Elsie L. Drummonds

  • Born: December 17, 1931
  • Died: December 12, 2019
  • Location: Battle Creek, Michigan

Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care

105 Capital Ave NE
Battle Creek, MI 49017

Tel. (269) 962-5527

Tribute & Message From The Family

Born to Talmadge Charles and Ethel Marie (Angus) Weekley on December 17, 1931 in Ripley, W. VA. on a snowy winter's evening, Elsie L. Weekley was not expected to survive the night. In fact, no birth certificate was issued her until later in life. Her family moved to Ravenswood, W. VA. where she attended public schools through the eleventh grade. Elsie was the second child born to T.C. and Ethel as her oldest brother, Raymond Leon, died in infancy. As the oldest of four surviving children (and later five), she had a busy life taking care of her younger siblings, involved with many relatives in the area and, in her teen years, held a part time job at Slavens' Department store. Elsie took babysitting jobs for free with homes possessing a piano as through those years she taught herself to play.

She was active in her local church. While serving as a church pianist Elsie met her future husband, Vaughn, while he was traveling with the Owosso Bible College quartet. She transferred to the Academy at Owosso Bible College in the fall of 1950 and married Vaughn Drummonds on Christmas Day later that same year.
In 1951, Elsie finished high school, graduating as valedictorian, then continued her education at Owosso Bible College; later becoming Indiana Wesleyan University. Elsie was invited to join the college trio, The Trebleaires, and traveled and sang representing the college in surrounding states. She graduated from Owosso Bible College with an Associate Degree in Christian Ministries in 1954. While yet in Owosso in 1954 their first child (Jerry) was born.

Within days, they accepted a pastorate in the village of Scottville, Michigan near Ludington. After two years they transferred to Midland, Michigan where they planted a church, and in January of 1958 their second child (Laura Lee) was born. They remained there for three years.

In 1959, Elsie and family moved to Alma, Michigan. Very early on, the church burned literally to the ground. With new facilities built, they had a successful ministry there for eight years.

In 1967, Vaughn and Elsie accepted a call to Battle Creek, Michigan to a church to become known to the community simply as "First Wes". During their eight years at First Wesleyan Church, Elsie coordinated music, facilitated Bible studies, ministered to the youth of the church, entertained myriads of travelers, guest speakers, musicians, and even opened her home to young people in need for extended periods of time. In 1971, Vaughn and Elsie launched a television program out of ABC 41, WUHQ-TV.

"The Wesleyan Singers" television ministry was a weekly half-hour program featuring music and the speaking ministry of Vaughn. The Wesleyan Singers eventually expanded to four regular television stations and approximately 28 cable outlets across the country. The ministry continued for nearly 15 years under the direction of Vaughn and Elsie.

In 1975, her husband was elected District Superintendent to the West Michigan District of the Wesleyan Church. Elsie worked for eight years as administrative assistant in the office of District Superintendent. Additionally, she ministered to pastor's wives—including monthly meetings and one on one counseling. She facilitated Bible studies for women, was involved with the music for district activities, wrote the words and music for over thirty songs, and later recorded many of those songs where she is heard accompanying her favorite ladies' trio on the piano.

Eventually, Vaughn accepted a position at Wesleyan Church Headquarters in Marion, IN. Elsie worked full-time for Nationwide Management in Indianapolis as hostess and receptionist. She traveled extensively with her husband and was a sought-after national speaker heard at many women's events.

In the years that followed, they moved to Western New York where Vaughn served as District Superintendent for twelve years. Elsie served as administrative assistant and secretary during this time. She spent extensive time ministering from the district office directly to pastor's wives and the women of the district. She developed a very large and successful district women's retreat, conducted zone meetings, and counselled pastor's wives.

After 46 years of full-time ministry, Elsie and Vaughn retired. They purchased a home in Jensen Beach, Florida and a condo in Battle Creek, MI on Goguac Lake. Their home became a place of spiritual nourishment and ministry through in-home Bible studies, one on one counseling, as well as email and Facebook outreach.

Working behind the scenes, Elsie was a spiritual giant serving with and behind her husband for their near 69 years of marriage and ministry. In her sweet quiet way, she was a strong impact for the church, the district, and the Lord.

