Service on Saturday for Rev. Dr. Stephen R. Hanning

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Rev. Dr. Stephen R. Hanning
A service to honor and remember Rev. Dr. Stephen R. Hanning will be held on Saturday, April 2 at 11am at Richmond Beach Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, 1512 NW 195th St, Shoreline 98177.

A potluck luncheon – the ultimate fellowship event for Stephen – will be held at the church following the service.

The Rev. Dr. Stephen R. Hanning was born on November 11, 1940 in Akron, Ohio and passed away on Wednesday, March 16, 2016, in Edmonds surrounded by his family. He grew up in St. Marys, Ohio and immediately out of high school, at the age of 17, he joined the U.S. Navy and served on a destroyer stationed in Norfolk, Virginia.

Dr. Hanning graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a degree in Russian Language. Upon graduation from Miami, he directed a poverty project for the YMCA in a mining community in West Virginia. He then served as a VISTA Volunteer during the Johnson Administration as part of the "Great Society."

Dr. Hanning felt a calling for the ministry as early as the age of eight, and pursued this calling by attending Yale University Divinity School. His first position out of seminary was Director of the Campus YMCA at the University of Oregon.

Rev. Hanning began his career with the University Congregational Church in Seattle in 1971. From 1974 to 1979, he served as pastor of a yoked DOC - UCC congregation, the United Christian Church of Renton, Washington. Then, from 1979 to 1983 he served the United Church of Christ at Wahpeton, North Dakota.

In 1983 he was called to Richmond Beach Congregational, United Church of Christ, located in Shoreline where he served for ten years. While at RBCC UCC, Rev. Hanning earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from Northwest Theological Union of Seattle.

In 1993, he accepted a call to be Ministry Team Leader at Orinda Community Church, Orinda, CA. In 1995, he accepted a call to serve as Senior Minister of Faith United Protestant Church UCC in Park Forest, Illinois. In June of 2006, he retired from full-time ministry and returned to Washington State. Though retired, Stephen then began doing interim ministry for churches in Everett and Ferndale, Washington and Lanai, Hawaii.

Stephen leaves behind his beloved wife and Partner-in-Ministry Violet, children Cynthia (Ronald), Edmund, Gina and Peter (Emily), sister Gail, eight grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and honorary daughter, Peggy, and grandson. Stephen was predeceased by his parents, Raymond and Flora and his older brother Ralph.

The focus of Dr. Hanning's ministry was in the areas of civil rights for African Americans and more recently, for gays and lesbians, low-income housing, the prevention of domestic violence and building inter-faith understanding.

For those considering making a donation in his memory, please consider Southern Poverty Law Center or Compass Housing Alliance in Seattle.


Jennifer Pemberton,  April 12, 2016 at 12:30 PM  

I am so sad to hear this. I am very sorry for your loss. I would to speak to Gina Banning. My name is Jennifer (Gerhard) Pemberton. (208) 971-1986.

Anonymous,  February 19, 2024 at 11:23 AM  

I wouldn’t feel right without leaving a comment here. He was my pastor at Faith United Protestant Church in Park Forest, Illinois. He baptized me and all my siblings. I heard about his passing a few years ago and didn’t think too much of it, until recently I had a dream about him and went to google him, which confirmed his passing. I know I’m a little late, but dear heavenly father, may his soul rest in peace and prayers to his family and loved ones. From his prayers to puppet shows, I can truly say he was a genuine person! Best memory of him is when my mom brought me to the ER, I was about 8 years old. We randomly saw him in the lobby leaving. He recognized my mother, they conversed briefly & she explained why we were there & he stopped and prayed for us. As a kid I was embarrassed at first, but looking back as an adult I can I truly blessed to have had this man in my life.

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