Dr. Dr. Walter P. Atkinson died at a Chattanooga hospital surrounded by his family on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2011. He was 77.Dr. Atkinson is survived by: beloved wife, Oleda Atkinson, of Ooltewah; three daughters, Reita Ball (husband Steve), of Chattanooga, Renea A. Medlin (husband Don), of Memphis, Tenn., Rhonda Parris (husband Randall), of Cleveland, Tenn.; five grandchildren, Brittni Ball, of Chattanooga, Taylor and Victoria Medlin, of Memphis, Clay and Alysse Parris, of Cleveland, Tenn.; sisters, Jerri Disbrow, of Lake City, Fla., Arlene Jones (husband Gail Richard, special brother in-law and friend); several nieces and nephews, special aunt and friend, Alice Thomas (E.C. Thomas, former General Overseer of the Church of God,) of Cleveland.He was born in Lake City, Fla., and graduated from Columbia County High School. He attended Lee University from 1953-1957 and also earned a master's degree at the Pentecostal Theological Seminary. He received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Lee University. His pastorates included Columbia, Miss., Smithville, Tenn., Anderson, S.C., and North Cleveland Church of God, in Tennessee. Dr. Atkinson also served as State Youth and CE Director in Alabama and South Carolina.Dr. Atkinson was elected to serve on the Church of God International Executive Committee as General Secretary-Treasurer from 1994-1996. Atkinson served as state administrative bishop in: MS, KY, AL, W. NC, and TN. He also served as Director of Media Ministries and National Evangelist. Recently, he was very involved in the ministries of Metropolitan Tabernacle church.Walter Atkinson will be remembered as a true "statesman," world-class leader, and gifted Bible scholar. His love for God, his family, the Church, his friends and "ordinary people" ran very deeply and was easily observed in his everyday life. He and his wife of 54 years, Oleda, were truly a "team" in all of their ministry and life experiences.Visitation will occur on Friday, Nov. 4, from 4:30-6:30 p.m., followed by the Celebration of Life and Legacy service of Dr. Walter Atkinson at 7 p.m. at Metropolitan Tabernacle Church, 2101 West Shepherd Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421.A private family interment will occur Saturday morning.Because of his love for training spiritual sons and daughters, in lieu of flowers, friends are encouraged to make donations to "Destiny Ministries" to continue the legacy of Dr. Walter Atkinson @ www.walteratkinson.org.Visit www.heritagefh.com to share words of comfort to the family.Arrangements by Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 East Brainerd Road, Chattanooga, TN 37421.