Jack Exum, Rest in Peace

I just received a note from Jack Exum, Jr. regarding his father, which I excerpt below —

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Well as you read from my sister-in-law, Linda, dad passed away on Sunday the 7th. He was in the Lake City Medical Center here in Lake City, Fla. My wife Wiwik, Bob, and I were with him. My wife noticed his last breath, she told Bob and he went to get the nurse who verified the fact that he was gone. He had left behind a body that was worn out. Yes, it was and is very hard on us. Preparing the funeral going through all of this was hard. Doesn’t seem real. Still seems like a dream to me.

Dad had said often he wanted to go home. After the first heart attack in December, after his leg bypass was done successfully, he came through it and recalls seeing me and was disappointed that he wasn’t already in heaven. I thought it was funny. But he was really disappointed, because he really wanted to go on to “the next adventure”.

… It was about 2 days later, after returning to the health center, that he suffered another mild heart attack, and was sent back to the Lake City Med. Ctr. Again the doctor told us his days wer numbered and there was nothing that could be done. I was calling family and others to come, when dad passed away. …
Dad had finally gotten what he wanted, having peacefully gone to be with Jesus, and experience what he had called the “next adventure”.

Officiating at the funeral was, Earl Williams, who participates in the “Three Unusual Days” ministry, along with Jerry Cantrell, Danny Deloach (cousin) and wonderful friend, and a life long friend he called, “Moon”. …

I have asked and am asking now, that all who have memories of dad, and stories to tell, send them to me, at 496 SW Jafus Ave., Lake City, Fla., 32024 so these can be gathered and shared with family and friends, and possibly used in the Lake City Reporter.

Dad was a long time member of the Central Church of Christ, a small struggling congregation where I serve as minister on part time basis. We are asking that all who might have wished to send flowers simply make a donation to the church that will miss him very much, as a sign of their love for dad. This can be mailed to my address with “church of Christ” on it, and I will give this to the church, in memory of dad.

If you wish to receive a news letter accounting his last two months with us, please let me know. I will be glad to send it.

On Saturday, the 6th, I was with dad pretty much all night. … He was calm, comfortable, still struggling with his breath. As he had done so often, he kicked off the covers, and sat on the edge of the bed. Leaning over to seemingly breath better, he started talking and singing.

He sang, “O Lord, it’s hard to be humble… when you’re perfect in every way…”

He started talking about when he was young (16). He had the habit of smoking. When he met mom, she told him one time on a date, “I don’t like that.” (smoking). He threw away his cigarette, and said “I don’t like it either.” He never picked up a cigarette again.

He sang their song, “It had to be you … just had to be you…”

He sang his last song, “Blest Be The Tie That Binds”

For dad, the church was very important. Unity and grace and the Holy Spirit. He said, “Jay’s book has changed me.” “I have learned so much from his book about grace and God’s Holy Spirit.” He sent them everywhere he could. When in Bible class where I teach using Jay’s book, dad would often interject and comment, and teach a bit on points that were special to his heart.

His favorite scripture: Romans 8.

His favorite pastime was telling stories and laughing and teaching others about Jesus.

He blessed a lot of people. We will all miss him sorely.

Thanks, Jay, for this opportunity to tell just a little about dad.

Love to you and all,

In His love,
Jack Exum Jr.

For the benefit of younger readers, Br Exum for many years traveled the country preaching meetings called “Three Unusual Days,” where he taught God’s grace and the work of his Spirit. He worked powerfully to open hearts and minds to the truth of God’s gospel. He also wrote 39 books on a variety of topics.

I well remember being encouraged to further my own investigations into the word at a meeting taught by Br Exum at the Alberta Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, many years ago. He was a fantastic speaker and remarkably courageous in teaching his beliefs at a time when most were afraid to say what they really believed from the pulpit — and he did this even though his livelihood depended on being invited to preach meetings.

He was a remarkable man who deeply influenced the Churches of Christ for good. I’ll miss him.

[Click here for the full text of Jack Jr.’s note.]

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11 Responses

  1. I have wondered where Bro. Jack has been. Now I know where he is. I cannot count the number of times I heard him speak to young people in the Western Kentucky area in the early and mid ’70’s. If we knew Bro. Jack was going to be at a youth rally or meeting we begged our parents to take us. He was humorous in his presentation but more than that he taught on a level that we as teens could understand. I shall never forget him or the example he left. May God bless his family.

  2. Terry,
    Thanks for writing. Please let me know of memories you have of dad. I am glad to know he is so well respected and loved all over the world. His work goes on, and lessons and principles he taught live on.
    Thank you again.

    Jack Jr.

  3. I remember buying one of brother Exum’s books just before I left for my first trip to New Zealand. It was How To Win Souls. I also remember how disappointed I was that it did not give me a step-by-step procedure guaranteed to “get them in the water.” Instead it started by talking about the Beatitudes. As a naive boy of only 23, I wondered what in the world that had to do with winning souls!

