Deacon Little Neal Felton, 76, departed this life Friday, January 17, 2020 in Florence, SC. He was the father of Gwen Felton, Chris Felton, Little Neal Felton, Jr., Alonzo Felton and Helen Ford.
You may visit the family at 343 Nestledown Lane, Sellers, SC 29592.
Services for Deacon Little Neal Felton are scheduled to be held Friday, January 24, 2020 at the 12 noon in the Weston Chapel AME Church of Latta, SC. Deacon Felton will be laid to rest in the Sellers Chapel Cemetery. Friends of the family are Kindly asked to serve as flower and pall bearers.
~ Neal’s Story ~
Intense, fervent, passionate & compassionate, dedicated, committed. These are all adjectives that describe Deacon Little Neal Felton, Sr. Whatever he was in, he was all-in; whatever he did, he did it with all of his might.
Little Neal was born September 1, 1943, to the late Deacon Tom & Veola Felton, in Marion County. He was educated at Latimer School, Latta, SC, and gave over 30 years of his life to the CSX railroad, where he worked as a trackman.
When Neal played, he played hard. His siblings recall an occasion on which the entire Sellers Police Force (Mr. Archie) tried to stop him. He stepped on the gas and took the car—with some of his siblings in it—around a curve on two wheels, Dukes of Hazard style. He drove to the edge of the woods, stopped the car and ran home through the woods leaving them to fend for themselves. Being the son of Deacon Tom Felton, of course hunting and fishing were in his blood. His sons recall going fishing with him. All day. Going fishing with their dad meant leaving early in the morning and not returning until night.
When Neal turned his life around, he turned and never looked back. “I was walking down the street passing by the church, smoking a cigarette and it was Gospel Choir rehearsal night. Mrs. Ruth Will Horne said, ‘Boy, put that cigarette down and come on in here!’ I went into the church and listened to their rehearsal. I continued coming and shortly after in one of the rehearsals, I saw a bright light shining in my face. It looked as if the pews moved back; I went out of myself and came back. That night, I got saved and never turned back.” God continued to use Bro. Neal as a singer. He remained a member of the Gospel Choir until his earthly end. He was also one of the charter members of the Male Chorus, along with Oscar Jones, Larry Fore, Allen James, Terence McClellan, Leverne Alexander, Maceo Johnson and Rev. Samuel. In addition, Bro. Neal was a founding member of the Sellers Consolators, along with Pearl Peterson, Carrie Frances Crawford, Sammy Durant Frank & Judy Felton. He always sang under the Anointing and offered God intense praise during and after each selection. He praised God unapologetically and always encouraged others to do the same. The two songs that he is best known for singing are “If It Ain’t Been No Rain In Your Life, Wait A While” and “Believe I’ll Run On.” Bro. Neal also served as the church treasurer. He was ordained to serve as a Deacon by Rev. Cleophus Wright and served under his father, Chairman Tom Felton. He became his father’s successor in 2000, and remained the Chairman Deacon of the church until the present.
Because Deacon Felton was raised in the home of Bible scholars, he was already familiar with The Word of God. But after giving his life to Jesus, It now became real to him and became an integral part of his life. He began to teach Sunday School, served as the Assistant Superintendent along side Deacon Charlie McFadden, then succeeded him as the Superintendent and served faithfully in that position until he transitioned. He arrived at church an hour early every Sunday morning and prepared the atmosphere for service. He not only taught The Word in the church, but he embodied the words of Deuteronomy 6:6-7 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. When his children asked him a question, his response would be, “What does the Bible say?” No matter what the topic of their conversations was, he would always end up in the Bible. When they had “life talks” he always related life to the Bible, and when they had Bible discussions, he would link the Word to something current. He would emphatically quote the Word to them, and finish it by saying, “Put a period after it!” which meant “That settles it!”
The intensity with which Deacon Neal Felton lived and loved parallels the depth of his impact on the lives he touched. He birthed from his loins five children; four were born to his wife of eighteen years, Vera McCown Felton; but he fathered many others, developed special relationships with his succeeding generations, and had a fatherly influence on other young people in the community.
Deacon Felton’s memory will live on in those who knew and love him. His children: Gwen Felton, Sellers, SC; Little Neal (Jacqueline) Felton, Jr. Golden, CO; Chris (Cherille) Felton, Sellers, SC; Alonzo Felton, Marion, SC; Helen (Thomas) Ford, Fayetteville, NC; and Shaneen Pearson, Fairbanks, AK; Seventeen (17) grandchildren and sixteen (16) great-grandchildren; His siblings: Carrie (Leroy) Pettiford, Alonzo (Mickie) Felton, Arbe (Pollie) Felton, Frank (Judy) Felton, Bernice (Willie) Fore, and Raymond (Barbara) Felton, [He was preceded in death by siblings Juanita Mayo, Charlie Ned Felton, Tommy Lee Felton, Robert Lee Felton & Jeffery Felton]; sisters-in-law, Georgia Felton, Mary Felton and Diane Felton; his Sellers Chapel Church family for which his absence already rings a deafening silence; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
In his final heart-to-heart chat with his granddaughter, Chante, Deacon Felton said, “I’m not thumbing trying to get to Heaven yet, but when it’s time . . . I’m ready.” Deacon Felton was not running on to find out what the end would be; he already knew—absent from the body is present with The Lord. He was running on to see Him. O I want to see Him, look upon His face. There to sing forever of His saving grace. On the streets of glory, let me lift my voice: Cares all past, home at last, ever to rejoice.
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