1929 - 2021
KINGS MOUNTAIN, NC – Rev. Eugene W. Land entered into his Heavenly reward on Thursday, September 9, 2021 at Caromont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia, North Carolina, after a period of declining health. We are sure many special people were at the Pearly Gates to welcome him as the Angels and St. Peter were there, too, as the trumpets sounded.
Gene was born in August, 1929 in Greenville, South Carolina to the late Inez Babb Land and Truluck Land. He graduated from Parkland High School where he played baseball and football. He decided to serve his country by joining the U.S. Navy in 1947 and served until 1952 during the Korean War. He was particularly proud of serving as a shipmate aboard the U.S.S. Missouri (BB 63). He also served as the Chaplin of the U.S.S. Missouri Association for twenty years.
Upon leaving the Navy, Gene worked in the trucking industry until 1961. He then continued his education at Fruitland Bible Institute where he served as Class President and graduated in 1964 with an Associate’s Degree. Following his call into the ministry, Gene furthered his education at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor of Divinity degree.
Gene’s ministry took him to many places in North Carolina. His first call as a minister was at Sunny Point Baptist Church in Canton, NC where he served for two years. From there, he pastored churches in Mt. Gilead (Hamer Creek Baptist Church), Summerfield (Temple Baptist Church), and two churches in Kings Mountain including Second Baptist Church (27 years) and Eastside Baptist Church (8 years). Gene was invited by the late Rev. Billy Graham to participate as a guest counselor for several of his crusades. He also established the first children’s bus ministry for all races of children in Kings Mountain.
Gene stayed very busy leading 14 groups to the Holy Land in Israel to visit where Christianity had its beginnings. It was on his last trip abroad that he met his wife, June. They shared twenty-two glorious years together.
Gene once said, “that he didn’t have time to retire—that he enjoyed working for the Lord.” And that he did. Whether it was assisting other Baptist churches with their needs, or preaching revivals around North Carolina and South Carolina.
He also worked with the Southern Baptist Convention and the NC State Baptist Convention serving in many different leadership roles including various committee chairmanships.
In addition to his wife, June Taylor Land, he is survived by his sons, Kelly Eugene Land of Rutherfordton, NC and Richard Harrison Land of Stanley, NC. Also left to cherish his memory is his sister, Joy Miller, sister-in-law Tillie Land, nephew Tony Land and wife, Janet, niece and nephew Robin and Terry Pierce, and niece and nephew Regina and Justin Land. Gene is survived by his brother-in-law, Sid Baker of Reidsville, NC, and sister-in-law, Brenda Baker of Trinity, NC. He is also survived by June’s children including daughter, Laura Smith Scholz (and husband, Mike) of Edina, MN and their daughters, Taylor and Kendall, her son, Michael Vonsmith (and wife, Kristen) of Minnetonka, MN and their daughter, Katherine.
In addition to his parents, Gene was predeceased by his sister, Wilma Pierce, brother-in-law, Jack Pierce, brother, Bub Land, brother-in-law Bruce Miller, the mother of his children, JoLynn Baker Kuhn, his nephew, Bub, Jr., niece, Sandra Land, and brothers-in-law, Don Baker and Scott Baker.
The family received friends at Harris Funeral Home (108 S. Piedmont Avenue, Kings Mountain, NC) on Monday, September 13, 2021 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm. A Celebration of Gene’s life was held on Tuesday, September 14 at 2:00 pm at Second Baptist Church (120 Linwood Road., Kings Mountain, NC) with interment to follow at Mountain Rest Cemetery, Kings Mountain, NC.
Rev. Eugene Land (Gene) left an indelible mark on our world. He could share the word of our Lord with passion and bring non-believers to the altar to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. He was an amazing listener and counselor. He was a Bible scholar and could quote scripture that would be appropriate regardless of the situation or whatever the occasion.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to all those who prayed continually for our family and for the exceptional care Gene received from his wonderful health care providers.
Memorials may be made in Reverend Land’s memory to Second Baptist Church at 120 Linwood Road, Kings Mountain, NC 28086, to Eastside Baptist Church at 308 York Road, Kings Mountain, NC 28086, to The USS Missouri Memorial Association by mail at PO Box 879, Attention: Development, Aiea, HI 96701, or to the donors choice.
Guest register is available at: www.harrisfunerals.com
. Harris Funeral Home and Cremation Services
, Kings Mountain, NC is in charge of arrangements.