Rev. Ray S. Jenkins, 92, of Hull, GA, met his Savior face-to-face on November 20, 2020. He was born on October 14, 1928, the son of Henry Beecher Jenkins and Ollie Dillard Jenkins, on the farm in Danielsville where he lived the remainder of his life. He graduated from Madison County High School in 1945. In 1949 he met Joyce Lowe of Athens, GA, and they were married the following year. He worked as a farmer for several years before starting a business in construction as a brick mason, along with his brother Austin. In 1966 Ray was called to pastor Bluestone Baptist Church in Danielsville, GA, where he served for 28 years, retiring in 1995. He found great joy in God’s calling him to teach and preach His word. He has been a member of Bluestone Baptist Church for more than fifty years.
Ray was preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Joyce Lowe Jenkins, on October 4, 2019; his parents; two sisters, Margaret Jenkins Yarborough, and Marcile Jenkins Kitchens; a brother, Austin Jenkins; and an infant son, Titus Sibley Jenkins. Ray is survived by a brother, Tyson (Marie) Jenkins of Danielsville, GA; children Donna Smith of Hull, GA, Jan (Steve) Filkins of Danielsville, GA, Mark (Mary) Jenkins of Danielsville GA, and Nathan Jenkins of Danielsville, GA; eight grandchildren, Matt (Sue) Smith, Athens, GA, Brent Smith, Nicholson, GA, Seth (Alyssa) Filkins, Danielsville, GA, Tim Filkins, Danielsville, GA, Joy Jenkins (Jonathan) Henry, Danielsville, GA, Rebecca Jenkins (Jon) Cochran, Hull, GA, Daniel (Sarah) Jenkins, The Gambia, W. Africa, Chris (Katie) Jenkins, Shelby, NC; two honorary grandchildren, Bonnie Walker (Michael) Stahl, Athens, GA, and Daniel (Carly) Walker, Danielsville, GA, and twelve great-grandchildren.
In 2012, Ray wrote an autobiography of his life, “God Is So Good”, where he recorded some memories of his early life as a boy born into the Great Depression. As many young men of his age, he faced hard work, but summertime brought playing in the creek, hunting, and other boyish antics. He learned many lessons of life by sitting by the stove at the old country store his Daddy owned. One of his remembrances in his autobiography is how he learned to chew tobacco as a teen. When his daddy caught him, he told him “you stop that or I’ll kick you so hard and so high that you’ll have to look down to see the moon!” What a kick that would have been!
When Ray met the love of his life, Joyce Lowe, he wanted to marry her immediately, but Joyce was only 17. Ray had to ask Joyce’s dad to sign papers for them to marry. His reply was “You can have her, young man, but don’t come whining back to me with her!” Joyce was the best thing that ever happened to him and he knew it.
About a year after Ray and Joyce married, tragedy struck when they lost their newborn baby boy, Titus. Out of the ashes of this loss God did a work of redemption in Ray’s heart that changed his life forever. Ray saw himself as a needy sinner who didn’t have all the answers in himself. He took the Bible literally as it says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith…it is the gift of God, not of works lest any man should boast.” He trusted Christ as his Savior. Now he and Joyce had a Christian home.
Ray was blessed with many gifts that enabled him to pastor effectively for so many years, including hard work. He thrived in the presence of others and was a “people person” through and through. Ray’s desire was to walk in the light of God’s will for his life, and as a result he left footprints of love, peace, laughter, service and sacrifice. As he says in his autobiography, “I was never a bench-warmer Christian.” He sure wasn’t. Many souls will be in Heaven because Ray Jenkins shared how Jesus died for them and made a way to spend eternity in Heaven, forever, with Him.
The family wishes to thank Hill Haven Nursing Home, Commerce, GA, as well as Compassus Hospice and Pallative Care for their many acts of kindness in Ray’s final days, especially since the family was unable to be with him due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A graveside service will be held on Sunday, November 22 at 2:30 p.m. at Union Baptist Church, Hwy. 106, Hull, GA with Revs. Jon Williams and Andy Huff officiating. The family requests that masks be worn and social distancing observed. Grandsons will serve as pallbearers. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Bluestone Baptist Church Building Fund, 3942 Hwy. 29 N., Danielsville, GA 30633.
Lord and Stephens Funeral Home, Danielsville, is in charge of arrangements. www.lordandstephens.com
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