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Jack Hall: The inspiring story of Jimmie Hall

By Jack Hall
Contributing writer
updated: 9/15/2021 4:20 PM

Another one of my good friends and a brother in Christ, Jimmie Hall, went ahead of me to be with the Lord last week. He was a manual laborer as a farm hand much of his life. The Lord blessed me through Jim and taught me some valuable lessons.

Jim was a bit "rough around the edges." Some people might identify him a "wise guy." He liked to cut up and kid people and give them a hard time -- including his pastor. He was always trying to stump me or fool me with something he said.

As far as I know, there was no close blood relation between Jim and me in the Hall lineage, but on Sept. 19, 2004, something happened that made Jim Hall my brother for all eternity.

Jim made the wisest decision any person on the face of the earth can make. He admitted that he was a sinner, believed in Jesus Christ as God's Son, and confessed Jesus as his Lord and Savior. That decision resulted in his being born again into God's family. "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun. And all of this is a gift of God, who brought us back to Himself through Christ" (2 Corinthians 5:17-18 NLT).

That doesn't mean he stopped giving me a hard time with his joking. But, I baptized Jim into our church family. God blessed me as I watched him grow in the Lord!

Jim and Daisy began to worship with us on the Lord's Day. Jim's favorite time to worship was Sunday evening. Often, we would get requests of the hymns we would sing. Almost every Sunday evening, Jim would request one particular hymn -- "Because He Lives." I saw Jim begin to love to worship. I often pray that every believer loves to worship with their church family, as he did as long as he was physically able.

Jim also became a part of our Saturday Morning Men's Prayer Group of five men. However, with the passing of Paul Jones, Roger Rollman, and now Jim, only two of us are now living. For a while, one thing stood out on Saturday mornings. When we came to our prayer time, each one of us would pray aloud. But when we came to Jim, he would get choked up (literally and legitimately). We would all just continue to pray. We realized this was something new to Jim as a new believer.

Then, one Saturday morning, when we came to Jim, he just started praying! That blessed the entire group! And encouraged us! And taught us something. Getting to know the Lord through the presence of the Holy Spirit began to put him at ease -- and he just began to talk to Jesus.

I've taught prayer seminars. They're good and needed. But there's something about hearing others pray. As you get to know Jesus more intimately, you can talk to Him about anything. Jesus said: "Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you, take up My yoke and learn from Me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, you will find rest for yourselves." (Matt 11:28-29).

Just one more thing. And it is awesome! In those Sunday evening worship times, Jim began to talk about how he was reading the Bible. I encouraged him but didn't realize what a big thing that was. Then, he asked if he could read scripture aloud in worship. I said, "Sure!" ... still not realizing the significance.

So, he read scripture in Sunday evening Worship. Then, one of Jim's family members told me, "Jim has never read before!" I said, "OK." Then, they said, "No, you don't understand, Brother Jack. For lack of education, and having to work hard for a living, Jim has never read anything before he started reading the Bible."

Right then, I came to a deeper realization of how God wants us to be in His Word. The Lord taught Jim to pray. Do we want to read the Bible as much as God wants us to read it?

I was thankful that I could comfort his family that I know Jim is with Jesus!

"Because He lives I can face tomorrow; Because He lives all fear is gone; Because I know He holds the future, And life is worth the living just because He lives."

• Jack Hall is pastor of First Baptist Church in Shawneetown.