Luther 'Luke' Gadson - Barnwell

Deacon Luther Gadson was born in Barnwell on May 5, 1945 to the late Arthur Gadson and Matlion Washington Holman Gadson. On Monday, April 24, 2017, our Heavenly Father delivered Luther from labor to reward at Select Specialty Hospital in Augusta, Ga with his wife and children at his bedside. He was also cared for by his sisters Patricia Jackson and Peggy Gadson Kirkland who gave above and beyond exceptional love, care and dedicated time.

He accepted Christ at an early age and joined Brown Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. As a young man, God had put him on the path for greatness; later in life to become an ordained deacon. He obtained his early education at Butler High School in Barnwell and later through hard work and determination received his diploma from ICS Newport/Pacific High School.

Through prayer, supplication and trusting in the Lord to guide and direct his path, Luke was blessed to excel from the farm land to become a productive transmission specialist at B&B Ford Motor Company in Barnwell in the early 1960s.

In 1970, the opportunity presented itself for the City of Barnwell to hire an African-American male to the police force. After careful research in the community of Barnwell, the name Luther was selected. Luther came home from B&B Ford, had a meeting with mom (Matlion Gadson) and siblings to aid him in making a concrete decision. After much prayer he agreed to accept the position. After the hiring process he became the first black police officer in Barnwell.

His accolades are as follows: certified breathalyzer tester, professional firearm/shooter trainee, Governor’s Crime Prevention, member of Palmetto State Law Enforcement Officers Association, South Carolina State Constable, Notary, named Top Citizen by Harley/Butler Post 246, certificate of appreciation for faith service to the state of South Carolina, recognition of applied problem solving through The Carolina Institute for Community Policing, and organized City of Barnwell Junior Police League. He also was privileged to greet President George W. Bush on the Circle in Barnwell at the first presidential campaign in 2000.

He leaves to cherish his memories his devoted wife of 45 years, Louise; his loving children, Luther Jr., Jonathan and Shrenda (Wendell Chisolm); three grandchildren, Jonathan Maleke Gadson Jr., Michael Dion Hunter Jr. and Luke Mekhi Chisolm, all known as “Granddaddy’s boys”; 13 siblings, Patricia Jackson, Peggy Gadson Kirkland and William Jenkins (9 preceded him in death); step sisters, Grace Keech and Lelia M. Odom; adopted brother, Robert Robinson aka “Big Bro”; sisters-in-law, Lugenia Holman, Christine Lockhart, Juliette Wright and Ernestine Bryant; along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins/relatives and friends.

Funeral service was held Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 10 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Barnwell with the Rev. Eugene Keitt Jr. officiating.

Lebby Funeral Home of Barnwell assisted the family with arrangements.