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1971 Pastor Jamey 2024

Pastor Jamey Gremillion

April 26, 1971 — February 28, 2024

  Pastor Jamey Gremillion, age 52 of Stoutsville, went to be with Jesus on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, at his home surrounded by his family and friends. He was born April 26, 1971, in Hammond, LA, the son of Carol (Neuenswander) Gremillion, of Oklahoma City, OK and the late Rev. Richard L. Gremillion. Jamey, the youngest of five children, became the immediate object of affection and was especially doted upon by his oldest sister Janet. 

   At 14, Jamey dedicated his life to God during a revival service preached by Rev. Robert Sickmiller, who would later become his grandfather-in-law. After graduating from high school, Jamey attended Hobe Sound Bible College to earn a ministry degree. Between his sophomore and junior year, Jamey went on a short-term mission trip to Ghana, Africa, that forever changed his life. A girl named Cara Coxon was on his team and they started dating. Even though they had previously met through family connections, he liked to say that he met Cara in Africa, but she disputed that version of the story because it sounded like they were just wandering the continent and happened to bump into each other! Two years later he married Cara and moved to Idaho to be a youth pastor. He continued his education earning his Master’s Degree at Wesley Biblical Seminary while serving as a youth pastor in Jackson, MS; he then pursued further studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI. Next, he went into pastoral ministry serving at churches in North Carolina, West Virginia, and Ohio. He matured as a preacher and a pastor during his time at Covenant Evangelical Methodist Church in Morgantown, West Virginia where he ministered for 9 years. Jamey had always wanted to teach at the college level and he got his opportunity when he was hired to head the missions department at Ohio Christian University in 2012. He poured himself into creating lectures that would engage and inspire his students and was blessed to hear from many that he had had a profound impact on their lives. 

   Jamey was passionate about local and global missions. His first foray into overseas missions was his trip to Ghana, but he also traveled with church groups to Myanmar (Burma), Togo, and Mexico. While at OCU, Jamey organized global mission trips to Costa Rica, Honduras, and Argentina.  He also involved his students in local missions–a trip to Indiana, weekly food give-aways/outreaches in Columbus, and a summer program serving underprivileged families in southern Ohio. 

   It was during his tenure at OCU that Jamey met Tim and Beth Tabor, founders of Compassion Outreach Ministries of Ohio (COMO). He was captured by their mission and eventually joined their board of directors to support and help grow the ministry. His last project before his cancer diagnosis was dreaming, planning, and raising money for a food truck to help support the COMO ministry–it has now been purchased with plans to be on the road this spring. 

   At a young age, Jamey fell in love with the outdoors and spent hours outside playing, hunting, and fishing. His delight with nature only grew stronger with time. Some of Jamey’s fondest memories included camping, hunting, and fishing with family and friends. The exploits on certain trips were spun into lore as he and his friends recounted their adventures. (Talk to Tom McCall for a full telling of these tall tales). A self-taught fly fisherman, Jamey grabbed every opportunity to cast for steelhead or salmon, his favorite type of fishing. Jamey loved fishing with his brother Danny; one of his proudest fishing moments was when he recommended a certain type of fly (bait) and gave information about the river that led to an exciting fishing expedition for Danny. He also relished the more low-key fishing outings to local lakes often accompanied by his friends Gerald Mershimer and Dave Brown. Whether it was the break your arms-off wrestling contest with a steelhead (he actually pulled a muscle in his arm after fishing for steelhead one year) or the calmer snap and pull of a crappie, Jamey found immense pleasure in being in, near, or on the water catching fish.  

   Jamey's enjoyment of the great outdoors was not limited to hunting and fishing. He swam, hiked–he and his boys traveled to Maine for an intense hiking trip in the mountains– boated–even earning his boat license in NH so that he could take his family out on a high-powered boat–and snow skied whenever he had the opportunity. Dianne, Jamey’s sister, sometimes joined him on outdoor adventures, and she recalled one memorable day when she and Jamey skied non-stop the entire day. On the last run she made an ill-timed comment about not falling all day; needless to say, it wasn’t long after that both Jamey and Dianne wiped out  and sprawled out in the snow laughing their heads off. 

   Jamey was not easily stymied by a challenge. Whether it was a car needing repair, logs needing split, or a driveway that needed a trench dug to drain off the water, he tackled the task with tenacity. If he wanted to accomplish a goal, a lack of tools or equipment did not stand in his way; he just built it. When he wanted to make his own cider from the Michigan apples he brought home, he ordered a part and built a cider press. When the transmission went out in his truck, he looked up a Youtube video and taught himself how to fix it (he would go on to replace multiple other transmissions as well as engines). This applied to household appliances as well. One way to insult him was to threaten to call a repairman implying that Jamey was not capable of solving the problem.  

