I love James and I miss his physical presence immensely. However, his words and his teachings are forever present. Every time I open my bible, his challenging words resonate in my mind, "Let's not be shallow students of the Word." He set the example. Looking forward to seeing him again!
You have impacted so many people to love The Lord with all of their hearts. Thank you for your imprint in my life!
Both James and JoAnne impacted me personally as well as my family in many ways. They did our marriage counseling, mentored us, parented us, and encouraged us. James performed our wedding 22 years ago, along with many others throughout the years. They welcomed us into their home(in Mama Lou's apt.) when our house was being remodeled. What an example they both were to us as a young family. They came to the hospital and helped me with the girls while Brett was away, James made sure we got in quickly since Sarah was having a hard time. He was such an advocate and cheerleader for those who needed to be lifted up and those who struggled in different ways, whether through broken families, disabilities, illness, homelessness, financial
struggles, or marriage difficulties. I saw him over the years help so many others including our family, truly reflecting Christ's love for others. I thought of him like a father role in my life and grandparent to my children, he will be dearly missed by our entire family.
James will be truly missed. James and Joanne both taught me so much over the past 30 years about how to treat my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and how to raise my children.
James Gibbs was the most godly and Christ-like man we have ever seen or known. He lived to be transformed in the image of Jesus Christ and totally conformed to His likeness. James was the finest ambassador of Christ, a genuine minister of reconciliation, and a true servant of the gospel. He and JoAnn influenced and impacted more people and souls for the cause of Christ that we could possibly calculate or comprehend. We are more than confident and certain there are countless Christians that are faithfully walking with the Lord today, innumerable marriages that have been restored and saved, and countless homes that have been rescued to the glory of God through the faithful labors of James and JoAnn Gibbs. Intellectually, scholastically,and academically James was a genius. As a brother and friend in the Lord he loved and cared like no other. As a spiritual mentor and teacher he had no peer; he could teach God's Word in the most practical and understandable way to any person regardless of age, ethnicity, gender, or maturity. James was the personification of service. James constantly put others' needs above His own. He served always, sacrificed immensely, and was selfless to the core. James and JoAnn helped and blessed our family in a multitude of ways. We were privileged to stay with James and JoAnn at the Gibbs' estate on Cool Valley Road for six(6) weeks as we transitioned from Sunset in Lubbock, TX to our church-planting work in Mira Mesa and Chula Vista. Our children will never forget the honey house, bee barn, orange orchards, and grapefruit trees. We still have some buckwheat, sage, and orange honey left over from the Gibbs' apiary from 2006. Our memories of moments and events shared with James and JoAnn will be treasured and cherished for a lifetime and beyond. All to often people over work and misuse the descriptions "legend" and "hero." Every saint in the body of Christ is significant, valuable, and precious, but every so often a child of God comes along whose footprint is so large and whose godly impact is so vast that to the praise of God's glory they would be considered legends or heroes of the faith, James absolutely can be described in that fashion! James was a spiritual leader of great vision. James humbly labored as a shepherd, pastor, and overseer whether he was officially ordained by the local congregation and carried the "title" or not. James shared God's heart of "desiring all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." He was all about being "diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" without compromising the truth of the Scriptures, the essence of the gospel, or ever being snared by the uniformity of legalism. James always promoted and encouraged faithful men and women to teach others also after having heard and been taught by him in the presence of many witnesses. James' legacy will most definitely live on through the myriad of souls he lovingly, gracefully, and beautifully touched to the exaltation of the Christ. We fervently and earnestly pray for the amazing family he leaves behind so the entire Gibbs clan will be encouraged, strengthened, and comforted, yet we celebrate James' passing to eternity to worship the Creator and Lamb at the throne. We praise and thank God daily for the gift by being loved and embraced by James Gibbs.
With thankful, grateful, and humble hearts, Jim, Becky, and Ryan Bender and Jaclyn (Bender) Smith