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Reverend Dr. Ceotis L. Pryor

August 15, 1938 January 20, 2016
Reverend Dr. Ceotis L. Pryor
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Obituary for Reverend Dr. Ceotis L. Pryor

A Celebration of his Life

Friday, January 29, 2016

Reverend Dr. Ceotis L. Pryor 

at Corinthian Baptist Church
6113 N. 21st Street
Philadelphia, PA  19138

Viewing:  9:00 a.m.  Service:  11:00 a.m.

White Marsh Memorial Park

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to 
The Scholarship Fund Corinthian Baptist Church
6113 N. 21st Street
Philadelphia, PA 19138

Life Story
Ceotis Lavigne (C.L.) Pryor was born August 15, 1938 to the late Oscar Pryor and Bernadine W. Twiggs, in New Kensington, PA.  He was a graduate of the Pittsburgh Public Schools. He entered the  U.S. Army  and was honorably discharged in 1964. After his discharge, he continued  his education and completed both his undergraduate degree and  a seminary degree from  Virginia Union University . Reverend Pryor  did further graduate studies at  Chicago Theological Seminary, and received an honorary Doctor of Theology from Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC), in Atlanta Georgia.
While a Seminarian at Virginia Union, he served as pastor of two churches in New Kent, Virginia: Mt. Olive Baptist Church, and Mt. Nebo Baptist Church, and was later able to unite the two churches as one fellowship within the same community.
He maintained an avid interest in civil rights and was one of 34 arrested during a sit-in while a student at Virginia Union, and was later honored in 2007 for those heroic efforts.
In 1967, Reverend Pryor  accepted a call to become the pastor of Jerusalem Baptist Church in Duquesne, PA where he served for seven years, developing powerful and strong ministries which included a Youth Ministry. Under his leadership a major sanctuary renovation for the church was completed. In that same year he married his college sweetheart, Viola Juanita Brown of New Kent.
In June 1974, Reverend Pryor was called as pastor of the Corinthian Baptist Church of Germantown and began his final assignment for the Lord.  As a builder and visionary, Pastor Pryor believed that ministry is more than just coming to church on Sunday mornings.  He  encouraged the church to become more involved in the community. His vision was to provide affordable housing and programs to benefit the youth and seniors of the community. Under Pastor  Pryor’s leadership,  Corinthian Baptist Church's first Youth Department was formed, which further led to an unforgettable Corinthian Baptist Church Young Adult Choir!  He added other ministries which included the Praise Dancers, C.R. O. S.S. Mime  (Children Representing Our Sovereign Savior) and the Happy Hearts.  As a continuation of his leadership, Pastor Pryor established the Corinthian Christian Academy, renovated an old factory which still houses the Administrative offices of the church,  and erected Corinthian Square Senior Citizens Apartments. Pastor Pryor worked tirelessly till health issues caused his untimely early retirement in 2007.
In total, he  served as pastor for over 50 years between Virginia  and Pennsylvania, before retiring as pastor of the Corinthian Baptist Church of Germantown, where he served for 33 and a half years.  To God be the Glory!
Reverend Pryor has been cited and presented awards for his many community-based activities and groups involvement. He served actively on the Lott Carey Foreign Missions Board, Pennsylvania Baptist State Convention, Pennsylvania Board for the Disabled, Corinthian Real Estate Board, Corinthian Senior Citizens Apartments Board, Philadelphia's  Center in the park, and Chairman of the Board of the Imhotep Institute Charter High School to name a few.
He often reflected and whistled  the familiar tune …”How do I say thanks for the things you have done for me…things so underserved yet you did to proved your love for me?”
Reverend Pryor leaves to cherish his memory, his devoted and loving wife of 48 years, 7 months, and 3 days Viola J., one chosen daughter, Dr. Vaughn V. Wright (Delaware), one chosen grandson, Emmitt, two sisters, Elaine and Mary Ann Dudley, (Pittsburgh, Pa.)  two sisters-in-law,), Willie E. Johnson (Philadelphia), Jeannette Brown, (Richmond, VA )and one brother-in-law, Alfonso D. Brown, (Sandston, Virginia), he was chosen godfather to  Dr. Laurie Abdelmageed (Richmond, VA), and Rachelle Brown (New Bern, North Carolina), and other adopted  god children, several  aunts,  a host of nieces, and nephews, cousins and all who were touched by his ministry at Corinthian.
Love, Joy and Peace,
The Family
Interment: White Marsh Memorial Park

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