    Later, I heard him speak a number of times, and always enjoyed his illustrations, his kind humor, his humility, and his deep love for the Lord.

    Praise God for men like Jack Exum! May his tribe on earth increase.

    Jerry Starling

  4. […] I was saddened to learn of the passing of a man who changed my life and ministry, Jack Exum.  A prolific author and founder of the “Three Unusual Days” ministry, Jack leaves […]

  5. Thanks for sharing this news. In a sermon recently I recounted seeing brother Jack many years ago with his table full of objects. It was a large rope with a knot at one end… and a big mousetrap. He played the frayed end of the rope over the mousetrap and talked about how we play with sin, thinking it won’t hurt us. Then he allowed the knot to hit the trap and suddenly we had a vivid picture of the work of satan in temptation. Once when I was in college, after hearing Jack preach in Kosciusko about family, I called my mother and thanked her for the discipline with which we had been raised. I never realized how important that was. I wasn’t around brother Jack very often. I had several of his books. I heard him speak at Tulsa a few years ago … the last time I heard him speak. I thought, also, that he was a remarkable man.

  6. My favorite song of Jack’s was a simple two note song called “Things change”. I’m sure all who spent any time at all with Jack heard that same song. I heard him teach while at the White’s Ferry Road School of Biblical Studies.

  7. Jack, Jr. and Family,

    Just to add to what others have said. Jack left a lasting impression on all who met him or simply heard him speak. I had the opportunity in the late 70’s thru early to mid 80’s to hear him on a number of occasions.

    When a young person I learned much from his little booklet, “How to Handle Your Parents.’ Through the years I have shared those lessons with many, many young people.

    And yes Jodi is my sister-in-law.

  8. I just wanted to take this time to thank you for your thoughts. Went over to dad’s house today, and found a journal he kept during 2008. My wife Wiwik, is reading it now. Some good memories there. His house is so full of both mom and dad. His office, books, sermons, articles, pictures on the walls, illustrations used in lessons. Precious memories. Most precious are his thoughts of mom, and their love which lasted for some 61 years.
    I guess he was a bit of a ”pack-rat’. Dad left me with some wonderful memories. I wish I could share them all with you all. Who knows, maybe it’s time for a web site.
    This site kinda seems like ‘home’ in a way. I remember just stumbling around the internet, and typing in phrases, and up popped this site. Everything changed then. For me, and dad… since then we have been more in love with the study of God’s grace than ever before. By the way, i found another 35 of Jay’s books, so I will do as dad did with the 50+ ordered before. Send them out to preachers. So here goes…. while they last…. let me know if you know someone who would like one. Also…. will be sending out some of his books… Just cover the postage… that’s it. Write me at Jack Exum Jr, 496 SW Jafus Ave., Lake City, Fla., 32024.
    I know some have wanted dad’s books and haven’t received them… Sorry about that. Have been just over come with taking care of mom and dad, and now he is gone home. Things will calm down though. routines are good.
    Dad always encouraged me to continue preaching… I found it hard because of my own sins. Felt very unworthy, but I have turned my life over to He who forgives, and by His grace, and only by His grace, I serve as minister part time here in Lake City. Never a time that I preach or teach, do I forget my promise to the Master…. never again… divorce hurts God and everyone…it hurt me twice. Forgiveness means a time for healing. Like dad always has taught, “it’s where healing begins”. It means a new beginning. A new start. A glorious future.
    So my goal is to carry not only the memories, but the torch of ministry. It’s my heart’s desire to share both.
    Well, I don’t know why I did this. I guess because I feel close to you, and now I know and appreciate God’s grace more, and don’t mind sharing.
    I hope it encourages someone, it’s dad’s legacy to me.
    In Christian love,
    Jack Jr.

  9. Brother Jack. What a delight to have known him and to have learned from him. I was one of his earlier Three Unusual Days mentees. I invited Jack to Harding for a 15 in One Workshop that Jerry Jones organized in the 70’s. He reciprocated by asking if I would join him in the 3 Unusual Days. He gave me his tape on that one lesson and said, “I want you to listen to this 20 times before you ever try to preach it once. My wife and children went to Jack’s and Ann’s and stayed for a few nights while he instructed me in the finer points of swimming, tennis and preaching. He was a great illustrator and coach. I know he is resting in peace. I pray God’s blessings on the family.

  10. Hey Jim,
    Thank you for your memories of dad. I am so encouraged to hear from you and others. Dad was so wanting to go and see Jesus. I know you enjoyed being with mom and dad in Royston for the initiation. I remember him speaking of what he generally went through with people coming. He was so excited about those who were going to join in TUD.
    Thank you so much.
    I wish you could come and be with us some time. If you are in the area, let us know.
    My email is jackexumjr@yahoo.com.
    Thanks brother.
    In Christ,
    Jack Jr.

  11. I remember Jack preaching a gospel meeting when I was in second grade. (I’m in my 30’s now.)

    I had my school yearbook and asked him to sign it. He did.

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