Rev. Simmons and his wife established a SPECIAL NEEDS FUND at the Foundation to help people in emergency situations.
Born on December 21, 1921 in Strasburg, Virginia, Rev. Simmons was the son of the late Marion Harvey and Winifred Rebecca Simmons. At age nineteen, he began
working for the American Viscose Corporation in Front Royal, VA, and two years later, he was employed as a machinist for the US Navy Department in Washington,
D.C./Maryland. Rev. Simmons received a BA Degree from Hampden Sydney College, a Master in Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia in 1953, and a Master of Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1957. On December 28, 1955, Rev. Simmons married Lois Marie French Simmons, and they had three children together: Andrew Kirk Simmons, Mary Esther Simmons Lauderman, and Rebecca Alice Simmons DeBolt. Over the years, Rev. Simmons served in churches in Virginia, New Jersey, Maryland, and West Virginia, including the Hughes River Presbyterian Church in Cairo.
Rev. Simmon's ministry reached out not only through preaching but also through photography, writing, and civic involvement. He photographed churches all over West Virginia. His photography work included nature scenes and still life shots. Rev. Simmons also wrote four books on relationships, and he operated the Simmons Theological Library from his home in Williamstown, WV. The library spanned three floors and was accessed by those in need of materials with a special request. It contained devotional books, slides, and transparencies as well as old books dating back to the 1700s. Rev. Simmons was involved in many civic activities and professional associations, including the Pleasants County WV Ministerial Association, the Pleasants County WV Historical Society, and the Pleasants County Commission on Aging in St. Marys.
As the Pastor at Hughes River Presbyterian Church, Rev. Simmons wanted to ensure that adequate funds were available to meet the emergency needs of the church and the congregation, so he selflessly sacrificed his gross salary for the year of 1997 to create a fund at the Foundation. The fund is designed to support the emergency needs of the church, the congregation, or the community or a mission cause at large.