About two weeks ago, I had JoAnn Rose’s funeral. She was married to Jimmie Rose. I believe you should know both of their names.
Because of JoAnn, Jimmie was a great evangelist. He started out a basketball coach, one of the best in Kentucky. At 22 years old, he coached the Olive Hill Comets to the state championship game. He had a stellar run in Paris, KY. His brother, Gayle Rose, played on Jimmie’s teams in Paris. Look up to the rafters in Rupp, and Gayle’s jersey is up there. Gayle was the point guard on UK’s 1953-4 undefeated team.
Jimmie was a member of the Christian Church until he saw the prettiest girl he had ever seen…JoAnn, and had to go to the Methodist church to keep seeing her! While Jimmie was coaching in Paris, KY, he was sitting on the bench with Adolph Rupp, and there was talk of Jimmie being an assistant at UK. But then… he heard about a revival that broke out at Asbury College. It lasted almost 1 week, night and day. Jimmie prevailed on the pastor of the Methodist Church, Earl Curry, to take him down there. They went, and Jimmie came out with a call to preach the Gospel. He went back to Paris, told them he would finish out his contract, but then he was off to preaching.
He made 1/3 of the salary he had been making as a ball coach.
Jimmie was able to do what he did because of JoAnn. She gladly went off into the ministry, in rural Bath County for their first appointment. They planted a hugely successful church in Orlando, Florida. He was a friend and confidant of E Stanley Jones, perhaps the most important evangelist and missionary of the 20th century. (Jessie has the nearest thing a Protestant can have to a relic: the chair E Stanly Jones would sit in when he fished!)
Jimmie spent the last 30 years of his ministry as an evangelist, going all over the country, holding more than 600 meetings.
He could not have done it without JoAnn. They were married 76 years. One of the things I said at her funeral was that I greatly appreciated her sacrifices. But I am seriously grateful she made him a Methodist. Not because I am partisan, but because otherwise, I never would have met him, nor learned from him. He gave me his sermons, and I am very proud to have them. He is a fount of wisdom, a man of deep prayer.
Jimmie’s record as a basketball coach is amazing: 151-38. His life in ministry was not easy. I am alternately thankful I have not suffered as he has, and terrified I might. But not once have I heard him regret that he made the choice to answer God’s call.
He is 99. He has lost JoAnn, his right arm. Remember Jimmie with a prayer.