Jimmy Joe Jeeters a Biographical Sketch
The Jeeters were a typical Southern family with a Confederate flag prominently displayed in their front yard. Billy Ray was the father and although he wasn’t wealthy he made a livable living for his family of Sally Sue, his wife and 5 children.
Billy Rae was a typical white Southerner who places flowers on the grave of the Confederate president Jefferson Davis on each Memorial day. He refuses to use the same bathroom as blacks or drink out of the same drinking fountain. He believes that the Jews are taking all the money and are running the country. He is a prominent member of the NRA and keeps a couple of guns ready in case a black gets on his property.
The Jeeter family were good Christens and attended church every Sunday.Jimmy Joe Jeeters, his youngest son was a quiet boy. He lived on a farm in South Carolina in the early 70’s. He wasn’t a religious lad, but attended church regularly each Sunday with his parents. He put his nickel in the collection plate each Sunday as expected, but never felt the spirit of other members. One night his paw took him to a tent revival meeting that changed his life forever. When he left that meeting, he was filled with the spirit of the Lord. Although he was only ten years old he decided at that time to be a servant of the Lord and bring his message to everyone who would listen.
His paw bought him a small Bible to fit his small hands and he read it day and night. He wasn’t a good reader so only learned a few passages he could quote. The ones he worked on the hardest were Jesus, Praise the Lord, Hallelujah, and other inspiring words and phrases he heard at the tent meeting. He practiced his preaching on his parents, on the street corner in town, and with the cows and sheep on the farm.
Jimmy Joe progressed fast. In no time at all he could say Jeez–zuss! and Hall– e- lu- jah! in a manner that inspired the cows to give more milk. Before long he was so adept at preaching he was saving souls at Sunday services. The collection plates were overflowing, as people came from far and wide to hear Jimmy Joe preach.
Jimmy Joes father was a poor dirt farmer, but wasn’t a fool. He decided to get a tent and take Jimmy Joe on the road and change Jimmy Joes’ name to Reverend Jimmy Joe Jeeters. This was the beginning of a new career for the boy evangelist.
It is now thirty-two years later and I have been given the privilege of interviewing Jimmy Joe. Since 9/11 the Southern Baptists have made a few statements that irritated many American patriots. Their income was decreasing because of this and donations going to victims of the disaster so needed some positive publicity.
I was flown to Charleston in a private plane and picked up at the airport by a chauffeur-driven limousine. On arriving at a palatial home on many acres, I was escorted to the door by a uniformed doorman. The reverend has come a long way since his conversion.
I was taken to the study and met by Jimmy Joe, now in his forties. He was wearing a red smoking jacket with gold buttons. He greeted me cordially and had me sit across from him in a chair that looked like a throne. He opened the interview by telling me to call him Jimmy Joe. I in turn told him to call me Dono. We spent a short time in small talk before the interview and were served tea and crumpets by the maid. I finally said “Shall we start the interview?”
“You have done very well financially as an evangelist Jimmy Joe?” was my first comment. “Is this from your preaching or other ventures?”
Jimmy Joe, without hesitation, replied, “The Lord let his face shine upon me as we are close friends and I am doing his work down here on earth. I did use some of my offerings on things like race horses, which was very profitable.”
“Isn’t horse racing gambling?” I asked.
“No,” he replied. “I don’t bet on the races, I profit from the purses and breeding fees” I could see that Jimmy Joe was smooth, so left this subject.
I next asked about the Baptist’s stand on homosexuals. He explained that the Bible made homosexuality a sin, so hate the sin, but not the sinner. Of course we don’t allow them in church, but will help them repent from their evil ways. He then told me about their program to convert them to heterosexuality.
“I read where the church is selling books about homosexual life and are selling like hot cakes, as this is the only way the parishioners can read pornography without sinning.”
“We are just carrying out God’s work by exposing these sinners and yes we have made a lot of money with these books, but only through donations,” he replied.
I then asked about the statement made at the Baptist convention by Reverend Vines who said that the Muslim God isn’t the real God and Catholics and Jews are hell bound.
“I agree with that. Have you ever heard of John the Catholic or John the Muslin?” he snapped, “John the Baptist was the one who baptized Christ and was sent to herald the birth of Jesus,” was his retort.
I could see this was a controversial subject, so asked him about the Baptist doctrine that women should be submissive to men and are against feminism.
Jimmy Joe was starting to fidget in his chair as I had heard he had a dominating wife. “This is what the Bible said and we Baptists follow it’s teachings. If Eve hadn’t had free will the world would be a better place today. Timothy states that women should be quiet and submissive,” he said almost in a whisper as we could hear his dominating wife in the background.
I could see that it was time to leave, so made one last request. “Reverend, would you pick up your Bible and say Praise the Lord and Jesus for me?”
Jimmy Joe picked up his Bible raised it above his head with his right hand and gave me a “Praise the Lord!” and “Jeez-zuzz!” in a thunderous voice that electrified the room. I was so moved I gave him a hundred- dollar bill, raised my arms towards the heavens and walked toward the door singing Jesus Loves Me, This I Know. “Praise the Lord!”