Norman Graves is a native of Brooklyn, (Brownsville) New York, where he remained until the age of 17 when he enlisted into the U.S. Army branch of our military armed forces. Born on December 5, 1960 to the late Lloyd and Edmonia Graves, Norman was known to be a jokester, storyteller, performer, a really good dancer and he could turn anything into a song. He always had a smile (showing his little bottom teeth). Being the “Middle Child”, he was known as the “calm one”, the protector of his baby sister Elyse and “the referee”, (especially when their big brother Lawrence tried to act like their Father). He truly enjoyed being in the kitchen with his mother
watching and learning to cook. Even though he had some ups and downs in life but his belief in God, sheer determination and perseverance through those rough times, only made him stronger.
After graduating Basic/Advanced Training at Fort Benning – Georgia, he went on to his permanent duty station at Fort Stewart, Georgia (3rd of the 19th Battalion, 24th Infantry Division). His military experience whether voluntary or by order, allowed him the opportunity to deal with challenging situations which prepared him for the challenges of life. From Georgia to the heat of the Mojave Desert; from the bitter cold of Fort Drum, NY, to the Everglades of Florida; from the United States to the Jungle of Fort Sherman, Panama, Norman was grateful and proud of his service to his country. He was honorably discharged in 1982. After surviving several years of tumultuous and difficult times, Norman received and accepted a job offer at, Daytop Village Inc., in 1991, where he went on to graduate from a counselor training program. Pastor Graves acquired both national and international Certification in SA counseling that allowed him to provide trainings abroad on contract with the U.S. State Department and Daytop International. Daytop Village Inc. further offered him a ground floor job offer, however, it was in Texas. Norman accepted the offer and relocated to Brenham, Texas. While there, he and his future
wife to be, helped to open and develop substance abuse programs for troubled teens.
It was during that phase in his life that God began to reveal His plans for their lives. Norman answered the call to the Gospel ministry and was licensed to preach in 1998. He was later ordained in the year 2000 at The Antioch Church in Palestine, Texas, by his father in the Gospel Ministry – Pastor Roy G. Duncan. In the midst of all these advancements and blessings, Rev. Graves married Rachel Reeves on May 12, 1995. Their union increased Rev. Graves’ family that consisted of just him and his son Norman. 2 Texans (Spencer and Julius) and 2 New Yorkers (Eleisha and Elisha) were born. Eventually Texas Daytop completely closed and Rev. Graves and his
family moved back to new York state with the corporation. Ultimately, Daytop Village cooperation, closed.
In 2008, God led Pastor Graves to establish New Beginnings Community
Worship Center Inc. of Liberty, N.Y. It was then, that Pastor Graves received the divine call and vision to establish outreach ministries in the local community of Sullivan County. From that vision, Begin Again Transitional Services (B.A.T.S.) for homeless male Veterans has come to fruition. Pastor Graves considered it to be an honor to continue serving his country by providing this service to our Veteran Heros who have given so much of themselves for all of us. In addition, Pastor Graves created the International Ministry initiatives to aid in the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Nairobi, Kenya. He has traveled numerous times to Nairobi, Kenya since 2010 at which time the N.B.C.W.C. International Outreach Ministry was birthed.
In 2010, Pastor, Rev. Norman Graves was also called by God and elected to be the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of South Fallsburg, New York, where he served for over 4 years. Pastor Graves had been skillfully prepared by God to fulfill his ministry
assignments and was therefore very careful to acknowledge the Gospel of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which was the source of his help and strength; and will continue to be remembered as living witness to the awesome, transforming, and redemptive power of God.
Pastor Norman Ray Graves, is predeceased by his parents (Lloyd and Edmonia), his brother (Lawrence) his son (Spencer) and his former wife, (Carol).
He leaves on this earth, to be a witness of his servitude, as well as his legacy of compassion, conviction, and community connections;
Elyse (his sister), Norman II, Julius, and; Elisha (his sons), Eleisha (his daughter). His Aunt Clara, niece and nephew Chelsey and; Lawrence II, granddaughters (Laylah, Alanah and Olivia ), grandson (Spencer), ALL of his cousins, the church body of “New Beginnings” Community Worship Center, Inc, and his wife Rachel.
Memorial contributions in Rev. Graves' name can be made to "New Beginnings" Community Worship Center, Inc / Mission Ministry.
Those who are not able to attend in person may view the funeral service HERE. Kindly note that if due to unforseen circumstances, the WiFi at the hosting facility wavers and the livestream drops, a back up will be recorded and posted here later in the day after the service has ended.
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