McClure III, Paisley McClure, Paige McClure, Garrett McClure, and Grant McClure; three sister in-laws: Lucille Perkins of Rockmart, Georgia, Alma Heard of Rockmart, Georgia, and Emma (Perry Sr.) of Cartersville, Georgia and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, family, and friends.
The family will receive friends on Thursday, November 16, 2023 from 4:00pm to 8:00pm at Clark Funeral Home & Chapel. A service for Mr. McClure will be Friday, November 17, 2023 at Edgefield Missionary Baptist Church in Temple, Georgia beginning at 1:00pm. Interment will follow the service at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Rockmart, Georgia.
Clark Funeral Home & Chapel is honored to care for the McClure family during this difficult time.