The Rev. Joseph Eugene Ware

Published 2:50 pm Friday, May 29, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Rev. Joseph Eugene Ware


The Rev. Joseph Eugene (Gene) Ware, 92, of Auburn, formerly of LaGrange, died Friday, May 22, 2020, at the University of Alabama Birmingham Hospital.  

Funeral services were held on Wednesday, May 27, 2020, at Vines Funeral Home Chapel, LaFayette, Alabama, at 12:30 p.m. with the Rev. Eric Ware officiating. Interment was in Friendship Missionary Baptist Church Cemetery, Roanoke (Standing Rock).  

Born Sept. 30, 1927, in Troup County, Joseph was the third-born son of the late Pierce and Annie Mabel Ferrell Ware. At the young age of 24, Joseph was inducted into the U.S. Army. He was a veteran of the Korean War and stationed in Germany during his military service.

In 1954, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania., he met and married the former Beulah Mae Mozee of Blakely, and the couple moved to California where their two children, Steven Eugene and Sheryl Lynn, were born and raised.

Joseph maintained membership in Baptist churches and served in various leadership positions, including deacon, teacher and superintendent of Sunday school in Elizabeth Missionary Baptist and St. Luke Missionary Baptist Churches in Richmond, California. In 1974, he accepted God’s call to serve in ministry. After several years, he served as assistant pastor at Bayo Vista Baptist Church, Rodeo, California, and Rose of Sharon Baptist Church in Berkeley, California. He soon was appointed pastor at Rose of Sharon, and later served as pastor at St. Joseph’s Missionary Baptist Church in Vacaville, California.

An industrious man, the Rev. Ware believed in business ownership and supported his family through various entrepreneurial roles, such as gas service station owner, independent construction contractor (California) and restaurant owner (LaGrange); however, the call to pulpit forever remained his most cherished vocation. He took every chance he was given to tell a listener about the goodness of the Lord.

In 1989, Joseph and Beulah moved back to the southeast to LaGrange, where he assumed the pastoral role at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church. In his latter years, he reconnected with their family church, Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Roanoke (Standing Rock), Alabama.

Always one with a heart to give, Joseph volunteered at hospitals and nursing homes to give haircuts to male patients and pray with them. He also enjoyed his work with the Senior Companion Program in LaGrange, where he sat with homebound patients. Whenever someone asked or wherever he saw a need, he was quick to respond without expectation of reciprocity. “Loan” was not in his vocabulary. He gave freely and without hesitation. The Rev. Joseph Ware will always be remembered for his charisma, generosity, sense of humor and honest conversation, but, most importantly, for his love for others exemplified both in his delivery of God’s Word to everyone he met and the sermon of his living example.

Joseph Ware is preceded in death by his wife, Beulah Mae Ware; son, Steven Eugene Ware; brothers, William Ware, Emory Ware and Edward Ware. He is survived by his daughter, Sheryl Ware Smith (Charles) of Auburn; daughter-in-love, Lisa Farrow of LaGrange; sister, Mabel Ware Winston of California; sister-in-law, Ernestine Ware of Roanoke, Alabama; grandchildren, Justin Smith of Houston, Texas, Cameryn Smith of Auburn, Alabama and Naiylah Ware and Nyles Ware, both of Sacramento, California.; granddaughter-in-love, Sheneka Lewis ( Jay) of LaGrange; and great-grandchildren-in-love, KaLisa Lynch, Jordan Lewis and Jazmyne Lewis, all of LaGrange.

The Rev. Joseph Ware will be remembered fondly by his many nieces, nephews, cousins, church members and friends across this country.

The Rev. Ware’s family wishes to extend sincere gratitude to the caregivers at Magnolia Place Assisted Living in Auburn, East Alabama Medical Center, Opelika, UAB Hospital Acute Trauma Care Unit, and the UAB Palliative Comfort Care Unit in Birmingham.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in honor of Rev. Joseph E. Ware may be mailed to Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 4524 County Rd. 87, Roanoke, AL 36274 AND/OR UAB Palliative and Supportive Care, Attn: UAB Gift Records, AB 1230 1720 2nd Ave. S., Birmingham, AL 35294-0112 or online at 

To share online condolences, visit http://www.

Vines Funeral Home, Inc., LaFayette, Alabama, handled the arrangements.