John Mays

Obituary of John William Mays

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     With heavy hearts but steadfast faith, we celebrate the remarkable life and eternal legacy of our beloved John William Mays, 80, of Russellville, Alabama. On March 1st, 2024, John departed this earthly realm on what would have marked his beloved mother's 100th birthday.  Born on February 21, 1944, in Russellville to the late John Oliver Mays and Mary Nell Pope of Hamilton, AL, John was a beacon of God's grace and love to all who knew him. He is survived by his family, including his siblings: the late Gary Mays, Ken Mays, Peggy Mays-Davis, and Joe Mays. John's life was a testament to the transformative power of faith and prayer. With his devoted wife, Judy Arlene Mays, by his side for nearly 53 years, together, they raised a blessed family: Tracy, Gary, Robert, John, Chris, and his daughter, Libby. John's heart overflowed with pride for his 18 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren, whom he cherished as precious gifts from above.
     A Vietnam veteran, he served his country with honor in the Air Force from 1962-1966, stationed in Okinawa, Japan. It was after serving the country that he experienced a profound spiritual awakening, inspired by the fervent prayers of his mother and the divine message of a Gideon Bible discovered in a hotel room while playing the bass guitar on tour with Merle Haggard in 1971. Surrendering his life to Christ, John began a lifelong mission to share the transformative power of God's love with the world. John's path led him to Andrew Baptist College and Seminary in Sacramento, California, where he diligently pursued his studies and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, followed by a Doctorate at Friends International Bible College.  Empowered by the Holy Spirit, John embarked on a global crusade of evangelism, carrying the gospel message to the farthest reaches of the earth.
      From the bustling streets of Nairobi to the serene landscapes of Thailand, from the verdant hills of Ireland to the rugged shores of the Isle of Man, John's ministry transcended borders and united hearts in faith. He fearlessly led expeditions through the perilous causeways of the USSR, smuggling Bibles into the heart of darkness to illuminate the path to salvation. In London, England, he planted seeds of  hope and faith, pioneering churches where Russian asylum seekers found refuge and redemption in the arms of Christ.  But John's ministry extended far beyond the pulpit. He was a beacon of hope to the downtrodden, a source of comfort to the afflicted, and a friend to the friendless. In his later years, he answered the divine call to leadership, serving as Mayor of Dos Palos, CA, while shepherding the faithful as Pastor of Valley Christian Center. His soulful melodies and heartfelt hymns resonated with the love of God, touching hearts and souls with the eternal message of salvation.  He was an accomplished writer, authoring several books including his autobiography, "Leaving Woods Creek", books of faith teaching,"The Achilles Heel of God", and "O' Death Where is thy sting", and novels of great stories such as,"The Glasscock House", and "Red Arrow".
     As we see off our beloved patriarch, we take comfort in the promise of eternal life and the assurance that John's spirit now resides in the loving embrace of our Heavenly Father. His legacy of faith, compassion, and unwavering devotion will continue to inspire generations to come, guiding us all to the foot of the cross where we find redemption and eternal grace.

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11:00 am
Saturday, April 20, 2024
First Baptist Church of Stockton
3535 N. Eldorado Street
Stockton, California, United States
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John Mays

In Loving Memory

John Mays

1944 - 2024

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