life committed to Christ and family

Jim Mays: A life committed to Christ and family:

I first knew Jim in 1966 when he and family moved to Gainesville, FL from Waycross, GA. Immediately, I recognized that here was a family who were spiritually-minded and dedicated to things eternal. Though Jim, himself, came from a Military family with roots back to the War between the States, he was never pretentious in anyway.  I further came to appreciate Jim's commitment to Christ and concern for the souls of men when he published his book, "Quest". I have shared this with many prisoners that I have mentored at Lawtey Correctional Institution who declared it to be "Awesome".

In 1 Cor 11:1, the apostle Paul writes, Be ye imitators of me, even as I also am of Christ. Jim Mays lived his life in this way and serves as a good example "of one who died and yet speaks" to all of us.

~John Witt

Bible teacher, best friend, & soul mate

Because I knew him for 57 of his 74 years and was his soul mate, I would like to tell you a little about Jim Mays before you start studying with him.

When he taught he was careful to follow the pattern given in Nehemiah 8:8 "They read from the book of the Law, making it clear and giving the meaning so the people could understand the meaning so the people could understand the meaning of what was being read." He knew the English language so well he could explain the scriptures in simple terms, and felt this was the duty of a good teacher. He was not one to fill the air with a lot of fluffy words because he remembered Solomon's admonition - "The more the words, the less the meaning.: He also remembered the result of the teaching of Nehemiah was talking about when he read further, "...the people went away...with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them." You will find as you study with him, he refrains from using big words just as the teachers of old did in the above scripture.

Lessons from my Daddy

When I was thinking what to write, I thought I would tell you about daddy’s teaching. He was a wonderful teacher, preacher and Bible student, as well as an excellent daddy.

I remember anytime we would be in the car far a long time, he would bring along the tape player and have the tapes of Psalms and Proverbs playing so that we kids could learn what to do to please our God. Teaching while travelling; what a wonderful idea!

Daddy’s favorite verse is: “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” We all should repeat this every day. My parents taught me to always put God first. Daddy would teach us many things about being a good Christian and about living a life that would show God’s way is best.

All of the lessons that he taught and all of the books that he wrote were great, but my favorites were Quest and a study of Revelations. His way of studying, writing and teaching was very diligent because he had a real thirst for the truth. He would look for the depth of meaning in each word of each verse. It was always a joy to see his pleasure in finding real harmony throughout the scriptures.

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.

Tribute from a preacher

Jim taught the adult Sunday morning Bible class for over 30 years without a break, and preached when necessary, only stopping these speaking duties when vocal cord cancer prevented him from continuing.

~ Al Motes