The Rev. Dr. James Newton (Jim) Thompson (79) died peacefully at his home in Gainesville, Ga., on June 13, 2012. |
Born in Athens, Ga., to James and Louise (Smith) Thompson, Jim and brother, Robert E. Thompson graduated from Athens High School and shared a love for the University of Georgia Bulldogs.
Jim continued his education at Emory at Oxford and graduated from Emory University in 1953 with a Bachelor of Arts in History.
While at Emory, he was president of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity and active in the Emory University Glee Club. He attended Candler School of Theology, earning his Master of Divinity degree, and McCormick Theological Seminary, where he earned his Doctor of Ministry degree.
Having dedicated over 50 years of his life to ministry in the United Methodist Church, his first appointment was to the Bishop Circuit, where he and his new bride, Billie, lived for one year. At his second appointment, Jim facilitated the construction of Belvedere United Methodist Church sanctuary and education building. He went on to serve First United Methodist Church in West Point. While serving his fourth appointment, Jim led Gainesville First United Methodist Church through the relocation and construction of the sanctuary and original facility. His last pulpit appointment was to Decatur First United Methodist Church. During his later career, Jim was district superintendent for the Griffin District, the Atlanta-Emory District and the Athens-Elberton District of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church.
In addition to his formal ministry, Jim traveled extensively over the past 24 years on mission trips to Honduras. Through his leadership, volunteers built schools, clinics and churches that provide a wide array of services to the local people whom he grew to love so dearly. His work there led to the establishment of the North Georgia/North Coast Honduras Methodist Mission.
A resident of Hall County for over 30 years, Jim was instrumental in developing the Chaplaincy Program at Northeast Georgia Medical Center, in starting CONTACT Ministries and in serving as a member of the Gainesville Race Relations Council. His hobbies included gardening, bird watching, traveling and watching old movies, particularly "Casablanca."
Jim is survived by Billie, his wife of 58 years; his daughters, Karen Thompson and Susan Thompson of Gainesville and Margaret Anne Thompson of Dahlonega; grandchildren, Juliette Embry, Abby Ferrell and Jay Ferrell of Gainesville. He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Robert E. and Peggy Adams Thompson of Lula, Ga., and their children and grandchildren.
Jim's celebration service will be held Friday, June 15, 2012, at Gainesville First United Methodist Church at 4 p.m. Visitation will be after the service followed by a private family interment at the church Columbarium.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The North Georgia/North Coast Honduras Methodist Mission, Gainesville First United Methodist Church Community Outreach Programs or Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center Inc.
Those wishing to send online condolences may do so at www.littledavenport.com.
Little & Davenport Funeral Home, 355 Dawsonville Highway S.W., Gainesville, GA 30501 is in charge of arrangements.
Published in gainesvilletimes.com on June 14, 2012