Saint Paul A.M.E. Church ~ 27 January 1980Journeying By Faith

“…Shall we permit adverse winds to overwhelm us as we journey across life’s mighty roads, or will our inner spiritual jets sustain us in spite of the winds? Our refusal to be stopped, our courage to journey on, our determination to go on men of St. Paul in spite of, reveal the divine image within us. The man who has made this discovery knows that no burden can overwhelm him and no wind of adversity can blow his hope away. He can stand anything that can happen to him…”

~ Rev. Ronald M. JACKSON, Sr. {1941-1981}

My Great Uncle Jake was one of a kind! Growing up, we frequently got treated to assorted renditions of Uncle Jake’s antics as a young boy, performed by various family members!:)

Raised on Baymiller Street in Cincinnati, word from the family was long before Uncle Jake found Jesus, his cussing and mischief were legendary!

Though just 4 months her senior, Jake was Mom’s uncle; baby of the JACKSON clan – Harry, Fannie (my Grandmother), Marie, Theodore, Mitzi and Minnie.

He so loved and spoiled Mama, and she in return nicknamed him her yella flubba-dub, based on his tan complexion and propensity to keep a juicy mouth! And never being outdone, Uncle Jake often shared with us his belief living with the BARWICKS — my Grandparents Willie and Fannie, Mom and Uncle Walt, “turned him brown”!:)

Ronald JACKSON Sr.God and family loving;  jolly and full of life. Uncle Jake was quite a character, and the JACKSON family’s heart!

As I began searching my childhood for my fondest church memory, I quickly realized two things — 1.) Uncle Jake is the common denominator in all of them and 2.) there are so many, attempting to choose a single memory became the issue!:)

Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church ~ Cincinnati OH

We’ve come this far by faith
Leaning on the Lord
Trusting in His holy word
He never fail me yet
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
No turning around
We’ve come this far by faith

Mom and Aunt Minnie, lined-up 2-by-2, marching in sync to their seats in the choir stand. These were the early days when my Uncle Jake (Ronald JACKSON Sr.) preached his sermons from the pulpit of Quinn Chapel A.M.E. Church in Glendale Ohio, and Mama sold her famous Spaghetti Dinners in the church’s basement after Sunday Service.

If you ever want to get my big sister going, mention Easter Sunday 1972, when Gina’s pretty yellow dress and ponytails ended up in a mud puddle right outside the church — complete with buzzing bees hovering close by! Though she got cleaned up and we headed off to enjoy Cicely TYSON and Paul WINFIELD in Sounder, thoughts of that Easter Sunday still send my 50-year-old sister into a long-winded rant!:)

St. Paul A.M.E. Church ~ Lima OH

Why should I feel discouraged
Why should the shadows come
Why should my heart feel lonely
And long for heaven and home

When Jesus is my portion
A constant friend is he
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches over me
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches me

I sing because I’m happy
I sing because I’m free
His eye is on the sparrow

Ronald JACKSON Sr.I can’t think of St. Paul A.M.E. Church in Lima, Ohio without instantly being swept back to JACKSON family summer vacations filled with laughter, camping trips, vacation bible school and the melodic sweetness of His Eye Is On The Sparrow sung — nah belted out — by young Penny on Sunday mornings!

Uncle Jake is the reason I love fishing and dream of driving a Winnebago cross-country with the kids!:)

He must have been proud of me (or shaking his head in shame) as I marveled over the work of Richard ALLEN, founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church! Surely Uncle Jake knew, my love for learning would kick-in — eventually!:)

There’s little doubt, my fondest childhood church memory is any and all things connected to my Great Uncle Jake, the Rev. Ronald M. JACKSON, Sr.

Keep us protected Uncle Jake, and hug my girl tight! I know she’s safe now…

In the words of Rev. Ronald Marion JACKSON Sr., let the church say AMEN!:)



REBIRTH: It’s Time For Revival!