Reverend James Wright Simons

Reverend James Wright Simons

Reverend James Wright Simons, 95, of Winnfield, passed from this life on Monday, June 22, 2020.

He was born March 22, 1925 in Franklin Parish to the union of his parents, Marion Simons and Ola Hatten Simons.

After graduating from Crowville High School, Rev. Simons joined the U.S. Navy where he was selected to receive advanced training as a radioman. He was initially trained in San Diego, CA where he was taught to send and receive Morse code, type, and become familiar with naval radio operating procedures along with commando training for shore operations.

As a radioman, he was responsible for the prompt delivery of special handling code, classified message traffic, and specifically designated messages for the commanding officer and the associated chain of command on ship or during shore duty. He served in the Navy until the end of World War II with his primary experience being in the Philippines where he was a part of the islands’ liberation forces.

Upon release from the Navy, he married Audie, his high school sweetheart, in Brandon, MS on March 13, 1946 and they returned to Louisiana. Reverend Simons began a career as a farmer and subsequently worked for Guin Building Contractor as an electrician.

He was ordained as a Baptist minister at Bayou Macon Baptist Church of Winnsboro in 1960. He graduated from Clark Junior College, Newton, MS in 1964 and from Louisiana College in Pineville in 1967.

He served as a pastor at Turkey Bluff Baptist Church, Crowville; Fort Necessity Baptist Church, Fort Necessity; Selma Baptist Church, Georgetown; Standard Baptist Church, Olla; Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Winnfield; and Sharon Baptist Church, Sikes.

His ministerial career spanned more than 50 years with him continuing to serve as an active pastor, preside over weddings, and conduct funerals. He served as head of the Deer Creek Louisiana Baptist Association for a number of years. He served as an elected elder of the Boeuf River Cherokee Tribe. He was an avid gardener and loved to share his bountiful crops with his neighbors and friends.

Brother Simons, as he was affectionately known, was devoted to his God and his family, which included his many church families. His training as a naval radioman was just the start of his delivery of special messages as he used his God-given talents to continue to deliver God’s message to congregations throughout the state for over 50 years.

In the Navy he noted that one of the most critical duties was to “stand watch” in the radio shack in the event that a special message came in and he correlated that to his responsibilities as a pastor. We are confident that he is continuing to stand watch today and that the many messages he delivered will continue to pay dividends in the many lives he touched as a pastor, father, brother, and friend.

Services were held at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 27, at Hebron Baptist Church of Eros with Rev. Joe Evans officiating.

Interment followed in the Hebron Cemetery under direction of Southern Funeral Home of Winnfield.

Donations in Brother Simons’ memory may be made to the Hebron Cemetery, care of Margaret Waggoner, 3682 Tisdale Rd., Eros, LA 71238.

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