Obituaries » Michael Ray Mitchell

Michael Ray Mitchell

July 16, 1948 - October 25, 2021

Michael Ray Mitchell, 73, of Midlothian, Virginia, went to be with his Lord on October 25, 2021. He was the loving husband of Sharyn Mitchell for 40 years and the devoted father of his two children, Michael, Jr., and Charis.

Michael was born July 16, 1948, in San Diego, California. He was a good man and a devoted and beloved husband, father, and friend. Michael was a gifted Christian educator and minister and earned degrees from Biola College, Talbot Theological Seminary, and an Ed.D. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. At 24 years old, Michael began serving as the children’s ministry director at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, where he met his wife, Sharyn. Since that time, Michael went on to serve as pastor and principal of schools and churches across the country, including pastoring Emmanuel Community Church in Arvada, Colorado. Michael served as an associate professor of Christian Leadership at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Virginia for ten years, until he retired. He is the author of the book Leading, Teaching, and Making Disciples as well as the author and presenter of countless leadership and family training seminars, including The Ezra Experiment and Go Make Disciples. Michael always focused on Christ’s calling to “Go, make disciples,” and was dedicated to teaching and ministering to whomever the Lord placed in front of him, no matter how small or large the gathering.

In addition to his academic accomplishments and life-long ministry, Michael also enjoyed leisure outdoors as well as leading camping ministries, including Christian camps at the Green Oak Boys’ Ranch in California and at Camp Id-Ra-Ha-Je in Colorado. He was a talented athlete and enjoyed playing softball, baseball, basketball, and racquetball throughout his life. He had a delightful sense of humor, loved music and the arts, and he taught himself acrylic painting during his retirement.

Michael impacted countless people through his Christian life and ministry, and none more so than his late wife, Sharyn and his two grown children, Michael Jr. and Charis. Through all of his ministry and service, Michael always remained devoted to his family, prioritizing and constantly supporting them throughout his life.

Michael is preceded by his parents, Kenneth and Betty Mitchell, and his wife, Sharyn. He is survived by his two grown children, Michael Mitchell Jr. and Charis Mitchell, and his sister Patti Zielke of Anaheim, California.

A graveside service for Michael will be held at 12:00 p.m., Thursday, October 28, 2021, at Virginia Memorial Park in Forest, VA with Bishop Nathaniel Gomillion officiating.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.

A graveside service for Michael will be held at 12:00 p.m., Thursday, October 28, 2021, at Virginia Memorial Park in Forest, VA with Bishop Nathaniel Gomillion officiating.

Condolences & Tributes

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Mike created a children's ministry at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. He created the "Train Up A Child" series to teach parents Christ-based principles of raising children. He was the Pastor for a home based church as well as the Vineyard. He also wrote books to teach others the principles of Christian Leadership. He led numerous Bible studies. organized and taught at Bible camps, and baptized many in the Pacific Ocean. With much dedication and hard work, Mike achieved a life long dream and became Dr. Mike Michell. I knew him as a wonderful father and friend. More could be listed, but what I remember most was Mike lived a God-centered life that demonstrated the love God has for all of us.

Posted by Ron Hendrix on November 2, 2021

Oh, we are so sorry for your loss…. We ministered alongside Michael and Sharyn in Colorado at Denver Vineyard. They were faithful leaders and friends. Wonderful that now he is at rest from his labors, and with King Jesus…. We pray for his children that they will be comforted and encouraged way beyond measure. Sincerely, Randy and Holly Phillips

Posted by Holly and Randy Phillips on November 1, 2021

I will always have fond memories for the time Mike was by boss. He was very encouraging and thoughtful. Blessings to his two children.

Posted by Patricia Burdick on October 30, 2021

Carrie and Michael, my deepest condolences to you on the passing of your Father from his earthly life into the heavenly kingdom. May he now enjoy in the presence of God the heavenly fruits derived from his earthly labor. I'll be praying for God's comforting peace and love to be upon you at this time. Peace & Love - Greg

Posted by Greg Liptak on October 29, 2021

I wanted to leave a short note to let you know I thought Mike was a wonderful man and a dedicated educator. I had the pleasure of working with him at Jefferson Academy charter school when I was on the Board of Directors. I am so sorry for your loss but know he was a man of deep faith and that will help you through this time. My sincerest condolences.

Posted by Janine Petersen on October 29, 2021

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.." Uncle Mike was a living example of this verse, and leaves behind people across the country who were impacted by his faithfulness. Though he faced physical challenges, he ran his race well...some would say exceptionally well, and though our hearts break, we rejoice knowing that as he ran through those gates, our Father welcomed him home with open arms. Let our hope remain strong and our walk with the Lord unfaltering as we follow Uncle Mike's example! Much love from Kansas, Rebecca

Posted by Rebecca Huntsman on October 28, 2021

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