Reverend remembered for hospitality, kindness
The Rev. Rhett Y. Winters Jr. didn’t know a stranger. The Rev. David Thompson, of Saint Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, recounted one story in particular that showed Winters’ character.
“He just was a very hospitable person, inviting you to come into his presence,” he said. “He would do whatever he could for people. Years ago, he came home for Thanksgiving with a stranger, someone who was homeless for Thanksgiving Day. He made sure that person was fed and that he had some place to sleep and stay and had provisions taken care of for him. That was just the kind of person that Rhett was.” Winters passed away on Thursday, May 9.
Those who attend St. Bart’s knew Winters for his love of the University of North Carolina. So much so that Thompson joked that he “bled blue” for his love of the Tar Heels. Hailing from Raleigh, he came to North Augusta more than 30 years ago. He was an active parishioner at St. Bart’s.
“He had retired by the time he came to our congregation,” Thompson said. “He helped with Bible study and he helped teach a class called the Soul Searchers. He assisted me in the services. Rhett would do just about anything we asked of him in his retirement. He was a great environmentalist, and he was keen on getting people to recycle and keen on how we could be a greener community.
“He was very involved in Indian missions and believed the church in India was a great example for the rest of the Christian church. Because of political issues, the Indian church was forced to work together and he felt that all the Christian churches should work together like the churches do in India. That was a very big push for Father Rhett.”
Scott Rodgers is a reporter at the North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since January 2013 after previously working at the Aiken Standard. He is a graduate of Alvernia University and currently attends Drexel University.