|In 1935, at age twenty-five, Jack became a full member of the Louisiana Annual Conference and for forty years ministered to the Methodists of Louisiana, including sixteen years as secretary for the Conference.
In the early days of WW II he came to Rayville with Helen and then three-year-old Charles Lane. Gasoline was rationed and my earliest recollection of Jack was seeing him walking to visit his members. To this ten-year-old he seemed like God himself.
There followed appointments to Bastrop, Haynesville, Bossier City, Winnfield and for nine years he was Superintendent of the Methodist Home Hospital in New Orleans where he carried hundreds of babies in his arms to give them to new adoptive parents.
On one occasion when Jack came to speak in Alexandria a fifteen-year-old girl came to the service. She had been adopted and was beginning to rebel against everybody. She desperately wanted to know who her natural parents were and confronted Jack demanding to be told. Jack spent a long time talking with her, explaining that such information was confidential. When he finished her face had a quiet radiance. I questioned, “What did you find out?” She said, “He wouldn’t tell me who they were, but he said, ‘You have been thrice loved. Your mother loved you so much she gave you up so that you could have a good home. Your parents love you so much that they brought you into their lives and above all, God loves you in a very special way.’” From that moment on that young girl’s life was changed. Jack had the ability to change lives because of the love of God that he brought to every relationship. He was a prime factor in my wanting to become a minister.
Jack was an excellent preacher, making the Gospel clear on Sunday, then living it all week long to make sure people understood. Thirty years after he left Rayville, his influence was still so strong a retired minister’s home was built so he could retire there.
After the death of Chuck’s mother, Jack married “Bill” and through this marriage gained a daughter, Pat Oliver Rosbottom. Jack and Bill were married thirty-five years sharing life and ministry together. They have four grandchildren, Helen and Lisa Midyett and Harold Jr. and Amy Rosbottom. They have twin great granddaughters, Katherine and Elizabeth Rosbottom.
Jack’s joy of life extended to the community and Little Theater. Whether he was portraying “Pappy Yokum” on stage or John Wesley in church, he radiated love. Jack researched and wrote the script for his Wesley presentation. It was not so much his eighteenth century dress, but Jack’s spirit that brought Wesley alive.
Less than a month before Jack’s death on June 8, 1987 1 stood in London where John Wesley is buried. On his grave are these words:
This Great Light arose by the singular providence of God
To enlighten. .revive. .enforce. .defend..the Pure Apostolic doctrines and practices of
The Primitive Church which he continued to do for more than half a century
And to his inexpressible joy. Behold their influence extending.
In the hearts and lives of many thousands.
READER if thou art constrained to bless the instrument,
GIVE GOD THE GLORY
This Jack did in his life..and he goes on serving God through those lives he touched and changed.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1988, p.190-191………By Warren Blakeman|