The Life Of Ernest C. Gilbert Jr.
E. C. Gilbert (as he was always known) was born on January 9, 1928 to Ernest C. Gilbert, Sr., and Ruth Riner Gilbert in Lawrence County, Alabama. He was baptized in 1940 by Brother Franklin Puckett. He left Deshler High School to serve three years in the U.S. Navy. He married Bobbie Ann Pennington on February 22, 1946. He finished high school on the G.I. Bill and received his diploma from Colbert County High School. He completed the Dale Carnegie course How to Win Friends and Influence People. He also took Bible classes at Freed Hardeman College in Henderson, Tennessee. He was a member of Toastmasters International. E.C. and Bobbie had one son and three daughters.
E. C. preached his first gospel sermon in the winter of 1951 at Warren Road Church of Christ in Cleveland, Ohio when he was 23 years old. He preached at several small country churches in Franklin and Colbert County, Alabama. He preached full-time at Leighton, Alabama, Tharptown, Alabama, Mt. Hope, Alabama, Falkville, Alabama, Okolona, Mississippi, Osceola, Arkansas, Charlotte, Tennessee, Lebanon, Ohio, Birmingham, Alabama and New Albany, Indiana. At most of these congregations, he published a weekly bulletin. In Okolona, Mississippi he had a three-day per week television broadcast and in Osceola, Arkansas he had a daily radio broadcast. He held gospel meetings in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, California, Pennsylvania and Canada. E.C. Gilbert faithfully preached the gospel and brought many souls to Christ. He faithfully preached in the 1950s and 1960s during periods of vast social and cultural changes across the country, as well as in the Lord's church. No matter how unpopular, he taught against many false doctrines which were introduced into the church.
Through the years E.C. suffered from heart disease and severe diabetes. E. C. and Bobbie moved from Indiana back to Florence, Alabama in 1979 and for a time, he preached at a small, country church south of Tuscumbia, Alabama. His health failed and he reluctantly stopped preaching. E.C.'s health deteriorated rapidly in his later years. On December 15, 2005 complications of heart disease and diabetes took his life and he went to rest. He was survived by his wife Bobbie, his son Larry, and daughters Donna Noles, Cathy Gilbert and Carla Gilbert, son-in-law Paul Noles, daughter-in-law Barbara Gilbert, grandchildren with spouses Johnathan and Mary Noles, Melissa and Robert Ruth and Chad Gilbert, and great grandchildren Jackson Noles and Olivia Ruth. His funeral was conducted at Colbert Memorial Gardens in Tuscumbia, Alabama on December 17, 2005 by Larry Gilbert, Paul Noles, Lee Wildman (minister at Helton Dr. Church of Christ in Florence, Alabama where E.C. attended the last several years of his life) and Jeff McCrary (minister at North Gardendale Church of Christ in Gardendale, Alabama). E. C. received full military honors at his burial at Colbert Memorial Gardens.
-E.C. Gilbert's Daughter Cathy Gilbert
Burial Location Of E.C. Gilbert
E.C. Gilbert is buried in the Colbert Memorial Gardens in Tuscumbia, Alabama. Just south of Hwy.72 on Hwy. 43 in Colbert County.