James E. Mabery
At age 18 he committed his life to sharing the message of Jesus Christ and worked tirelessly the next 58 years. With minor formal training, Bro. Jim studied with ministers in the way of Timothy and Paul. He served as minister to congregations in Southeast Missouri where his firstborn daughter, Brenda Diane, and first son, Chris Allen were born. While working with churches in Georgia and Florida, their daughter Gail Elaine was born. The late 50’s brought the Maberys to the St. Louis area to work and their second son, Lance Eugene was born. In 1967 Bro. Jim settled in Chillicothe, Missouri to work with the church of Christ. His passion was evangelism at home and abroad. His work in missions extended from Juarez Mexico to Ghana West Africa. With an easy smile and hearty laugh, he was always seeing the positive side of life and people. He loved ice cream and donuts and you never knew when he would show up at your door to share a meal with you. An encourager and humorist, he was always singing or whistling. Someone once said you could hear him before you saw him. In 1988 his wife, Ina Lee (Smith), retired from teaching and they relocated to Hot Springs Village to work with the Village church of Christ. They celebrated 50 years of marriage before she passed away in the fall of 2000. Jim’s brother-in-law, Linn Smith, still resides in Lee’s hometown of Brookport, Ill. In 1998 Jim “retired” from the pulpit but never retired from the Lord’s business. At the time of his death he had been active in starting a Spanish speaking service at the Village church of Christ.
Jim was very proud of being surrounded by his children and five grandchildren while living in the village. Gail and Rick Northen were already in residence in the village with their children Brittany and Greg, but soon after Diane and Dimitri Fergadis came where their son Alexander was born. Chris Mabery moved down from Missouri and his children Travis, Christy ,and Kyle remained in Columbia. Lance and Shelly Mabery followed shortly with their children Cody and McKayla.
April 2003, Jim married Charlotte Land Worley who continued to support his work and traveled with him to various mission fields. Her children include Alessandra and John Hendrix and their children Courtney, Cassie, Ethan, and John of Fountain Lake, Ark., John and Tabitha Worley, Hot Springs, Ark., and David and Teresa Worley, Nashville, Tn.
The celebration of James Eugene Mabery took place Saturday, December 31 at the Village Church of Christ. In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to the Jim Mabery Memorial Mission Fund, Village Church of Christ.