Blending faith and courage


By Rev. Glenn Martin
Advocate Columnist

On rare occasions we meet a unique individual who is a classic example of both faith and courage. When in 2004 we moved to Grenada and went to a district preachers’ meeting, a man named Jimmy Stauddy was the most obvious person there. Obvious, not because he wanted to be, but because he was bent over at the waist and neck and was there due to special effort and determination. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1994.

For five years now I have watched in awe as Jimmy has followed his dream of living an active and useful life. He has pastored Minter City UMC since 1999 and maintained his hobby of restoring and dealing antiques, some fishing and grilling good meals for friends. Not enough can be said for his noble wife, Scotty, and the devout laity of Minter City UMC. They have received from and given inspiration to a man who never complains, but plans and completes projects such as a large workshop and an office by his home in Holcomb.

Jimmy recently sold his boat because of loss of feeling in his hands and inability to hold the fishing rod.   He also recently met a surgeon at Vanderbilt University who told him he could repair his neck and back and help him to walk upright again. Jimmy believed him and bought back his boat.

On July 14, the surgery was done on his neck. Jimmy came home Aug. 8. He called to see if Pat and I could eat catfish with them that night. He is delighted to be able to shave himself again.

Jimmy has 21 years with the Grenada Police, 32 years with the National Guard and some stories to tell:   One night he and another policeman stopped to check on a car on Highway 51 South. After listening to the occupant’s reasons for running out of gas, they went to a service station, purchased two gallons and sent the man on his way, only to discover the car was stolen from a local dealer minutes before their generous help.

Another comes from his 28 years of pastoring Methodist churches. Two laymen had agreed that their rural church needed a new parsonage. One drew a plan on a sheet of tablet paper and presented it to the other. “That looks rather small,” his friend said. “Well, it’s the biggest sheet of paper I could find.”

Jimmy goes back to Vanderbilt for reconstructive surgery on his lower back in four to six months. Let’s pray for the surgeon and for healing so that he can continue to inspire us all to blend faith and courage without complaint.

Martin is a retired clergy member of the Mississippi Conference and a regular columnist for the "Advocate."