Rev. James ‘Uncle Jimmy’ Witherspoon has been a Music City beacon of trust and hope for several years. The true meaning of Christmas was celebrated as members of his large biological family held a remarkable birthday dinner for him.
Family of all ages traveled to Bethesda Original Church of God (Elder Derek Miller, senior pastor) from across Nashville and other parts of the country to attend. They all were clearly unbothered by the frigid temperatures leading to the proud Centenarian’s celebration.
“I know that it was God that has covered me over the years, and I have always and will continue to praise him with every breath,” said Rev. Witherspoon.
Guests continuously piled in and lined up throughout the evening to share a photo op, give him gifts, or just to get a hug from this staunch man of God.
He was honored and presented with a proclamation by District 1 Metro City Councilman Nick Leonardo, with the help of dignitary and cousin, Vivian Michael Wilhoite. The wording of the proclamation captured the heart and soul of ‘Uncle Jimmy.’ Throughout the evening, he could be seen and heard praising God with loving, spirited conviction from his decorative platform. Instilled with the love and core values of his parents, Andrew and Mary Vance-Jones Witherspoon, Uncle Jimmy grew strong and learned the value of hard work. His employment over the years varied but never wavered in quality or conviction.
He retired as a cook for the Williamson County School system. As soon as he could vote, he took advantage of that privilege. One of the many gifts he received that evening was a commemorative President Barrack Obama plate.
“This is a picture of my president, and I know that he is no longer the sitting president—but he will always be my president,” said Rev. Witherspoon.
One of the many great and known characteristics imbedded in him was to share his wisdom, love of the Lord and the importance of voting with young people.
Amid the beautiful royal blue and gold decorations, complete with three numeric balloons outlining ‘100’ and the bountiful homemade holiday feast served, a humble servant lovingly smiled outward at those who were celebrating him.
The church was literally packed with cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and offspring of Uncle Jimmy. Add in neighbors, members of church and the community, and it was indeed a celebration that will be remembered for years to come.