Rev. Roland D. Vanzant, a Methodist minister for 41 years, died December 4, 2020 at the age of 90. Roland was born in Yulee, Florida April 16, 1930.
He married his sweetheart Genivieve on May 17, 1953. Roland and Genivieve have three children, David Vanzant, Deborah (Brad) Steube, and Doug (Kathy) Vanzant. They are blessed with four grandchildren,
Greg (Jen) Steube, Grant (Julia) Steube, Rachel Vanzant & Michelle Vanzant. They also have 3 adorable great grandchildren, Ethan, Lila, and Declan.
Roland served in the Florida United Methodist Conference as a pastor in churches throughout Florida. He served in Miami, Titusville, Bradenton, and Tampa districts. Roland also served as a District Superintendent in Jacksonville for six years. He became the Administrative Assistant to the Bishop of the Florida United Methodist Church under Bishop Hunt and Bishop Hughes. He completed his pastorate in Tampa at Lake Magdalene in 1995 at which time he retired to the Lakeland area.
Roland had a distinguished career and education with numerous honors, recognitions, and conference responsibilities. He graduated from Florida Southern College in 1953. Roland was ordained a Deacon and ordained an Elder at Florida Annual Conference. Roland received his Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology, Emory University in 1956 and earned two Honorary Doctor of Divinity from Florida Southern College and Bethune-Cookman College in 1984.
Roland had a long history of service to the United Methodist Church. Roland received the ‘Religious Medal’ from Florida Southern College.
He was listed in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. He was President of the Ministerial Fraternity, Gamma Sigma Chi and Omicron Delta Kappa. Roland served as Director of Evangelism, Chairman of Board of Pensions, District Director for Higher Education Tampa District, Board of Directors University Chapel Fellowship at the University of South Florida, Cabinet liaison to Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, Commission on equitable Salaries, Vice President Methodist Hospital Board of Directors Jacksonville, Board of Trustees Bethune-Cookman College for fourteen years.
Roland met the love of his life Genivieve at Florida Southern College and were married after graduating. Roland and Genivieve were inseparable soul mates. Their marriage was blessed with joy, happiness, and contentment for 67 years. Genivieve has been Roland’s eyes for many years blessing him with enriched experiences and descriptive images to fulfill his life without sight. They were a team throughout their rich, happy marriage.
A private service will be held for family at Heath Funeral Chapel Lakeland, Florida. His interment will be at the Columbarium at First United Methodist Church.
Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.