James (Jim) Henry Mattison, 89, died Monday, Nov. 11, 2013 in hospice care in McDonough, Ga.
He was born on Feb. 3, 1924 in Oregon, the son of Henry and Hazel Mattison.
After graduating from Oregon High School, he attended and graduated from Oregon Bible College.
He married a fellow college student, Mary Helen Landry, and the young couple began their lifetime adventure together in Pumpkin Center, La., attempting to start a new church there for one year.
They then moved to Mary Helen’s home church, spending two years in Hammond, La., pastoring the Happy Woods Church of God.
There they started their large family with the birth of their first two children, Michael and Ruth.
They then served in two churches in Texas, spending a year in Riviera, before starting a church in Harlingen, where they lived for seven years.
While in Texas they added to their family with the birth of Rebekah, Betsy, Ben, and John.
In 1956 they moved back to Louisiana to pastor the Blood River Church of God near Springfield.
During their 11-year stay there, they completed their family with the birth of Steve and Tim.
In 1967 they moved to pastor the Fort Valley Church of God and the Maurertown Church of God in Virginia. After 11 years they moved to Burr Oak, Ind., where he pastored the Burr Oak Church of God.
After Mary Helen died in 1983, Jim married Martha Holiday Jones, and moved to her home in South Carolina after his retirement in 1986.
In retirement, Jim became more actively involved in mission work in Malawi, Africa and formed Malawi Africa Missions to assist in the mission work there.
He was instrumental in building many churches there and making numerous trips to visit their churches and train pastors.
After Martha’s death in 2006 he continued to be active in the Malawi mission work and made his final mission trip to Africa in 2008.
Jim became a close friend and mentor of hundreds of people, and constantly encouraged and corresponded with many until the very end of his life.
He consistently wrote over 1,000 letters per year and found great joy in sharing both scripture and humorous stories.
Jim loved to study the Bible and in particular prophecy.
He wrote three books: “Prophecies of the End of the Age,” “The End-Time Timeline,” and his autobiography “The Life of a Country Boy Preacher”, as well as many articles, lessons, and pamphlets.
For many years he wrote the “Prophecy Page” in the Restitution Herald, and later authored the column “Verses to Live By.”
Jim is survived by his eight children, Mike (Barbara), Ruth (John) Pendergrass, Rebekah (Joe) Martin, Betsy (Steve) Moore), Ben (Deb), John (Pat), Steve (Beth), and Tim (Anne); as well as two step-children Tim (Beth) Jones and Rebecca (Dave) Dauksas; 22 grandchildren; and 33 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wives, Mary Helen and Martha; and also by step-daughter Melody Ballard and her husband Bob.
He often talked of the resurrection and looking forward to reuniting with them in the Kingdom.
A memorial service was held Nov. 15 at the Cornerstone Bible Church, McDonough, Ga.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to either the Mary Helen Mattison Memorial Scholarship Fund or the Martha Mattison Memorial Scholarship Fund, both at Atlanta Bible College, PO Box 2950, McDonough, GA 30253.