   Jamey loved good food. After Cara served him a box of macaroni and cheese for their first meal, Jamey’s motivation to learn how to cook kicked into high gear and he immediately invited his sister Sharon to be his mentor. And she did so cheerfully, answering his random texts and calls anytime he needed cooking advice. And through the years he blessed many people with his gumbo (especially his in-laws), soups, biscuits, fried fish, smoked meats, red beans and rice, cheesecake, Mississippi Mud, and peach and blackberry cobbler. Of course, the food was simply a reason to gather, to share life, and to enjoy each other. 

   Jamey loved to help people. He spent time in Michigan roofing and painting the house for his in-laws and grandparents and helping them with various projects.  He kept their freezer stocked with his famous gumbo and fresh-caught salmon. He also helped friends and family roof houses and barns, work on vehicles, and various other tasks that needed to be done. Jamey lived to serve, and he helped many along the way. 

   Jamey prioritized his family even in the midst of a demanding schedule. He always made time for Cara–going for walks, having coffee together on weekend mornings, going out on dates, and taking special trips. He never missed a chance to love his children whether it was showing up for a sporting event or school play or taking time to sit and talk with them regardless of what was going on in his life. When the kids were young, Jamey would take them on “special days” where they would do something fun together. He read to them, played with them, watched movies with them, went fishing with them, and on and on. When Kelcie was going through her own battle with cancer in 2017, he would spend hours sitting with her as he tried to distract her from the pain of her chemo treatments through playing games, watching movies, and anything else he could think of to help get her through. Even in the midst of his sickness, he gave of himself to be there for his children. For most of his battle with cancer, the oldest three kids were away at school and Karis was the only one at home. During this time, they got the chance to study the Bible together and Karis’s faith blossomed because of the hours they spent together. When Cameron and his wife Blessing decided to get married in a small ceremony with family in September, Jamey pushed through significant pain to prepare a feast for them and celebrate their marriage. A few months later, when Cade and his wife Liz moved their wedding up so he could attend, he summoned his last bit of strength to be there at the ceremony even though he was barely able to move. More important to him than anything though, he taught all four of his kids to love Jesus with all their hearts and set all their lives on a course of faithfulness. He was a good husband and a good father. 

   During his sojourn with cancer, Jamey knew that he needed to find a way to combat despair. Moving and doing were Jamey’s ways of being in the world and when cancer took his ability to work, he searched for a method to counteract it. An idea was formed to invite Gerald Mershimer, pastor and friend, over so he could assist him in crafting and honing his sermons. Gerald eagerly seized on this way to spend more time with his dear friend and sessions of intense discussion and Bible study were born. Jamey was in his element because studying the scripture was always one of his favorite things to do.  About two weeks before Jamey died, he was talking about his excitement in learning to study the Psalms at a deeper and more technical level. Quickly and practically he wondered,”Is it too late for me to learn this since I’m going to be dying soon?” But as he and Gerald discussed the reality, tears of joy welled up in his eyes when he realized that growing in his ability to understand God’s word would better equip him to meet Jesus, kiss his feet, and say thank you. With great joy and confidence, Gerald assured him that there was not a better way to enter the presence of Jesus.  

   Throughout the past 10 months, Jamey’s hope in Jesus has never wavered; he knew that, come what may, his life was in God’s hands. Jamey’s zest for life will be deeply missed by all who knew him. His was a life well-lived and he leaves a legacy of love and faithfulness to all who follow. 

   He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Cara (Coxon); children, Cameron (Blessing) Gremillion, Carbondale, IL; Cade (Liz) Gremillion, Tuscaloosa, AL; Kelcie Gremillion; Karis Gremillion; siblings, Janet (Chuck) Goddard, of Hendersonville, TN; Danny (Julianne) Gremillion, of Celina, TX; Sharon (Dan) Plemons, of Edmond, OK; and Dianne Gremillion, of Oklahoma City, OK; mother and father-in-law Don & Robbie Coxon, of Cedar Springs, MI; brother and sister-in-law Kevin & Holly Coxon of Windsor, CO; many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by his father. 

   A funeral service will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, March 8, 2024, in the Detty Chapel on the campus of Ohio Christian University, 1476 Lancaster Pike, Circleville, OH 43113 with Pastor Gerald Mershimer officiating. Interment will follow at Green Summit Cemetery. Friends may call from 5-8 p.m. Thursday at the Detty Chapel. 

   In lieu of flowers, friends may make memorial contributions to Compassion Outreach Ministries of Ohio by visiting https://como-cares.org/

Condolences may be made at www.taylortheller.com.

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Thursday, March 7, 2024

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