Jimmy Judd, pioneering missionary to Africa, dies at 85
Christians in Africa and the U.S. mourn the loss of James D. “Jimmy” Judd of Juliette, Ga., who died June 10. He was 85.
Funeral services are scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday, June 13, at Snow’s Memorial Chapel in Macon, Ga. For more information, see Judd’s obituary.
Judd, a native of Kentucky who served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II, was a pioneering missionary to the southern African nation of Malawi.
In 1957, he and his family, along with the Doyle Gilliam and Andrew Connally families, moved to northern Malawi and built Lubagha Mission in the village of Rumphi. We reported on the history of Malawi mission work earlier this year.
Judd’s son, Randy, celebrated his 10th birthday in Rome, en route to Malawi. He remembers the family’s old mimeograph machine, churning out gospel tracts.
“We would get letters saying, ‘My brother picked this up and was laughing at it, and handed it to me. But I want to do what it says,’” Randy Judd said.
A lot of Malawians did what the tracts said. The Judds helped launch a Bible college in Mzuzu and traveled the region, teaching, preaching and planting. Hundreds of churches sprang to life.
Jimmy Judd and his wife, Clydene, initially agreed to serve in Malawi for three years, but stayed there for more than 45 years, we reported in 2001. The Judds’ work, now overseen by Randy Judd, contributed to the planting of thousands of Churches of Christ in Malawi. The Thomaston Road Church of Christ in Macon, Ga., sponsors the work.
On his Facebook page, Randy Judd posted: “There were once giants of the Gospel in the land. Now we have lost another giant. Dad, Dr. James D. “Jimmy” Judd, has gone to be with the Lord.”
FeedbackErik, What a nice tribute to a wonderful Christian man. As his son Randy said “a Giant of the Gospel.Lisa ImlayJune, 11 2011As we read this tonight, i was telling my youngest son that his Granddad and James Judd were good friends in college.
Zac replied, “Well they are going to be meeting each other in Heaven now!”Stan FrankJune, 11 2011Its a great loss to the Christ’s Body in Malawi and the World over. His dedication for the work of the Lord will be rembered by allWilson Isaac TemboJune, 12 2011Jimmy Judd’s death was included in the announcements yesterday morning at the end of the service here at the Lumbadzi Church of Christ just north of the capital city of Lilongwe. We met Jimmy Judd in the same building, (I think it was in 2006) as we were considering our own move to Malawi and he was making what was probably his last visit. He is remembered warmly here, far south of the center of his good work in Mzuzu.Bruce SmithJune, 12 2011A wonderful tribute to a wonderful christian man. He will always be remembered for his lifetime of work in the church! He was truly a Giant of the Gospel. The world will miss you Bro. JimmyStephanie PuckettJune, 13 2011Memories of Forest Park Mission Forums. Brother Judd will never be forgotten in our hearts and minds. We are praying for his family and know we will see him again in our Heaven Home.Debra Rupert Pavlovic OkolichanyJune, 13 2011My parents, H.B. and Lavern Frank, met the Judds when they attended Florida Christian College back in the early fifties. They were all part of a group that decided to change the world. The Judds became missionaries to Africa, and my parents went to France. Who knows how many lives they touched! Many years later, Jimmy Judd came to our church to show us slides of his work. He amazed us with his ingenuity. What a great worker for the Lord! We’re truly blessed to have known him and will miss him.Lisa and Paul AshurstJune, 13 2011Jim was the greatest missionary servant that I ever met. As he presented updates year-after-year for the Goodman Oaks congregation in Southaven, MS, I was continually amazed at his dedication, determination, innovation, and bravery. No doubt Jim�s family was a tremendous support for all of those years. They also committed to the cause and sacrificed alongside this great leader in the Lord�s church. No doubt he will hear �Well done thou good and faithful servant�. May God continue to bless his family.R. MasseyJune, 13 2011Brother Jimmy was always such an inspiration with his energy and knowledge. He made a tremendous impact on the people in Malawi. I have been to countless churches there that either he built or was present and active in the building. More importantly, he supported their spiritual growth and would “teach them all things.” What a wonderful man that God blessed me with knowing.David IsraelJune, 13 2011My parents, Julian and Elsie Copeland of Dasher, Ga, had the Judds several times over the years in our home. Jimmy came to the Airport congregation several times, (Municipal Airport) near Valdosta, Ga. I’m sure there is much happiness in the heavenly realm with his victory! Malawi Christians have suffered a great loss! To God be the glory in knowing Brother Judd!jq (jubie) copelandJune, 13 2011It was my good pleasure to have known Bro Jimmy Judd since the 1980’s. The church at Central (16th & Noble & 25th and Noble) had a part in supporting him all during those and following years. I recall how excited the congregation was when Jimmy would come back for a visit. He was especially close to Ralph and Frances Johnson (now deceased). Truly we have lost a giant of a spiritual man. But like Abel of old, “though dead, yet he lives”.Elbert LewisJune, 16 2011So sorry to hear of Mr. Judds passing. We will keep your family and work in Africa in our prayers.Judy Judd ChesserJune, 16 2011Jimmy Judd was a small man, who towered over many. (Including myself) He was a man truly dedicated to the ministry.
In the years I knew him, I heard him speak on the ministry in Africa’s many different political environments. He was a man who knew God’s will and when he spoke, he did so with authority which was awesome. He is and will be missed by untold thousands of Christians throughout the world.
Very few could wear his shoes.
Bobby G.Bobby GardnerNovember, 30 2011