Roy Hampton, former City resident, continues active life at Appy Christian Village

(Editor's Note: This article was reprinted with permission from the Village Visitor, the newsletter of Appalachian Christian Village.)


   He's animated, witty, and very schooled. A Tennessean by birth, Roy Hampton grew up in Elizabethton. He moved to Appalachian Christian Village at Sherwood about six months ago, a move he had originally planned with his wife, Wanda Lee. However, Wanda Lee died in 1997 after a lengthy battle with cancer.
   "After her surgery in '89, the doctors said that she had about six months to live," shares Roy, "but she was an unusual woman with great faith in God. She lived for another eight and one-half years!" Married for 46 years, Roy smiles when he remembers his beloved wife. "She was a teacher of English literature and was a Greek scholar."
   The son of a preacher, Roy never remembers a time he wasn't involved in church or in academic pursuits. And, more often than not, he did both at the same time. After completing a short hitch in the Navy during World War II, Roy graduated in 1949 with a B.S. degree in mathematics and the sciences. In 1951, he attended the University of Pittsburgh as a Teaching Fellow and earned a master's degree. He taught Marine Engineering for 10 years at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., where he was the recipient of five outstanding teacher awards. During a sabbatical leave from the Academy to earn a doctorate from Duke University, he became ill and had to drop out of the program.
   However, it didn't take him long to find himself back in Tennessee teaching mathematics and physics at Milligan College. For the next 17 years, Roy enjoyed being a professor to young inquisitive minds, which earned him three awards as an outstanding teacher. When he wasn't teaching, he was preaching at Hales Chapel Christian Church in Gray and Gap Creek Christian Church. During the summer months, he secured educational grants from Columbia University, Oak Ridge Nuclear Plant, the University of Atlanta and the University of Kansas.
   After Milligan College, Roy and his wife moved back to Pittsburgh for six and one-half years for Roy to assume a full-time minister's position. He kept his fingers in education by teaching calculus part time at the University of Pittsburgh and by teaching algebra and trigonometry in a maximum security prison. He says that he had some very bright students at the prison, and shared that one of his students was released from prison and he was glad to speak on the prisoner's behalf during his hearing.
   An opportunity presented itself for Roy and his wife to move back South. So, for the next seven years and until his retirement in 1992, he was a professor at Virginia Intermont College in Bristol, Va. He said that it was during this time that his wife became ill and had to have numerous surgeries. "She had wanted to be a missionary before we met," shared Roy. "She really was one married to me. She was always very supportive of every job I had and every church ministry I took."
   He says he enjoys living in the Village Tower of Appalachian Christian Village at Sherwood. Roy continues to teach Sunday School at Hopwood Christian Church, sings in the men's choir and is also an elder.
   He is also a member of the Elizabethton Choral Group and is the only male in the Johnson City Book Club. Roy has five children and 12 grandchildren.