Age 71, of Hendersonville, TN was embraced in the merciful and loving arms of the Lord and entered his heavenly homeland early on the morning of Saturday, May 7, 2016.
Faith was a verb for Wayne, and at every opportunity he received he lived out the very virtues taught by his faith in the Lord Jesus. He was a loving son, faithful husband, devoted father and grandfather, and a friend in the truest sense of the word. Though he grew up the eldest of four children in a country town within a family of devout Christians, he did not know that God was forming him for His own work even then. Eventually, he would devote thirty-plus years of his life’s work to the Nashville Inner City Ministry.
Wayne’s primary mission in his ministry was to make a difference in the lives of children who knew nothing of a stable home life, but only the negative lessons taught by their environment. He loved each and every child he had the chance to encounter in the inner city and his compassion and generosity earned the respect of them all. While ministering in the inner city, Wayne owned and operated Green Machine & Tool where he was assisted by his sister and secretary, Peggy. It was during these years in the late 70s when he would meet a kindred spirit and beloved family friend who eventually became part of the family, Garvin Claiborne.
Garvin and Wayne went on to forge the friendship of a lifetime. It was through Wayne’s encouragement that Garvin came to minister in the inner city. Garvin recalls, “he was the biggest encourager I ever had in my life.” Wayne not only encouraged Garvin in the ministry, but he also supported his relationship and marriage to Beverly. Wayne and Garvin strangely saw eye-to-eye on most things including their faith, politics, and family. In recent years, these two friends would have the opportunity to solve most of the world’s problems as Garvin drove Wayne to his doctor appointments in Nashville. During the course of their friendship they’d often discuss and feed off of each other’s ideas for how to answer certain questions or deal with a given situation in the ministry. They were brothers sent out by the Lord two-by-two ministering to those marginalized by society.
Wayne and his wife, Wanda were excellent cooks and would regularly prepare recognition dinners, fellowship meals, and a couple wedding rehearsal dinners. They worked well in the kitchen together and put tasty food on the tables for all to enjoy. Cooking and driving the Inner City Ministry bus were two of the activities we’ll remember him doing most. In fact, in the 80s, Wayne purchased an old blue police van with spotlights on board to help with his ministry. Purchasing that bus was a proud moment for him. He had such a giving spirit. Wayne even purchased various spiritual books and routinely gave them away for the nourishment of souls. He certainly was not a selfish man. “Wayne led more bible studies with folks than anyone I’ve ever known,” recalled Garvin.
Wayne will be remembered as a casual dresser who rarely wore socks with his Crocs. He enjoyed the outdoors; especially, hunting, fishing, and hiking in the mountains of East Tennessee. Hot and spicy food was a favorite and he often added jalapeños to most meals. On any given Sunday afternoon you could find him and the rest of his family gathered at his mother, Audrie’s home for dinner. Mrs. Audrie Green, “Granny,” would cook up a storm and begin preparing each Saturday evening for a meal to feed about twenty. The Green Family held the love of Christ in their family, but they shared this with countless others.
Though Wayne was a private man, “he never met a stranger” according to his sister, Peggy. He touched the lives of countless individuals and will be dearly missed by all who knew of his love. He is preceded in death by his father, Henderson Green; brother, Rodger Green; and his beloved wife of forty-six years, Wanda Green. Wayne is survived by his mother, Audrie; daughters, Wendy (Benny) Green, and Winifred Finney; grandchildren, Ben (Megan), Joshua (Haley), Jessica (Seth) Jenkins, and Alex Finney; great-grandchildren, Aryonna, Callum, Dax, Evelyn, Logan, and Jase; sisters, Peggy Robinson, and Debbie (Brett) Fogle; several nieces and nephews; and countless treasured friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Wayne’s honor to Nashville Inner City Ministry c/o Lytle Thomas, 1000 Apex Street, Nashville, TN 37206. Please be sure to note a memorial donation for Wayne Green.
The family will receive visitors tomorrow from 5 p.m.-9 p.m. at Hendersonville Funeral Home and again prior to service on Thursday from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. at Nashville Road Church of Christ, 1883 Nashville Pk., Gallatin, TN. A Celebration of Wayne’s Life will be held on Thursday following visitation at the church. Serving as active pallbearers will be Ben, Josh, Rodney, and Rodger Green, Alex Finney, and Seth Jenkins. Brock Fogle will be an honorary pallbearer. 615-824-3855 hendersonvillefh.com