February 18th, 2017

AIPM at Littleover Baptist Church, Derby 2005 and 2006

By: Chuck McComb

AIPM had 3 couples serve at Littleover Baptist Church (LBC) in Derby. They were Ernest and Ann Weedon from Deer Park, TX; O.D. and Jean Oliver from Gilmer, TX and Claude and Delma Jacks from Beeville, TX.

Littleover Baptist Church

Littleover Manse and Auto

The Weedon’s were first to serve there. Ernest is a retired pastor who served First Baptist Church, Deer Park for a number of years. After retirement, he and Ann began an interesting ministry in their very own subdivision which is quite large. They get in touch with newcomers and invite them to attend either a church of their own denomination or FBC. If they choose their own denomination, the Weedon’s attend with them and help them get acquainted. If they have no preferred denomination, the Weedon’s try to take them to FBC and help them get acquainted there. Ernest and Ann simply turned this ministry over to other helpers for the 6-months they served in England. We believe God must be well pleased when His servants keep on serving in their retirement years. Indeed, retirees are the backbone of AIPM.

The Weedon’s followed the standard practice of American interim pastor couples and made many friends in their neighborhood. Ann decided to give a birthday party for Ernest. She invited the Littleover congregation and most of them came. But, that was only about half of the crowd of over 70 people. The other half were neighbors including some Muslim friends. Such is the way our volunteers are made to feel welcome in the communities where we serve.

Ernest and Ann Weedon

In January 2006, O.D. and Jean Oliver began serving at LBC following the Weedon’s. O.D. became very ill on the flight to the UK. He and Jean were told that the airline rules were such that if a passenger is too ill to proceed to the next stop, the airline will return to the USA’s nearest airport capable of handling that size plane. O.D. and Jean felt that he would be able to continue on to Manchester, UK and did indeed get there safely. O.D. visited the local doctors several times over the 2 weeks that they were at Littleover. Finally, the doctors advised them to return to Texas where their doctors had detailed records and would be better able to manage his case. The folk at LBC were so gracious to O.D. and Jean and were sorry to see them leave. But, they understood that it was best for O.D.’s health. Sadly, O.D. passed away a few months after leaving Littleover!

When O.D. and Jean realized that they would not be able to finish out their 6-month assignment, they mentioned another retired pastor and wife who might be able and willing to serve. They introduced AIPM to Claude and Delma Jacks from Beeville, TX. Claude had been a pastor of Baptist churches for many years and Delma had served as a member of the Board of Trustees of The University of Mary Harden Baylor for a long time. Since AIPM had had no contact with the Jacks, we had on profiles or videos. Cecil Williams, then Treasurer of AIPM and an accomplished media person, solved the video problem. Cecil offered to tape a sermon by Claude and and interview with Claude and Delma that we could sent to Littleover. The folk at LBC considered Claude and Delma excellent candidates and called them immediately. It took only 4 weeks from the time we heard about the Jack’s until they arrived in the UK. In those days, we did not bet visas for volunteer religious workers as we do today. We simply took advantage of the visitor’s visa waiver agreement between GB and the USA that was in effect. We could enter GB and volunteer but had to exit the country within 6 months. In fact, that is the origin of what has become AIPM’s standard assignment of 6-months. That and our retiree’s need to visit doctors and visit grand children.

Claude and Delma Jacks