John Clinton Briggs

Monday, October 31, 1927 - Wednesday, July 4, 2018

A Man of Healing and Faith

Photo of John Clinton Briggs  - 1927-2018

Rev. John Clinton Briggs of Asheville, NC, passed away July 4, 2018 at Mission Memorial Hospital in Asheville at the age of 90.

John was born in Sparta, New Jersey; on October 31, 1927, the son of the late Rev. Harry Irwin Briggs and the late Amanda Myrtie Crabtree Briggs.

John Briggs served in the United States Army during WWII, where he honored his country by playing trombone in the US Army Band. 

John earned his B.S. degree in math and broadcast engineering at the University of South Dakota in 1953. Following graduation, he was a professor of radio electronics at the University of South Dakota. He built the radio station KYNT in Yankton, South Dakota, and served as its chief engineer and program director and even gave Tom Brokaw his first job.

His musical gift and his beautiful singing voice continued as he traveled and performed with his family, the “Briggs Family Singers” over a five-state area. 

He served as Director of Development and Vice President for Development at Crown College, the mid-west regional college of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, located near Minneapolis, Minnesota from the summer of 1973 to the summer of 1982. He also served as Director of Development at Toccoa Falls Bible College. 

On August 10, 1984 John married Barbara Baron Fenlason and they established a worldwide ministry together.

John had several hobbies that he enjoyed throughout his life. Among these are fishing and hiking with his children and grandchildren. He was an avid photographer and enjoyed gardening, woodworking, playing trombone and singing.  

Rev. Briggs was loving and compassionate, and a prayer warrior, wanting to use the power of prayer to enrich and heal those around him. Along with his wife, Barbara, he traveled in ministry to over 12 countries, throughout Europe, Asia, and Indonesia, including Poland, Tibet, Haiti, China, and Israel. He and Barbara worked together to hold the first countrywide National Day of Prayer and prayer breakfast in Haiti. Together they founded and operated Restoration Ministries International out of Fort Mill, SC. They were members of Morning Star Church in Fort Mill, SC.

In addition to his parents, John is preceded in death by two of his sisters, Laura Brink and Mildred Lufburrow, daughter in law Coleen Briggs and stepson, Michael Richard Smith.

Survivors include his wife of 32 years, Barbara Fenlason Briggs of Asheville, NC; sister, Mary Austin of Ohio; children, Rev. Dale Briggs and his wife, Rebecca, of Bristolville, OH, Diane Sorenson and her husband, Victor, of Maple Lake, MN, Dawn Sweeney and her husband, Doug, of Excelsior, MN,  and David Briggs of Shakopee, MN; step-children, Rev. David Smith and his wife, Kathy, of Kettering, OH, Brenda Baron Smith of Waynesville, NC, and Jonathan Robert Smith of Huntersville, NC; 12 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of life service will be held on Monday, July 16, 2018 at New Covenant Church, 767 Lee Road, Clyde, NC 28721. Service to commence at 3:00 p.m. Friends and family will be received beginning at 2:00 p.m. 

John and his wife Barbara have a history with New Covenant Church and would appreciate any donations made in John's memory be designated to New Covenant Church 767 Lee Road, Clyde NC  28721.

Crawford/Ray Funeral Home and Cremation Service is honored to be caring for the Briggs Family, and words of comfort may be shared at

Condolences from family and friends


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Barbara Tommy Long over at Bethel Baptist Church. I'm so sorry to hear of Johns passing. Somehow with the business of summer I have just learned of this. I so enjoyed John and it was just a few weeks ago we talked after church one day and we marveled at how well He and my uncle J.M. Long were doing as he is 91 and John was 90. My oh my, well I'm sure John was received with " well done my good and faithful servant" . He was such a nice man. God bless you and prayers for you and family. Sadness here but rejoicing in heaven. Tommy Long and family
Tommy Long
Dear Barbara, Sending my deepest condolences for you and the family. When I first started in RTF/ HHN I witnessed your deep love for each other and for everyone that you knew. I loved seeing both of you in red on DO day. The world has been greatly influenced by your love for the Lord and desire to see fellow Christians to receive healing and deliverance and the world to receive Jesus. I pray the our Lord will cover you with His steadfast never ending love and surround you with His Presence as you walk through the following days, months, and years. I promise He will be there with you, I was a widow for four years and He directed my path every Day. Blessings and Love, Patty Kern
Patty Johnston Kern
Barbara and Extended Families, Jocelyn and I are praying for your loss and transition. We remember John for his optimistic outlook and for his strong desire to see people healed and restored. We will also remember John for his love for his wife, Barbara, and their extended family. We are preparing to drive to the celebration of life soon. May our Father God be present and close to each one in his or her grief and loss. May our Heavenly Father be your new husband, Barbara, in the days and years ahead. Together in ABBA Father and trusting in His provisions for your family, Dave and Jocelyn Barry
Dave and Jocelyn Barry