|James L. Beasley, born December 10, 1902, in Hazelhurst, MS, had so lived that when his summons came to join those in the silent halls of death on April 29, 1986, he was as “one who wrapped the drapery of his couch about him and laid down to pleasant dreams.”
Yet the quietness and strength of his faith in the latter days was not without a struggle in its beginnings. When the call to preach came, Jim was already married to his devoted Carol and had a family. When he finally responded to the call to preach, as he later wrote, “my wife and I, and the three children were in school at the same time; and there were many times our shoes were inter-lined with cardboard soles, our pantry bare, billfold empty, and never a checking account, but we kept the faith.”
His first church was Bethel in Copiah County, which he served three years while at Mississippi College. In seminary at Baptist Bible Institute, he served New Zion near Covington and Sun-Light near Franklinton. The remainder of his work was in the Methodist Church. Natalbany, Tickfaw, Tangipahoa and Bethel--then Baker, Deerford and Bethel. He entered the Chaplaincy for five years, three of these in the South Pacific and kept in touch with members of his battalion through the years. Calhoun, Wilhite, Marian and Bird’s Chapel came next. Then Gibsland, Oak Grove and Bryceland. Belcher-Gilliam followed for eight years. He was the first pastor at Lakeview in Shreveport where he served seven years and where the Beasley Scholarship Fund at Centenary College was established by appreciative friends to provide an annual scholarship for a person in the religious education field. This scholarship continues to be sustained by donors today. His last two years of active service were as an associate at Broadmoor, Shreveport.
Of all the above, Jim once wrote “These were good years for us as we labored together with God’s blessings--far too many to enumerate.” And we might add these were “good years” for the United Methodist Church. He is survived by his wife, Carol; a daughter; two sons; five grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; two brothers and one sister.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1986; p. 269 By Robert B. Crichlow, Sr.|