Tribute from Trina

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Tribute from Trina and Allen Matthews

James Mays had a big heart and was always there to help people. When I came to Florida and came to the Riverview Church of Christ, Jim and Barbara took me in and treated me as part of their family. When I needed help he was always ready and willing to be there and do what was needed. For the past 30 years he has been either Dad or Pop Pop to me.

When Allen was in the 5th grade and his family moved to Riverview he started attending the Riverview congregation. They met Jim and his family and the thing he remember the most was that on several occasions when they needed a ride to services that Jim would come to pick them up. One time he even picked them up in his mother’s Rolls Royce and that was very impressive. After a short time Allen’s family moved on from Riverview.

When Allen and I were married, since the Mays had taken me in as family, Jim walked me down the aisle and gave me away. From that time till the present we have had family night every Sunday night after services, this was important to Jim. He was always thankful that his family was very close and felt blessed for this reason.

When we had our first daughter, Naomi, she called him Pop Pop and that stuck with him. Naomi, Marie and ourselves called him Pop Pop as well as many others who came to know and love him.

While attending Riverview we sat through many of Jim’s Bible classes. He always taught in a manner that was easy to understand and helped us to gain a better understanding of God’s word. Jim often quoted the phrase “come now and let us reason together” from Isaiah when speaking about God’s word. And, if you wanted to get Jim talking all you had to do was bring up the Bible or old cars. He was always ready to “reason” about the scriptures and you could tell how much he loved the word of the Lord.

Jim, however, didn't just love the word but also lived it out in his life. From our own experiences we saw him as an example of how we should live our lives. When we had our house broken into and needed to replace our back door he was there to help. On another occasion we called him for advice about a tree that looked like it was going to fall on our home. He showed up with a chain saw and went up the tree and began cutting. We saw many more examples of living the life that we are called to in his willingness to help and to teach others.

What seemed impressive as a small child was nothing compared to how impressive the example that Jim lived out in his life. Always searching the scriptures, always willing to lend a helping hand, and always ready to speak about God’s word. He was dedicated to God, his wife Barbara and to his family and we loved Pop Pop and the example of his life, and his faithfulness to God.

~by Trina and Allen Mathews