FAYETTE Rev. Jesse James Mitchell, Jr., age 84, died Sunday, November 8, 2009, at his residence in Fayette, Alabama. Funeral services will be held at the James Mitchell Fellowship Hall at the Grace Baptist Church in Fayette, Alabama, on Wednesday, November 11, 2009, at 11:00 a.m. The body will lie in state from 10:00 am. until 11:00 a.m. prior to the service. The officiating ministers will be Rev. Brad Doss, Rev. Hillary Stewart and Judge William H. Oswalt. Internment will be at Elmwood Cemetery in Birmingham, Alabama. The family received friends at Nelson Funeral Home in Fayette. Tuesday, November 10, 2009, from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m.
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Rev. Mitchell was preceded in death by his wife, Claudia Dunn Mitchell; his parents, Sarah Ethel (DeRamus) and Jesse James Mitchell. Sr.; his aunt and uncle, Alma (DeRamus) and Charles T. Cole; his mother-in-law, Annie Mae Dunn; sister, Jewel Mitchell; son, James M. Mitchell; stepson, John Robert Oswalt; and step-great-grandson, Tanner Colby Smith.
Rev. Mitchell is survived by his wife, Nadelia "Janie" Mitchell, Fayette; daughter, Elizabeth Ann Mitchell (Dan) Christner, Brighton, Mich.; grandsons, Charles and Jesse Chrisiner, Brighton, Mich.; brother, Gerney (Linda) Mitchell, Birmingham; stepdaughter, Letha (Mike) Bieber, Boonville, Mo.; stepsons, William H, (Nelda) Oswalt, Fayette and David (Janice) Oswalt, Fayette; step-grandsons, Whitney (Cheryl) Oswalt, Hoover; Matt (Christina) Bieber, Kodiak Island, Ark. and Eli Oswalt, Fayette; step-granddaughters, Diedre Oswalt (Craig) Smith, Rosemary Beach, Fla., Sandi Bieber (Wayne) Juliano, DeWitt, Mo., Audrey Oswalt (Ron) Strawbridge, Fayette, Lauren Oswalt, Ocean Springs, Miss. and Carly Oswalt, Fayette; and step-great-grandchildren, Dylan Smith, Rosemary Beach, Fla., Fabien, Falen, Falaena, and Finn Juliano, DeWitt, Mo. and Langston and Hollis Strawbridge, Fayette.
Rev. Mitchell was born February 19, 1925, in Jefferson County, Alabama. He lived his young life with his beloved aunt and uncle in Autauga County. In 1946, he graduated from Ensley High School and entered the "V-5" Navy program at Howard College and entered World War II, February 10, 1943, serving in the flight program in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. After being released from active duty in 1946, he entered Howard College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in religion and mathematics. He later pursued graduate studies in mechanical engineering at Wayne State University and the University of Pittsburgh. He also taught engineering courses at the University of Kentucky.
He was employed at Continental Conveyors, Winfield, Ala., and Jervis Webb Corporation, Sherman, Texas, as a world-renowned engineered systems consultant supervising notable conveyor projects throughout the world. Rev. Mitchell was licensed to preach by Highland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 1947, and was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1951, finally retiring from full time ministry in 1991. However, he continued to serve as interim pastor at numerous Baptist churches until his death. As he was fondly called by thousands, "Brother Jimmy" served as pastor of 16 Baptist churches in Alabama, Tennessee, Texas and Michigan serving many of them several different tenures for over 60 years. He sought each day of his life to exemplify the Gospel that he preached so willingly and joyously throughout his life.
On January 17, 1946, he married Claudia Mae Dunn who went to be with the Lord February 16, 1992. Together they served each other and the Lord to the utmost and raised their two loving children whom they adored. The Lord saw fit for him to marry Nadela "Janie" Oswalt on June 26, 1993, and they faithfully committed their lives to treasuring each other and their joint service for the Lord. He was a devoted and doting husband and exemplified Christ's desire of a husband's love for his mate.
Active pallbearers will be Charlie Christner, Jesse Christner, Whitney Oswalt, Eli Oswalt, Ron Strawbridge, Craig Smith, and Dylan Smith.
Honorary pallbearers are the deacons of Grace Baptist Church: Claude Brand, Jerry Bobo, Gary Kimbrell. Harry Unger, Jr., Ronnie Stough, Carl Ham, and Terry McIntyre.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to be made to The Gideon's International or Grace Baptist Church, 1656 Temple Avenue North, Fayette, Alabama 35555.
Published in Tuscaloosa News on Nov. 11, 2009