Jim Lee died Wednesday from cancer. He was a good friend. I went to the Portland swap meet today and I remembered that the first time I ever went over 30 years ago was with Jim. I remember him being pretty serious about the method that we used as we went through the various buildings so that we wouldn’t miss seeing anything that was there. I still remembered that today as I went from row to row and building to building methodically so as not to miss seeing a thing. One of the funniest things I remember about Jim is how hard he tried to have each of our kids say Studebaker as their first word spoken!
I have Pastored JBC for 46 years, and there are 16 people in the church now who have been here as long or close to as long as me, and Jim and Janet are two of those faithful people. Though I guess it would be more accurate to say 15 now because Jim is in heaven with the Lord. The terms that I would use for those 16 are enduring pillars and faithful friends. I seriously doubt whether I would still be here as the Pastor of JBC had it not been for their leadership, personal sacrifice, and hard work.
With all the work we have done on building the various facilities here at JBC over the last 46 years one of the things we would often do on a Friday night was have an all-night work party setting up lights and working until daylight and then going out for breakfast. Jim was at many of those all-nighters, and his enthusiasm would keep everyone awake and working hard through the night.
The last 46 years have been fun, challenging, and amazing. The best part has been building His Church together with other faithful people. It is amazing all that God can do through people who love each other and work together in humility and unity. It is sad to think about the fact that the core group of 16 is starting to shrink in number until we will all be gone gone. But what we have done together will be remembered and built upon for many more years until Jesus comes.