By Dedra Cordle
The village of Urbancrest is mourning the loss of one of its long-serving employees and spiritual leaders.
On Feb. 2, code enforcement officer Elder Marvin Mitchell Sr. passed away. He was 68 years old.
Upon graduation, the Grove City High School alum’s passion for his faith led him to enroll at Aenon Bible College. Though most of his official employment was spent working at Columbia Gas of Ohio, his past-time was spent helping others understand the word of God.
“He spent many years as a Sunday school teacher and he was one of the better Sunday school teachers this community has ever had,” said village councilwoman Shawn Moore during a reflection of his life at the Feb. 9 council meeting.
After 32 years, Mitchell retired from Columbia Gas of Ohio and established a church – The River of Life Tabernacle Apostolic Church – in the mid 1990s and was its pastor up until his death.
In the early 2000s, he followed in the footsteps of his wife, former council member Sonjia Mitchell, and took an active role in village governance.
In 2002, Mitchell was appointed as the street commission for the village. Shortly thereafter, he was named the code enforcement officer as well.
Mayor Joseph Barnes Sr. said Mitchell knew taking the position of code enforcement officer would not win him any popularity points, but he said Mitchell executed his duties with the welfare of the community at heart.
“Elder Mitchell had a dedication and desire for this community,” he said.
As someone who was born and raised in Urbancrest, Mitchell had previously expressed his wishes to see the community flourish. Barnes said some of the policies he helped shape did just that.
“He brought forth new policies that removed blighted properties from the village, made sure housing codes were up to date, and helped with the upkeep of the community.”
Barnes said that the next code enforcement officer will have big shoes to fill.
“That person will have to show the integrity that Elder Mitchell has shown,” he said.