Elsie is survived by her husband Reverend G. Vaughn Drummonds, children Jerry (Kristine) and Laura (Ned); grandchildren Laura Layne (Troy), Jenee Lonielle (Anthony), Lindi Layne (Brent), Holly Laurynn; grandchildren, Kristofer Drew, Jacob Daniel, and Nicolaus David; great grandchildren, Lylianne Vaughn, Myles Dean, Lawson Brandt, M.E. (Madlyn Elsie), Gavin James; great grandchild Kaileb Wayne; siblings Naomi Katherine (Pete), Karen Marie (Richard), Roger Lee (Beverly), Larry Eugene; and sister-in-law Mary Demerly. Elsie was preceded in death by her parents Ethel and Talmadge, and her brothers Raymond Leon and Donald Melvin.

Visitation will be Monday, December 16th, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care. A funeral service to celebrate Elsie's life will be 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, December 17 at the Woodland Church. A private interment will be held at Floral Lawn Memorial Gardens. Memorial donations in memory of Elsie can be made to 'Final Harvest Ministries' either online at https://finalharvest.us/donation/ or by mail to PO Box 18744, Rochester, NY, 14618. Make check payable to 'Final Harvest'. Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.


Condolence & Memory Journal

Elsie will be missed by anyone who knew her and that is our loss. But as she said, " YIPPIE!" because she knew that her eternity will be spent in heaven. God blessed us with Elsie, and now He has taken her home.

Posted by Lisa and Fred Jensen - Jensen Beach, FL - Friend   December 16, 2019

Uncle Vaughan, Laura, Jerry - My heartfelt condolences on the passing of Aunt Elsie. I will always have fond memories of the time we spent together over the years. Much live to you all.

Posted by Renae Ditmer - NC - Family Friend   December 15, 2019

Uncle Vaughan, Laura, Jerry - My heartfelt condolences on the passing of Aunt Elsie. I will always have fond memories of the time we spent together over the years. Much love to you all.

Posted by Renae Ditmer - NC - Family Friend   December 15, 2019

Her impact on the pastors wives was huge.Very sorry for your loss. She will be greatly missed.prayers and blessings to all.

Posted by Pastor Paul Markell - Hamburg, NY - Coworker   December 14, 2019

Elsie was my main mentor guiding me as a young pastor's wife in WNY. She was an incredible example of love, a true gift to the the district pastoral families of WNY. Elsie loved us and our children like we were her own family. Our love and comforting prayers to Vaughn and all the Drummonds family.

Posted by Debbie Beers - Weedsport, NY - Family Friend   December 14, 2019

My deepest condolences to you n family .May she rip n God comfort you all in this very hard time .

Posted by Maru Weathetly - San Antonio, TX - Friend   December 13, 2019

My wife Sandy and I have good memories of Elsie and Vaughn, when they lived in Houghton. Reading the obituary and learning that Elsie loved music and played the piano reminds me of the day that a Houghton College colleague, Duane Saufley, and I struggled to carry a small organ up the stairs to the second floor of the Drummonds home here in Houghton when they moved to town.
Our prayers extend to the surviving family at this loss, but isn't it wonderful to know that death has been swallowed up in victory and we shall see Elsie again in the Lord's presence! ---John & Sandy Roederer

Posted by JOHN ROEDERER - Houghton, NY - Friend   December 13, 2019

Elsie and Pastor Vaughn had a large impact on my spiritual growth through my teen years. I part God's comfort and strength for Elsie's family and friends as they travel this path of grief!

Posted by Randy Gillett - Greensboro, NC - Friend   December 13, 2019

Under "Relationship" I chose "Student" as I was privileged to be taught and mentored by this loving and wise pastors wife. When I learned Elsie was diagnosed with cancer, I emailed her this message:

Elsie, you have been so instrumental in my spiritual life in high school and college as well as being a faithful cheerleader, matchmaker, and prayer warrior to this day. You have been such a good and faithful servant to so many of us. Please be aware of my love and prayers for you and your family. I cannot get away until next week, but I'm hoping to see you soon. And if not here, I'm assuredas I said to both Mom and Dad as I left their hospital rooms for the last time'See you later.' Your preacher boy,' Jim.

As I was leaving her room back on October 4, I gave her a hug and I said, I won't say goodbye. I'll say See you later.' She said, Here or there pointing up.

See you there!

Posted by Jim Watkins - Marion, IN - Student   December 13, 2019

Elsie encouraged me greatly by affirming gifts and talents which I was just discovering. She and I worked very closely in launching the Western NY Wesleyan Women's Retreat and I have always considered her as a special mentor. I love you forever and look forward to joining you for eternity! Cathy

Posted by Cathy Kelley - Belfast, NY - Family Friend   December 13, 2019