James L Kilgore

James L Kilgore

A perfect man? Perhaps not.

A man who loved God? Definitely.

A son of a preacher. A pastor of a great church. A leader of ministers.

A pastor of my younger life, James L. Kilgore, passed away early this morning, February 5, 2014. From his son, Pastor Jim Kilgore:

These are the hardest words to write… Our Dad passed away at. 2:25 this morning. We felt it was inevitable following his fall on Sunday, February 2nd,but hope sees beyond the inevitable and refuses to hear the words, irreversible. We are Kilgores and miracles are part of our DNA. Over the past few days, our family poured out our love on him with words, songs , the Word, prayer, touch…and finally, we were able to release him! This morning Dad rests in the presence of Jehovah. You, our friends and his, have been magnificent! We love you! Jan, Jean, Jim and family.

As a family, we were living in Channelview when we started attending Life Tabernacle at its Broadway location in my mid-teen years. It was quite a drive. This was during the time before the 610 Loop around Houston was completed and we had to take the Federal Road, Washburn Tunnel and 225 pathway to church. Lengthy at times, but worth it!

A host of reasons for the move, but for me it was the best move I could have experienced.

In Pastor Kilgore and his beautiful wife, Imogene, I found a church that loved teenagers and gave much focus to their spiritual well being. Specially called prayer meetings, outings and youth services were the norm. The Youth Choir sang every Sunday night, and though I am not a singer, it was a very special part of my growing up time. And the choir trips – we were honored with Pastor Kilgore met us and preached at some of the services we were singing at.

Pastor Kilgore was no stranger to us as we had family that attended his church in earlier years on Market Street and Rouse. I remember visiting there in the early 60’s with my cousin, Lyn Allen, and meeting Ron Macey (who’s dad worked with my dad at Champion Paper Company). Ron was a cousin to Brett Jones, my pastor in later years. Brett Jones was son of Bishop Franklin Jones (also worked at Champion Paper Company in the 50’s) of whom I have written several times.

Our first Sunday as a teenager, he introduced all of us “Gurley” boys and our sister, a “Gurley” girl, after service. I would have been about 14, and now 45 years later I remember that special day.

My memories are many, and I have written much about experiences at Life Tabernacle, and will not repeat them today, suffice it to say, I am much of who I am today in part because of my time at Life.

My prayers and thoughts are with the family. We will miss our esteemed Elder, Pastor, Bishop, James L. Kilgore.

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