Reverend Pearl Holmes DuVall

Published 1:28 pm Wednesday, December 27, 2017

CORDELE – Reverend Pearl Holmes DuVall went to be with the Lord on  December 26, 2017.  She was born in New Orleans, LA to Reverend Richard and Pearl Holmes. She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Wallace L. DuVall, and two grandchildren, Jennifer Low and David Christian DuVall.  A Valedictorian graduate from Chamblee High School, she attended Mercer University in Macon where she served as SGA President,  and was active in Baptist Student Union.  After graduating from Mercer, Mrs. DuVall attended WMU Training School where she obtained a Masters in Religious  Education. While a student at Mercer she met the love of her life, Wallace DuVall.  They were married on June 12, 1950.   Following seminary, she and her husband served as missionaries in Nigeria from 1956 to 1971. Her primary assignment on the mission field was as a teacher at Newton Memorial School in Oshogbo and Hillcrest International School  in Jos,  where she taught music and art.  She was an illustrator for WMU publications and did artwork for the national Nigerian WMU conventions.  She raised and home schooled  five children, two of whom were born in Nigeria.    Mrs. DuVall  dearly loved the Nigerian people, the mission family and the years spent on the mission field.

 Pearl DuVall  had a rich history in Christian ministry. Upon returning from the mission field she spent ten years in the school of nursing as a Chaplain and Director of Student Activities at the Georgia Baptist School of Nursing.  Later she attended the Chaplain’s Training program at Georgia Baptist Hospital and earned her Chaplain’s certification. She served as a Chaplain at Manor Care Nursing and Rehab Center in Decatur for five years. Hospital ministry and counseling became her passion due in part to countless hospitalizations as a child afflicted with polio at the age of three.  Being quarantined and separated from family made a lasting impression. She had a special place in her heart for the Shriners, whose fundraising efforts paid for her countless surgeries and for the WMU organization for providing books and toys during her hospital stays.

 Mrs. DuVall was involved in the women’s jail ministry in Dekalb County for many years. She was the 1991 recipient of the Distinguished Churchwoman of the year award. She was active in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and was the first female Moderator of the CBF of Georgia from 1994 to 1995, and served as a Trustee of Mercer University.  In the 1970’s she was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Decatur, becoming the second Baptist woman ordained in Georgia. She was a strong advocate and supporter of women in ministry. Pearl and Wallace DuVall were on the Founding Committee of the McAfee School of Theology of Mercer University.  She and her husband believed in an educated clergy and she was an ardent supporter of Mercer and McAfee School of Theology.

 In retirement, Mrs. DuVall was active in the First Baptist Church of Cordele, where she taught Sunday School and was a faithful member of  the WMU.

She served as a Chaplain with Hospice in Cordele.  Upon moving to Blackshear Villa, she taught a weekly Bible Study and led hymn sings for the residents and ministering to the staff.

She is survived by her five children and their spouses; David (Cindy) DuVall, Ellen DuVall, Richard (Sandy) DuVall, Kathy (Jerry) Harber, Becky (Steve) White, thirteen grandchildren,  thirteen great-grandchildren, and sisters Helen Ruchti and Elizabeth Carmichael.

 Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, December 30, 2017 at Cordele First United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends prior to the service Saturday beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the church. The committal service will be at the Salem Baptist Church Cemetery, 17912 GA HWY 37 in Edison GA.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Revs. Wallace and Pearl DuVall Memorial Scholarship at Mercer University’s  McAfee School of Theology, 3001 Mercer University Drive, Atlanta, GA 30341.

Arrangements are by Rainey Family Funeral Services. Online condolences may be left at