Rev. James B. Hubbard departed this life from his home and went to be with the Lord on June 6, 2013.
Funeral services will be held 2 PM, Monday, June 10, 2013, at the Fitzgerald Church of the Nazarene with the Rev. David Ash officiating. Interment will be private. The family will receive friends from 4-6 Sunday afternoon at the funeral home. The body will lie-in-state at the church one hour prior to the service on Monday.
He was born November 4, 1927 to Neal and Ida (Waggoner) Hubbard on Hogan’s Creek at the mouth of the John Eastes Hollow and the Dave Rigsby Hollow in Smith County, Tennessee, near Carthage. He grew up on Hogan’s Creek in a 3-room house on a 195-acre farm in the hills of Tennessee. He was reared a farm boy, with its’ many blessings for he had his dog, his gun, hills and fields to use for hunting, and the creek and river in which to fish and swim.
He attended Hogan’s Creek School for grades 1 through 8, walking 2 miles through the hills each day, which took him through the woods, by the blacksmith shop and across the creeks. He was the first kid from his section of the hills to attend High School and graduated 1946 from Smith County High School.
From 1950 to 1952 he served as a Sergeant in the Armed Forces. After his discharge from the Army he returned home and on December 24, 1952 he married Georgia D. Mahaney. To support his family he ran a gas station and also bought an old school bus to ferry workers back and forth to construct the Cordell Hull Dam. Georgia was instrumental in bringing him back into the fold of the church where he was saved in November of 1954 during the Great Revival at South Carthage Missionary Baptist Church and baptized in the Caney Fork River in Smith County, Tennessee. He was then sanctified at the Carthage Church of the Nazarene. God began a great work in him at this time and the Lord called upon him to dedicate his life to Preaching the Gospel, so answering the call, he began his studies to become a minister for the Church of the Nazarene. He became a 3rd generation Nazarene as both sets of his grandparents were forefront in establishing the Church of the Nazarene in Smith County, Tennessee where his parents then attended and his father ministered through music.
After Georgia passed away, he met the lady who would become the caring and nurturing mother of their children and his loving and supportive help-mate throughout the remainder of his life, Betty Jane Myers, they married March 27, 1958. Thus began a lifetime of ministry for the two of them together beginning in Gordonsville, Tennessee at the Church of the Nazarene until 1964. From there, they were called to Fitzgerald, Georgia and ministered there together until 1971. The Lord called upon them again and they moved to Savannah, Georgia and ministered at Savannah Central Church of the Nazarene until 1974. As his mother, who was living in Tennessee, became ill, the Lord opened the door for their ministry to move to Lebanon, Tennessee which allowed them to be near her and they served at Lebanon First Church of the Nazarene until 1977. God spoke once again and they returned to Fitzgerald, Georgia to serve out the remainder of his ministry until he retired July of 1993.
While ministering in Fitzgerald, he also served as the Georgia District Church School Chairman, responsible for leadership and promotion of Christian Life and Sunday School ministries across the state of Georgia. For many years he also served on the Georgia District Advisory Board, the highest elected state church office, which selects those who are best qualified to provide District Leadership. Also while severing on the Georgia district, he was chosen to represent the state of Georgia at General Assemblies of the Church of the Nazarene.
Retirement brought many opportunities for him to continue his ministry by becoming an interim pastor for several churches, holding revivals and special speaking engagements. He served faithfully in this capacity for many years until age forced him to return to his home and enjoy his final years fishing, golfing and visiting with friends and family on his sun-porch. There they could sit and watch the birds and enjoy the many blessings God had bestowed on them. His was a lifetime of faithful service to God, church, family and community. His love, support, guidance and leadership will be missed by all, most especially by his family.
He is survived by: Wife: Betty Jane (Myers) Hubbard of Fitzgerald, Georgia, Son: James A. Hubbard and wife Mia and their children Audrey, Olivia and Gabriella Hubbard and Alden Devin and Junior Vancia, all of Alpharetta, Georgia, Daughter: Melody D. Hubbard (Dublin, Ga) and her children Shaun Evans (Atlanta, Ga) and Shelby Evans (Dublin, Ga). He was preceded in death by: Paternal Grandparents: James Bartlett Hubbard and Judith Capitola (Ligon) Hubbard, Maternal Grandparents: William B. Waggoner and Mary Magdalene (Highers) Waggoner, Parents: James Cornelius Hubbard and Ida Wilson (Waggoner) Hubbard, and his First wife: Georgia D. (Mahaney) Hubbard.
The family suggests those desiring to send memorials may send them to the Fitzgerald Church of the Nazarene, P.O. Box 1007, Fitzgerald, GA 31750.