- TFAA Election
- Newest Members
- Alumni Handbook
- Board of Directors
- Alumni Projects
- Member Benefits
- Alumni Award Recipients
- History of TFAA
- Hall of Fame
Sara (Dunn, 1939) Corley
Sara Dunn Corley, age 89, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, passed away on Monday, April 26, 2010, surrounded by her family and friends.
Sara Dunn Corley was born on May 15, 1920, in Smyrna, GA, to Pauline Brinkley Dunn and Henry Hunter Dunn. Sara was always interested and active in the church. At age twelve she joined the Methodist Church in Smyrna and felt that she knew God and realized how important faith was. Sara was teaching Sunday School at seventeen years of age and making plans to attend Young Harris College. Her pastor visited with her mother and said that Dr. Richard Forrest, President of Toccoa Falls Bible Institute had asked him to recommend a good student to come to Toccoa on the N.Y.A. Program. Sara accepted the opportunity at Toccoa and also worked as an assistant to the librarian. This was the journey Sara was being prepared for, because it was in God’s plan for Sara to meet a young gentleman, W.C. Corley, who was given the same opportunity by his church in Augusta to begin his college career in 1938. W.C. Corley already knew that God had “called” him to be a minister at an early age and never doubted his “calling.” For two years of studying, praying and being loved by W.C. Corley, Sara truly believed God called her to be a minister’s wife and a servant of the Lord.
Sara and W.C. were married on July 19, 1940. Two weeks after their marriage they were baptized together at the First Baptist Church of Smyrna. When Sara made the decision to marry W.C., she also made the decision that she would work while W.C. pursued his education for the ministry. In 1941, Rev. and Mrs. Corley moved to Macon for Rev. Corley to attend Mercer University. Sara landed a job with the law school as secretary to the Dean of Law and became the Law Librarian. Sara always had an insatiable desire to learn. She and Rev. Corley studied together while he attended classes. In the academic atmosphere at Mercer she and W.C. had many opportunities to hear great speakers. She edited many of Rev. Corley’s papers, learning along with him, while also working for Dr. Dowell, the President of Mercer University. After Rev. Corley graduated from Mercer University, the Corley’s moved to Louisville, Kentucky where Rev. Corley attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Their experience in Louisville nourished Sara and W.C.’s spiritual and intellectual Christian growth that became the foundation of their theological understanding of religion and faith.
With Sara by his side, Rev. Corley was ordained to the Ministry on September 25, 1942, at Lizella Baptist Church, Lizella, GA. Mrs. Corley served faithfully with her husband at the Hohenwald Baptist Church, Hohenwald, TN (1947-49), Sparta Baptist Church, Sparta, GA (1949-53), First Baptist Church, Rockmart, GA (1953-59), and First Baptist Church, Lawrenceville, GA (1959-85).
Among the many initiatives Sara led at the First Baptist Church of Lawrenceville, she organized the Joy Club, formerly the Fellowship Club, and a senior service organization. For 15 years she served as a leader for senior services to become a model for the senior fellowship clubs throughout the state of Georgia. Mrs. Corley was appointed by then Gwinnett County Commission Chair, Lillian Webb, to lead a task force for seniors. She became the Vice President and Program Director for the Gwinnett County Council of Seniors, the umbrella group for all Gwinnett County seniors. Sara's efforts helped countless senior citizens to get assistance with wills, medical support, community companionship and involvement, and other issues related to aging.
Mrs. Corley was a tireless volunteer for many civic efforts including organizing support for Vines Botanical Gardens. Even as a visitor and later a resident at Gwinnett Extended Care she organized and raised funds to build a gazebo in the courtyard of the nursing home. Sara enjoyed the company of a very diverse group of friends and took pleasure in entertaining and celebrating the life and the success of others. In observance of its 100th Anniversary, the Smyrna Social Club commended Sara Dunn Corley for twenty years of membership as a loyal member and hostess extraordinaire on November 15, 2008.
Mrs. Corley once stated, “All of the time I have been a minister’s wife I have had the privilege of a truly loving husband who is a scholar, a dedicated Christian, and a wonderful tutor who gave me inspiration and the ability to teach the word of God with some authority.” Mrs. Corley would have been married 70 years to her beloved W.C. this coming July 19th.
Reverend and Mrs. Corley built a true loving partnership in life and ministry. Rev. Corley said, "Sara understood and lived by the greatest commandments, “You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with all your mind, This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
What an amazing couple Rev. and Mrs. Corley have been over the years in serving their Lord and Savior. Sara Dunn Corley will be greatly missed by her family and many devoted friends.
She is survived by her loving and devoted husband of 70 years, The Reverend William C. (W.C.) Corley, Sr.; five children and their spouses; Mr. and Mrs. William C. (Buddy and Johnnie) Corley, Jr., of Lawrenceville, GA, Mr. and Mrs. Gordon (Judith Corley) Kenna of Decatur, GA, Mr. and Mrs. Donn (Jerrie Lynn Corley) Peevy, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth (Kenny and Kim) Corley all of Lawrenceville, GA, and Mr. and Mrs. Steve (Lisa Corley) Collett of Duluth, GA; eight grandchildren, Melinda Lynn Knyff and her husband Bobby of Lawrenceville, GA, William C. (Chip) Corley, III, and his wife Stephanie of Hoschton, GA, Shannon Peevy Fox and her husband Doug of Atlanta, GA, Holly Peevy Garrison and her husband Jeremy of Buford, GA, Kristy Elmore and her husband Richard, Kara Corley all of Lawrenceville, GA, K. Corley Kenna of Washington, D.C., and Sarah Katherine (Katie) Collett of Duluth, GA; seven great grandchildren, Taylor Garrison, Carson Garrison, Jordan Garrison, Ansley Fox, Peyton and Reagan Corley and Jackson Milligan; several cousins, nieces, nephews, and a host of many friends.
The service celebrating the life of Mrs. Corley was held on Thursday, April 29, 2010, at 2:00 p.m. at the Lawrenceville First Baptist Church with Rev. Inman J. Houston officiating. Interment followed at Gwinnett Memorial Park. Members of the PHOEBE Sunday school class served as an Honorary Escorts.
Those desiring may make memorial gifts to the Lawrenceville First Baptist Church, 165 Clayton St SE, Lawrenceville, GA 30045, in Memory of Mrs. Sara Dunn Corley.
Condolences may be sent or viewed at www.wagesfuneralhome.com. Tom M. Wages Funeral Service, LLC, Lawrenceville, GA 770-963-2411 has been entrusted with arrangements.