Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

In the early hours of this past Sunday morning Mildred “Big Mama” Jumper took her last breath in a hospice in Tupelo, Mississippi.

She made a mark upon many of us. Blessed be her memory among us.

I met Big Mama in January of 1983. At the time she and her family were living in Detroit. I was a white 24 year old from rural Iowa feeling alone and out of place in the African American culture. My first lesson to learn from Big Mama was that skin color and socioeconomics had nothing to do with how God drew the lines of family.  She put flesh and blood on Jesus' words, "Whoever does the will of God, is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:35)

Back in 2004 I had felt wronged by the church I was serving. My feelings were, the bishop and the larger church had treated me unjustly. We all know any good conflict is a two way street, but at the time I felt the road went one way and all the traffic was coming at me!  I was sitting at home in the middle of the day doing what was foreign to my ways, watching daytime TV. The formula to sooth my sorrows I had determined was to drink a hot cup of coffee and watch “The Young and the Restless.” My pity party was interrupted with a phone call.  Out of the blue Big Mama had decided to call me. She addressed my situation like her eyes were on a security camera viewing my every move. Big Mama’s comments were direct and precise, "That silly bishop done did you wrong child, but stop feeling sorry for yourself get up off that couch, it is time to carry on! The best God has in mind is yet to come!” She had put flesh and blood on Paul’s words, “We know that all things work together for good, for those who love God...” (Romans 8:28)

Big Mama, for me and many, carried clear attributes of God.  Simultaneously, she accepted others as family following in the steps of Jesus' grace and mercy, while challenging you in a way that left you with the full confidence it was the voice of God with only your best interest at heart.

Big Mama's family worked to create a series of videos about dementia, featuring Big Mama. The first two videos are available to watch on YouTube here and here

It will be my and Amy’s honor to represent Mildred “Big Mama” Jumper’s Colorado family at her funeral this Saturday in Booneville, Mississippi.

Prayers:  For all who mourn Mildred “Big Mama” Jumper. Leaders in government. Those who live with insufficient protection from the weather.

I have been asked by some of you about memorials for Big Mama. There are some options on how to do that that:

  • Angie, (Big Mama’s daughter) says the family has an account they call “Big Mama’s Outreach Ministry to Kids.” I don’t think it is an official nonprofit 501c3. So I am not certain you would receive a tax deduction? But, she says people are welcome to give them money for that.
  • You could also donate to the Booneville Boys and Girls Club, Angie Jumper (Big Mama’s daughter is the director), by making a check to GGCC.
  • GGCC currently pays the monthly rent on the Boys and Girls Club that Angie runs, and Big Mama loved. Amy and I plan to give to GGCC in Big Mama’s memory to be sure the funds are strong to continue paying that rent for the at risk children and youth of Booneville, Mississippi.

Thanks for asking.

February 9th the Gods Grace Community Church (GGCC) group already scheduled to go to Memphis/Booneville will see the Alcorn St Choir in Tupelo Mississippi. 

Still in One Peace,

Pastor David J. Jensen

“Let it be ...” Luke 1:38

Join us in praying the Daily Texts: Psalm 115:12 / Luke 10:20

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