Reverend James F. Harris, 90, of Jasper, passed away at 9:52 a.m., Monday, December 21, 2020, at his home.
He was born October 13, 1930, in Athens, Texas, to Frank and Anna (Schumacher) Harris.
Married at 19, James headed to Baylor University for two years and then onto Carson-Newman College in Tennessee. After graduation he and his wife, Evelyn, returned to Evansville and pastored at Community Baptist. That summer they had their fifth child. In July of 1958, James was asked to go to Jasper, to further the Southern Baptist work there at what became First Baptist Church of Jasper. While in Jasper, they were blessed with five more children. From there, he pastored at several surrounding community churches including Gentryville Baptist Mission, Immanuel Baptist in Petersburg, English Baptist Church in English and First Baptist Church of Huntingburg. James was a bi-vocational pastor for 19 plus years before retiring from Jasper Rubber Company as V.P. of Scheduling. In 1978, James became a full time pastor at Sugar Creek Baptist Church in New Palestine. From there, he pastored South Side Baptist Church in South Bend, Friendship Baptist Church in Crawfordsville and First Baptist Church in Kentland. Returning to Dubois County, James and Evelyn continued their ministry at Heritage Hills Baptist Church in Santa Claus.
After losing his wife of 52 years, James became an Associate Pastor at First Baptist Church in Jasper. It was there he met and married his wife, Amelia, of 14 years. Together they ministered at Shoals Baptist Church until his health required he stop preaching at the age of 85. He also served the Indiana Baptist Convention as Interim Director of Missions, was a member of the Historical Committee, as well as other positions. Known for his sense of humor, his kindness and generosity, James insisted that a great attitude was a choice. He was always grateful and pleasant to those who crossed his path. His family was a very important part of his life and he always lit up when children were around.
Survivors include his wife of 14 years, Amelia Harris of Jasper; his children, Brenda (Harold) Suddarth of Greenfield, Debra (George) Eubanks of Louisville, Kentucky, Sheila (Kevin) Haycox of Huntingburg, Ron (Cindy) Harris of Huntingburg, Rita Clagg of Terre Haute, Lisa (Rick) Miller of Avon, Donna (Gerald) Peeples of Philpot, Kentucky, and Tim (Sara) Harris of Jasper; one brother, Bob (Barbara) Harris of Evansville; one sister, Virginia Pate of Lindale, Texas; two step-children, Donna Reeves of Shelbyville, Kentucky and Rick (Connie) Reeves of Sellersburg; 27 grandchildren, four step-grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren, four step-great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild and two step-great-great-grandchildren.
In addition to his parents, James was preceded in death by his first wife of 52 years, Evelyn (Reed) Harris; two sons, James F. Harris, Jr. and Kim H. Harris; and one stepdaughter, Rachelle Petrey.
Funeral services for Reverend James F. Harris will be private with burial taking place in Fairmount Cemetery. Nass and Son Funeral Home has been entrusted with handling the arrangements. Memorial contributions may be made in memory of: Mr.and Mrs. James Harris Charitable Endowment, in care of Baptist Foundation of Indiana, 3021 East 71st Street, Indianapolis, IN 46220, or Kindred Hospice. Condolences may be shared online at www.nassandson.com.