NORMAL — Rev. Leo Sneed, 86, Normal, departed this life early Friday morning (Feb. 22, 2013) at Advocate BroMenn Medical Center, Normal.

His home-going service will be at noon Thursday at Union Missionary Baptist Church, Bloomington, with the Rev. Dr. Phenues Bush officiating. Burial will be in Evergreen Cemetery, Bloomington. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service Thursday at the church. Kibler-Brady-Ruestman Memorial Home, Bloomington, is assisting the family with arrangements

He was born Oct. 9, 1926, in Chicago, son of Frank and Cassie Tabor Sneed. In 1944, he married Annie B. Sneed, his wife of 68 years.

Leo is survived by family he truly loved, including his devoted wife, Annie B. Sneed, Normal; two sons, Carl (Chantal) Sneed and Julian (Nancy) Sneed, both of Bloomington; one daughter, Jennifer (Scott McMillan) Sneed, Niskayuna, N.Y.; four adored grandchildren, Ragan, Kyle, Jordan and Simone; one sister, Florence Herron, Chicago; many nieces and nephews; a host of other relatives; and South Calvary and Union Baptist church families and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and five siblings, Tekoa, Spencer, Frank Jr., Leroy and Annie Chapman.

Rev. Sneed grew up in the inner city and attended Chicago public schools, graduating from Wendell Phillips High School. In 1953, he answered the call to preach and enrolled in Moody Bible Institute, Chicago. In 1957, he accepted the call to pastor Mount Pisgah Baptist Church, Bloomington.

During his pastorate, he availed himself of many educational opportunities in the community and played a leading role in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, both locally and nationally. In 1964, Rev. Sneed traveled to Hattiesburg, Miss., with two white ministers, the Rev. Norquist of Bloomington First Presbyterian Church and the Rev. Goodrow of LeRoy Presbyterian Church, to work in registering African-Americans to vote. The Rev. Sneed was active in numerous community activities focused on improving race relations during that time.

He served as moderator of Orthodox Woodriver District Association for a period of time. He later pastored Bethlehem Baptist Church in Westville. He was then called to pastor Loving Missionary Baptist Church, Bloomington, until 1972, when he was called to South Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, Indianapolis, Ind.

He served as pastor of the South Calvary congregation for 36 years. Over the years, he served as first vice president for Consolidated State Convention, chairman of State Foreign Mission Board and member of National Foreign Mission Board of National Baptist Convention U.S.A. He was a founder of Progressive District Association and active member of Indianapolis Baptist Ministers’ Alliance.

He was always especially interested in children and youth, and encouraged education. He was a charter member of Indianapolis Churches for Educational Excellence which was founded in conjunction with Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, and served as its treasurer. He also served as vice president for Indiana One Church One Child.

He retired from the South Calvary Baptist Church in March 2008 for health reasons, and he and his wife returned to Bloomington in July 2008. He leaves to cherish his memories a family he truly loved.

The family wishes to thank Dr. Kindred of Medical Hills Internists group and the director, administrators and staff of Evergreen Village who provided such loving care at his residence. Memorials in his honor may be made to Alzheimer’s Association of McLean County.

Condolences and expressions of sympathy may be directed to the family either at Evergreen Village, 1701 Evergreen Blvd., Normal IL 61761, or online at

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