From serving congregations to giving blood, the Rev. C. Leroy Doverspike showed his family how to love God and others.

"He had a true servant's heart," said his daughter, Michal Buchanan, 53, of Springettsbury Township. "My dad loved people unconditionally. He was an honest and fair person. He believed in speaking the truth in love."

The Rev. Doverspike died Friday at his New Salem home. He was 77. His family said he died of a probable heart attack.

'Awesome pastor': A long-time minister, the Rev. Doverspike was founding pastor of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Mechanicsburg. He was the coordinator of caring ministry at Bethany United Methodist Church in Red Lion at the time of his death.

Also among his survivors are his wife of 54 years, Wanda Lou Doverspike; another daughter, Tina Colton of Wellsboro, Tioga County; and four grandchildren.

"He was an awesome pastor," Wanda Lou Doverspike said about her husband. "He took it seriously. He was a go-getter. He was a very handy man. When something went wrong, he fixed it, even in the church. He had many goals. He had plans all the time."

His service: The Rev. Doverspike was ordained an elder in 1966 by the United Methodist Church, Central Pennsylvania Conference. He served congregations in Altoona, Blair County, Greencastle, Franklin County, Wellsboro and Hanover.

He started Aldersgate UMC in 1988 and served there until 1991, his wife said.


The Rev. Doverspike also served as president and second vice president of the Hanover Area Council of Churches and was corresponding secretary of the Bethel Park Camp Meeting Association and Board of Directors from 1974 until this year.

Blood donor: The minister also was a long-time, regular blood donor for the American Red Cross, giving close to 25 gallons of blood. He donated almost every two months at the organization's center in Hanover, Buchanan said.

"He was a good donor because he was O-positive," she said. "He had a great blood type for the world. That was a ministry to him to be able to give blood for others. It was his way to give back."

The American Red Cross is thankful for the Rev. Doverspike contributions and is sorry to hear about his passing, said Steve Mavica, the organization's spokesman.

"The Red Cross truly appreciate donors like the Rev. Doverspike, who are consistent," Mavica said. "Donors like him help ensure that there's blood on the shelves to assist in the time people most need it."

Colton said her father "live by grace" as he demonstrated how to share God's love with others.

"He accepted people where they truly were and helped them to draw closer to Christ," Colton said of her father. "He never excluded people. He always went out of his way to serve them."