Norma completed her journey on this earth after completing the call that she took on at the age 16 when she accepted Christ as her savior and dedicating her life to missions. God placedpeople in her life growing up in the mill village in Huntsville that took her to church that led her though her younger years in finding out what God had planned for her. The Gates from Huntsville continued that process by using the money from the death of their daughter to help send Norma to Howard College (Sanford University) where she met her husband John Herndonwho was studying to be a minister. After John graduated they continued their journey that God laid out for them to the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where they both studied and finalized their training for the ministry. John was the minister at a couple of churches while Norma took on the load of teaching children, church missions leader, singing in the choir and supporting John in the functions of the church while raising three children.
In 1964 God sent them to Portugal where they began their 15 years of service through the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board. During that time Norma served as a pastor’s wife,teaching children, conference leader, speaker, writer and helped build and run a camp for the Portuguese children to come spend time learning about Christ. She wrote numerous magazine articles and translated Baptist material into Portuguese. Their last mission station was on the Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal, where Norma had become increasingly sick due to her allergy to the mold that is prevalent on the island and she was forced to leave the mission field.
She and John finished their formal ministry service in Virginia where they served in churches in Fredericksburg and Charlottesville before retiring and moving to Florence, AL to care for their aging parents.
Norma is preceded in death by her son, Michael Herndon; and parents, Charlie and Annie Headrick; sister, Barbara Holste; and brother, David Headrick. She is survived by her husband, Reverend John M. Herndon; daughters, Debbie (Greg) Segraves, Susan (Bill) Fletcher; and son; Mark Herndon. She is also survived by nine grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
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