Remembering Virginia “Jinny” Snoddy - Gordon Conwell

Remembering Virginia “Jinny” Snoddy

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
2 Cor 1:3-4

The seminary community both grieves and rejoices in the passing of our dear friend and devoted board member, Virginia “Jinny” Snoddy. Though she has shed her earthly tent, leaving friends and loved ones to lament her absence, she now knows and sees the Lord “as he is” (1 John 3:2), which is a glorious hope and consolation.

She was born of a ruddy Irish stock, her grandparents having immigrated from Ireland to Philadelphia where she witnessed in the lives of her devoted parents, Art and Irene Morris, a model of a “happy marriage, generosity, kindness, friendship, patience, prayerfulness, love and the Christian life.”[1]  She recalls, on one occasion, overhearing her mother crying on the phone to her father that they did not have enough money to pay that month’s grocery bill. So very early on she developed a clear head and tender heart when it came to understanding the value of practical help and open-handed giving.

A self-described “willful, disobedient, determined child,” she says that in raising her, her parents modeled patience and wisdom, ultimately shaping these rough edges into a shining jewel, as she herself became a reflection of the parents whose model she emulated: a life of service, generosity and practical support and extraordinary vision. Her father, the late Arthur N. Morris, served on the board for fourteen years, first as a Conwell representative and then as a seminary trustee.

She received a BA in Education from Stetson University and an MA in Christian Education from Princeton Theological Seminary and taught Spanish, history and an elective Bible class in the public school system. While at Princeton she encountered many non-western Christian leaders, which expanded her vision for mission. Thereafter she intentionally cultivated relationships with Christian leaders from around the world, (including Latin America, Egypt and Asia, to name a few) to learn from them and determine in what way she could best serve and empower the international church.

Her work led her inevitably to become active in an array of organizations, in the roles of both board member and financial supporter. She served on the board of World Harvest (now Serge), Serenity House and our own board at Gordon-Conwell. She was especially dedicated to helping successfully launch our Charlotte campus, contributing generously to its founding, and faithfully and regularly representing the seminary to the Charlotte community. In those early years, she chaired its Board of Advisors and took an active role in the fundraising.

Beyond her work at Gordon-Conwell, she further rendered open-handed financial support to many more institutions, including (but not limited to) Luther Rice Seminary, Young Life, Prison Fellowship, Montreat College, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Precepts, New Directions and His Heart Mission.  She wrote in her memoir: “It has been exciting to witness what the Lord is doing through each of these groups. Obviously, my financial contributions have helped each one, and they in turn have been a blessing to me. The Lord has provided the finances, and it has been a great joy to pass it on. My parents not only told me, but also showed me what being a good steward looks like. After all, it all belongs to Him.”

She was predeceased by her husband, Marcus, and is survived by two children and five grandchildren.

She concludes her memoir with the testament of her life:

“My life has been filled with adventure, love, friendship, joy, sorrow, mistakes, forgiveness, learning, growing and some interesting accomplishments. In the days and years that I have left on this earth, I trust that the joy of the Lord will be my strength. It has been a wonderful life.”

[1] Taken from her memoir, A Life of Grace, Gratitude and Generosity (self-published).