EMMETT WEBSTER SOLOMON JR.
Mr. Emmett Webster Solomon Jr., age 78, went to be with the Lord Tuesday, April 22, 2014. Mr. Solomon was born the fourth child of Emmett Webster Solomon and Velma Upton Solomon on January 2, 1936. He was born on a farm near to Memphis Texas along Highway 287 and the Fort Worth Denver Railroad. Mr. Solomon graduated from Hereford High School in Hereford TX in 1954, Bob Jones University in Greenville South Carolina in 1958.
In 1958 he enrolled at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore Kentucky. After one year, he transferred to New York Theological Seminary in New York City. He was pastor at Wurtsboro Reformed Church of America and his family returned to Texas and enrolled to do graduate studies in Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth.
During his first semester there, he was recruited to Huntsville to do a course of study at the Huntsville Unit in 1964. Chaplain Clyde Johnston supervised a training program for clergy called Clinical Pastoral Education. Following one year of CPE he began serving as a chaplain for the Texas Department of Corrections at the Central Unit in Sugar Land.
In 1967 he was reassigned to the Eastham Unit by Dr. George Beto the Director of TDC. At Eastham he was the first resident Chaplain where he served until 1984. He and Jan raised their family at the Eastham Unit. In 1984-85 he served as Interim Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Lovelady. In 1985 he and his family moved to Huntsville. He became the second Director of Chaplains after the death of his mentor Clyde Johnston who was the First Director of Chaplains for TDCJ.
He loved being outdoors. He led his sons on some notable expeditions including: Canoe Trips on East Texas Rivers, Bicycle trip to Louisiana, and Motorcycle trips to Padre Island and Queen Wilhelmina Mountain at Mena Arkansas. He was an avid fisherman on the Trinity River. He also had a passion for sports especially football. He followed the Sam Houston State University sport teams and was a loyal supportive fan.
After retirement he served for 20 years as Founder and Executive Director of the Restorative Justice Ministries Network housed in the First Baptist Church Educational Building. That organization published and mailed a Prison Ministry Trade Journal for 12 years. The journal was to network people who do ministry with prisoners, prisoner families, victims of crime and Criminal Justice Professionals.
RJMN also sponsored 14 statewide Restorative Justice Ministry Conferences and dozens of regional conferences. During the last 8 years, RJMN has focused on the needs of the returning citizens who were being released from prison. Because of health issues he relinquished leadership of the Restorative Justice Ministries Network in 2013.
Mr. Solomon furnished leadership for several organizations. He was the President of the American Protestant Correctional Chaplains Association in 1978. He held offices on the local and regional level for the Texas Public Employees Association. His service to that organization led to his being elected President in 1982-83. That year he spearheaded lobbying efforts for 186,000 public employees in Texas and felt good about the 7.5% pay increase the Legislature Awarded to state employees that biennium. Emmett served as President of the Board of the Houston County Hospital in 1983-84; after moving to Huntsville he joined the Huntsville Rotary Club where he was a Paul Harris Fellowship recipient.
In 1999-2000 Rotary year he served as President for the club. At the First Baptist Church he served as the Department Director for the Kingdom Builders Department and taught the Andrew Sunday School Class for 15 years. He received many awards for his service: these include the Gene Stallings Service Award, two Volunteer of the Year Governor Awards, Chaplain of the Year from the Salvation Army and the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College.
Survivors include his wife Janet Lorilei Solomon; one son John Mark Solomon and wife Laurie, of Lovelady; three grandchildren Amanda Solomon, of Waco, Stephanie Solomon, of Tyler and Stephen Solomon, of Huntsville; nieces Cheryl Betzen, of Hereford, Suzanne Kennedy, of Yoakum, Karen Jared and Kathy Bletscher, both of Salem, Oregon; four nephews Stanley Solomon, of Dallas, Michael Solomon, of Hereford, Craig Solomon, of Vega and David Stanford, of Allen; also dozens of great-nephews and nieces.
Preceded in death by his father and mother Emmett Webster Solomon and Velma Upton Solomon; three siblings Garland Stanley Solomon, Henry Lee Solomon and Betty Jean Stanford; eldest son Emmett Matthew Solomon.
Funeral Services for Mr. Emmett Webster Solomon Fr. will be held Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 2:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Huntsville. Graveside Services will be held at 4:00 p.m. at Evergreen Cemetery in Lovelady.
Memorial donations may be made to the Restorative Justice Ministries Network, 1229 Avenue J Huntsville Texas 77340.
Memorial condolences for Mr. Solomon may be left at online obituaries www.shmfh.com.
Sam Houston Memorial Funeral Home