- Nov. 17, 1969
|The Rev. James Samuel Jones was a credit to his family, his church, and his calling. In all departments of life he pursued a course consistent with principles of Christian living.
James was first and foremost a father and a husband. He and wife Catherine were devoted to one another. Theirs was a relationship based upon understanding and acceptance. James liked to tease Catherine and with her great sense of humor she would come right back with a suitable quip. Their mutual respect and love was such that serious discussion could take place in an atmosphere of responsibility and concern for one another.
James was a good father. He was a fishing companion, advisor, supporter in times of trouble, and an all-around friend to his three children. He cherished their love and friendship, but at the same time he appreciated the value of discipline and firmness. He seemed to be able to be firm with great kindness. This ability to understand and relate to youth helped shape the lives of many young people in addition to his own children.
This strong family relationship was the result of lives together and crises met and conquered. James’ decision to enter the ministry came after his formal preparation for another career. He was doing well in retail merchandising when he felt that God had other plans for his life. His next step was to enroll in Perkins School of Theology. Understandably a theology student with a family would face problems . . . problems of finance, problems of academic accomplishment, problems of adjusting to a new work. The way in which Catherine and James met these problems helped strengthen them for the life they would face in the service of the church.
Upon graduation from seminary in 1956, James was appointed to the Blanchard Methodist Church in the Shreveport district. After giving two years of sound leadership to that church, he was transferred to become associate pastor at First Methodist Church in Alexandria, serving under Dr. Guy Hicks. James accepted this appointment in the belief that it would prepare him for urban ministry. He concluded that appointment in 1961, moving at conference time to the pastorate of Zachary Methodist Church.
It was in Zachary that James began to show symptoms, which reflected his sickness. The illness grew progressively worse, eventually requiring his resignation of his pulpit. Even then, James sought to find ways of serving his God. On one occasion he volunteered to serve as chaplain at a Zachary hospital. His comment was that his illness would better qualify him to minister to the patients with greater sensitivity and compassion. This was typical of the great faith of a man who had every reason to despair but who refused to do so. He was not able to carry out his plan of altruism; his physical condition simply would not permit it.
James did not improve; his illness grew progressively worse. He passed away on November 17 and was laid to rest on November 19 at Port Hudson National Cemetery.
His family continues to cherish the same values in which James believed. Catherine serves an indispensable role as a nurse in Zachary. Karen is enrolled at LSU in Baton Rouge. Glen is a student at SLI Hammond. Suzanne attends Zachary High School. They live with love and concern for one another because of the love which they found in a devoted father and husband. May God bless them all.
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church, Conference A, 1970, Page 142, by Rupert D. Coles.|