Dr. J.A. (Junior) Reynolds, 90, passed from this life on Tuesday, August 19, 2020, at his home in Belton, TX, surrounded by his family.
J.A. Reynolds was born October 3, 1929 in Gaston, South Carolina. He was the son of James and Emma Reynolds, who were poor sharecroppers. Dr. Reynolds graduated from Swansea High School and worked his way through college. He received his B.A. from the University of South Carolina in 1954, his B.D. (1957) and Th.D. (1962) from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He married Emma Elizabeth (Libby, nee Willingham) in March of 1962 at First Baptist Church, New Orleans, LA. They were married until her death in 1984. J.A. has been to married Patsy Irene (Roberts nee Humphrey) since 1990.
Dr. Reynolds came to Belton in the fall of 1962 to join the faculty of then, Mary Hardin-Baylor College. He became the Chairman of the Department of Religion and was awarded the Briscoe Chair of Religion and Life. He taught at UMHB for 36 years and retired May,1999. He was named an Honorary Alumni of UMHB in 1985.
While at UMHB, Dr. Reynolds was a contributor to Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia, Holman Bible Dictionary, Mercer Bible Dictionary, Baptists Working Together, The Quarterly Review, The Baptist Standard and Handbook of Texas (revised edition). In 2003, He wrote The Sesquicentennial History of First Baptist Church Belton, TX. He also wrote a Harmony of the Gospels that has not been published.
His preaching career included pastorates in South Carolina and Alabama, interim pastorates in Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas; and overseas preaching in Brazil, Canada, Japan, and Korea. There are few Bell Baptist Association churches that did not receive pastoral substitution by Dr. Reynolds during the 70’s-80’s. He was a member of First Baptist Church, Belton, for over 50 years. He served there as Deacon, Sunday School teacher, and Prayer Ministry leader.
J.A. greatly enjoyed fishing and shared stock tank fish with several close friends. He was a faithful member of Belton Kiwanis Club for many years even serving as vice-president and president. He built houses with Habitat for Humanity and served as Belton/Temple president 2001-2002. He was an avid and vocal football fan. He rooted for his South Carolina Gamecocks, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Cru. He proudly had his UMHB season tickets every year.
Dr. Reynolds is survived by his wife, Patsy; his two children, Donna (Tom) Kennedy of Belton TX and David (Melanie) Reynolds of Dallas TX; his two stepsons, Terry (Shannon) Roberts of Kansas and Harold (Kelly) Roberts of Arkansas, 8 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by wife, Libby; stepdaughter, Sarah Roberts; parents; brothers Ira, Harold, and James; and sisters Elaine Wolfe and Lila Watts.
A memorial service for Dr. Reynolds will be held Tuesday, September 8, 2020 at the future site of FBC Belton, at Loop 121 and MLK, at 10:00 am. Pastor Andy Davis will officiate the service and Harper-Talasek Funeral Home of Belton is in charge of arrangements. Dr. Reynolds will be interned alongside Libby in Cochran, Georgia.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests gifts be made to the Dr. J.A. Reynolds Ministerial Endowed Scholarship at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. Gifts may be sent to UMHB Development, UMHB Box 8433, 900 College Street, Belton, TX 76513.
The family would like to specially thank Bob Kelton and Margie Barrow for their extraordinary care and love shown to J.A and Pat during his time homebound.
Dr. Reynolds was a loving and faithful husband and father. He leaves a legacy of service to UMHB, FBC Belton, and several generations of men and woman world-wide serving in ministry.
Harper-Talasek Funeral Home in Belton is in charge of arrangements.
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