James Clay Harmon Sr "Jim" Our daddy's greatest asset to this earth was his hands.. He knew with no doubt God gave him these big strong hands for a reason.. They were the greatest movements of his heart. He took pride in everything he built from doors, cabinets, houses, his home, his faith, and his children. He built such amazing creations yet remained the most humble of carpenters.
James Clay Harmon Sr born May 12, 1949 in Shaw Mississippi to Lula pig Devilla and Robert Lee Harmon. He was one of the 7 pieces of their hearts as well as Julie May, Bobbie Faye, Ruby Gay, Jenny Ray, Michael A, and Robert Lee Jr. He loved his family so much that it gave him an excitement to start his very own. He knew exactly who he wanted to do that with, Frances Lynn Browning. She might have doubted him at 15 years old but he would spend the next 53 years assuring her of his love. He convinced her to say "I do" on August 25th, 1967. Their love would grow a family of 2 into a family of 5, Michelle Denise, James Clay "Jamie", and April Lynn. He was so proud of his children. He was proud of the home he built. He was proud he could use his very own hands to show them love, to help them grow and to hold them safe. In all of the good times, bad times would happen. Life would test him as a father and as a man of faith. Michelle was diagnosed with cancer at a very young age. This single moment became one of daddy's biggest testaments of love and faith. For the 1st time, his hands could not fix something in his life. However, he used those hands the best way he knew how and that was to hold her little radiation burned body, to wipe her big tears, and to hold her tiny hands . I think more than anything he used those hands to pray. I think for the 1st time those hands discovered the actual power in prayer. She would grow up into a beautiful woman, a wife ,a mother , and a Christian. She had her daddy's hands, his praying hands, his loving hands and when her cancer returned she had his fighting hands. She grew tired though and her heart was spread as far as she could reach . Daddy handed her over to Jesus as he prayed her through her very last breath.
He then grew in Christ. He grew in church. His hands became some mighty hands of God. He was on fire for the Lord in a quiet lead with example, warm way. He didn't go set the world on fire but he passed out candles and lit up the room. You felt it all around as his light poured on everything in its reach. He flew all over this world building churches and easing the word of God in wherever he could . His hands worked in 26 Mexico missions, 2 Ecuador missions, Costa Rico, Panama Indian reservation and anywhere he could put his hands to use in the Delta. He took great joy in being the church bus driver. He loved so many children. He touched so many families. Those families led him to quickly dive into the Robert Neill food pantry at Calvary Baptist chapel. He helped feed his whole community joyfully. He felt lead to do all that he could. His hands consistently being the movement of his heart . Christianity came easy to daddy he understood his hands held all the answers as long as he was holding the word of GOD. Even in the most heartbreaking moments where he could have easily turned from God and ask why, or turned away and blamed God ; he didn't; he always proved true to his belief and fell to his knees to pray. Daddy poured his love of family into his children. His children then grew that love and made him a papaw. He loved Jr. James Raleigh, Marli Clay, Maci Claire, Christian Sissy, Daniel Vanlandingham, Browning Wyatt, Lydalynn Saylbee, Jackson Bear, James "Trey" Clay, and Shelby Dawn. He wasn't the kind of pawpaw to reach out and pull you in but rather stood still so they could always find him. He was always there waiting. Waiting to help, waiting to teach, waiting to giggle, waiting to play, waiting to put you to work, better than all waiting to love. Those grandbabies were his pride and joy. When life decided to reach in and be unkind, it would break his heart. Shelby was taken from us one night on a dark lonely highway murdered by her boyfriend. Domestic violence entered our world in a way that would damage any soul. It would cripple us but not daddy . Daddy led us all with an example. He fell to his knees and prayed. He never ask why. He never let hate change his heart. He used that bible to heal and to grow bigger than this heart shattering moment. Daddy was ordained as a pastor on October 8th 2017 . He grew from this little Tallahatchie County kid into a pastor. This is the moment where he knew he would no doubt enter the gates of heaven. He finally felt the comfort of his faith. When it was his time to go he had peace knowing heaven waited. he was finally standing on solid ground in faith and in life he had built all 3 of his children houses. Given them a foundation . It meant something to him to be able to leave this world providing everything he could to his children.
His children welcomed more love by marrying Angela Lynette, John Christopher, James Bubba, and Joe frank, into the family. Daddy accepted them as one of his own. Those families multiplied, they raised their children, and their children even had children. Daddy had great grand babies Gatlin James, Aubrie Michele, Ansley Claire and Beau Raleigh. A long line of love. A continuously growing love. A love that he was very proud to lead. HIS Love led him to the Lord and the Lord led him through this life .. it gave him a light.. that light led him straight into the arms of Jesus on September 16th, 2020 at 9:30 p.m. It is an amazing day of joyful celebration. Our carpenter humbly knelt before the greatest of all carpenters. Daddy's hands were movements of his heart and his heart was as big as those hands. They created so much movement on this Earth that he will be felt well after we are all gone. He left us with the greatest examples to live by. Our daddys hands are finally resting in the lords hands. A graveside service will be held in the month of October. In honor of my daddy, in lieu of all flowers, you can make a donation to Robert Neil Food Pantry, any domestic violence organizations, or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. Each helped grow and teach my daddy about the man and Christian he became. I wish I knew more of his good deeds, his helping hands, but he wasn't one to speak about his love. He didn't announce his do goods . He was just a movement.. a movement of his heart.