Rev. Richard Louis Tapp, 68 of Petal, passed away Friday, Sept. 10th at Merit Health Wesley in Hattiesburg. He was born March 8, 1953 in Valdosta, GA, the oldest of six children to Harris L. "Harry" and Barbara J. (Walker) Tapp. Richard grew up in the Orange Grove area of Gulfport and loved to hunt and fish. He went to work as soon as he was old enough and tried a few things in his younger years. He worked at least one hitch offshore before, getting sick on the boat ride out and deciding that wasn't for him. He also worked at MS Power, McDermott Shipyard, even travelled as a millwright and more, before settling in maintenance for the Hattiesburg Police Department. Richard literally grew up in church, as his father Harry pastored for many years. Answering the call himself in the early 80s, Richard pastored at Ten Mile Baptist Church for seven years, serving several other churches over the years. Most recently, he was serving as pastor at Crossroads Baptist Church in Petal. He met Ginger on a blind date back in the early 90s, with her letting him know up front that if marriage was something he might have been thinking, he was "barking up the wrong tree". Maybe it was his love of fishing, since she loved it as well. Or maybe their personalities clicked, since they could both be a tad "determined"? Whatever it was, they were married April 4, 1992, making their home in Petal. He is fondly remembered as a loving, genuine family man. Every member of his family was special to Richard. Family gatherings were a special time for him, with the annual July 4th gathering being the highlight. In his spare time, Richard enjoyed metal detecting around old homesites, collecting coins, bottles and more. But his true passion was God's Word. Richard loved reading and studying the Bible, sharing it's treasures with anyone who would listen. He was gifted with a fantastic memory, able to recall details from books read years earlier, which served him well in life. He loved taking the family to the creek to swim and play, and was known for being able to hold his breath for quite a long time. In all, with the ups and downs that came through the years, Richard lived his life by loving his family and serving the Lord. He will be sadly missed by all whose life he touched. He was preceded by his parents, Rev. Harry & Barbara Tapp, and a bonus son, J. Culpepper. Left to cherish his memories are: his loving wife Ginger; his children: daughters Carrie Hatten (Bob Dean) of Long Beach and Ashleigh Fontaine of Petal, with his son Harris (Pamela) Tapp, also of Petal; sisters Joan (Darnell) Purchner of Perkinston and Beverly (Richard) Griffin of Gulfport, with brothers Carter (Vicky) Tapp of Perk, Neil (Teresa) Tapp of Lizana and Phillip (Beth) Tapp of Gulfport. Richard leaves a legacy of eight grandchildren: Daniel and Anna Tapp of Petal, Raylynn, Noelle and Ally Hatten, and Logan Dean, all of Long Beach, and Noah and Kaiden Hill of Petal, along with no telling how many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. Services will be held Thursday, September 16, 2021 at Crossroads Baptist Church where he pastored. Visitation will begin at 10:00 AM, followed by the funeral service at noon, with his brother, Bro. Neil Tapp officiating. Afterward, Richard will be laid to rest in the Sunrise Baptist Church Cemetery. Trinity Funeral Services is honored to serve the Tapp family in their time of need. Please keep them and the Crossroads Baptist Church family, in your thoughts and prayers during this trying time.
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