The Edmond Sun

February 18, 2013

James Bryan Hodges

The Edmond Sun

EDMOND —     James “Jimmy” Bryan Hodges, 75, went to be with his Lord on February 15, 2013 after fighting an eight-month battle against Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  He was born October 3, 1937 to Bryan and Billie Jo Hodges.  He and his brother, D’arcy, grew up in the oil fields of New Mexico and Oklahoma, but it was the Velma-Alma community in Oklahoma that occupied a special place in his memories.  It was there, as a 13-year-old boy, that he surrendered the control of his life to Christ and made a commitment to be a follower of Jesus.  Later, at Falls Creek Baptist Assembly in Oklahoma he was stirred to answer God’s call on his life for evangelistic ministry.

    Jimmy attended Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Okla.  and while still a student began singing in revival meetings and doing music and youth ministry in area churches.  When he graduated from OBU in 1961 he was already serving as the minister of youth and music with Northside Baptist Church in Lawton, Okla.  While there he was called to enter a full-time ministry of itinerant evangelism, and stepped out by faith to do so in 1963. Soon after entering music evangelism, he and Wayne Bristow formed a lasting friendship and worked as an evangelistic team almost exclusively for 19 years.  In 1972, they went to Africa together for the first time and Jimmy’s heart was captured by the people of that continent.  From those first days in Uganda, he burned with a passion for African souls.

    On June 1, 1964, Jimmy was married to Martha Delories Hayes in Lakeland, Fla.  Jimmy, Dee, and her children Robin and Steve formed a loving family.  In July, 1967, Shelli was born into that family.  In 1976, they moved from Lakeland to Edmond, Okla.  In 1973, Felix Snipes joined Jimmy and Wayne to form an evangelistic team  that was engaged in crusade evangelism throughout the USA, Portugal and East Africa until early 1982.  Soon thereafter, Jimmy pursued his passion for African souls.  In 1985, that passion gave birth to what was first known as Jimmy Hodges International Ministries.  Now, it is Reaching Souls International Ministries. Jimmy lived to see the fruition of the dream God gave him in a tent in the Ugandan bush in 1972.

    Jimmy was preceded in death by his father, Bryan Hodges;  his mother Billie Jo; his son, Steve, and his brother, D’arcy. 

    He is survived by his beloved wife and faithful ministry partner, Dee; and their daughters, Robin Griffin, Shelli and husband Kevin Spencer and their son Russell Bryan Spencer. 

    Jimmy was a proud and loving husband, father and grandfather.  

    A come-and-go reception for family and friends was 5-7 p.m. Monday February 18, at Crawford Family Funeral Service, Edmond.

    Services celebrating Jimmy’s life will be 10 a.m. Tuesday, February 19, at Edmond’s First Baptist Church with burial following at Memorial Park Cemetery.