From the Office of Bishop Bob
In sadness, we share the news that Pastor James “Jimmy” Leonard Nelson, Jr. died on Thursday, May 27, 2021.
Pastor Nelson was a local pastor in the Desert Southwest Conference. He was born in 1951 and later attended Northern Arizona University. He became licensed as a local pastor in 2006. He served at Tucson: Hope UMC; Holbrook: Holbrook UMC; Winslow: First UMC; Mesquite: Mesquite UMC (Associate); and Kearny: United Methodist Church of the Good Shepherd.
Working diligently with the Board of Ordained Ministry, Jimmy was working toward receiving Associate Membership in the Desert Southwest Conference. His achievement will be recognized posthumously during this year’s ordination service.
Jimmy was passionate about ministry. He gave his entire heart and soul into reaching people with God’s love. Whenever there was a problem, Jimmy could see the possibilities and the hope in nearly any situation. He was always looking for the next new person to meet, strike up a conversation with and make a new friend. His smile and laugh welcomed, warmed, and engaged everyone. All he needed to engage in ministry was a community event to bring his popcorn machine to and give a way popcorn with his smile, and a “howdy neighbor.” He reached new people for Christ in his natural, approachable, and easy way which drew folks in and made them well in their soul. In a recent visit with Jimmy in the hospital, District Superintendent Susan Brims experienced Jimmy as every bit the person everyone knew and loved. When asked if the two could have a word of prayer together, Jimmy started praying. DS Susan laughingly said that she was there to pray for him; and after she did, Jimmy then took a turn and prayed for the church, that God would bless the work of the church and that God would raise up young ministers to continue the work. His concern was always for others.
Memorial services will be held at a later date at the UMC of the Good Shepherd in Kearny, AZ. Additional services may be held although information is not available at this time.
Condolences can be sent to:
PO Box 729
Kearny AZ 85137
Memorial Gifts may be made to:
UMC of the Good Shepherd
PO Box 729
Kearny, AZ 85137
Donations received will be shared between the church’s general fund and evangelism fund. The two represent Jimmy’s greatest hopes for the church – to keep it financially viable and to keep the church reaching out and making disciples for Jesus Christ.
We join our hearts together in grief, acknowledging our human loss. May God grant us grace, that in pain we may find comfort; in sorrow, hope; and in death, resurrection. With gratitude for the life and ministry of Pastor Jimmy Nelson, Jr., please hold his family and friends in prayer at this time.