James Thomas (J.T.) Ford, Sr., pastor emeritus of Wieuca Road Baptist Church, died at his home in Lenbrook on Nov. 23. he was 96.
A native of Kentucky, Ford worked in business prior to answering a call to ministry and earning a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Seminary. At 33 years old, he would be conferred an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Samford University.
Ford was the founding pastor of Wieuca Road Baptist, but also served as senior pastor of First Baptist in Huntsville, AL, First Baptist Birmingham, AL, and First Baptist Alexandira, VA. Upon retiring from vocational ministry he earned a Doctorate in HIgher Education Administration from Auburn University and would go on to serve in college administration as an interim pastor at numerous Baptist churches while helping establish 13 new congregations. In community service he was one of 80 Atlanta ministers who developed the Ministers’ Manifesto in support of the “Save Our Schools” campaign in the 1950’s and was a devoted member of the Rotary Club, serving in several positions of leadership and being named Rotarian of the Year in 2003 by the Rotary Club of Buckhead.
Preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Mary Helen Crockett Ford, and two of his sons, Warren Crockett Ford and Morris Hughes Ford, he is survived by his son, Tom; a sister, Freida Moss; five grandchildren; a great-granddaughter; and an “adopted daughter,” Sandra Young Smith.
Jack Pritchard Lowndes, longtime Georgia Baptist pastor and leader, died Nov. 28 at the age of 92.
A graduate of Southern Seminary, Lowndes was also awarded an L.L.D. from Atlanta Law School and honorary Doctorate from Georgetown College. He served pastorates at Gray Baptist Church, Gray, KY; Dandridge Baptist Church, Dandridge, TN; Erlanger Baptist Church, Erlanger, KY; First Baptist Church, Brunswick; Memorial Baptist Church, Arlington VA; and Bull Street Baptist, Savannah. In denominational service he was vice chairman of the Southern Baptist Christian Life Commission, acting chaplin for the United States House of Representatives, president of the Home Mission Board’s directors, and as executive secretary-treasurer, Baptist Convention of New York. He was director of Church-Minister Relations for the Georgia Baptist Convention and editor of The Christian Index. He also served as executive director of the Lord’s Day Alliance. He taught Sunday School faithfully for many years at Dunwoody Baptist Church in Dunwoody.
Lowndes was an active member of the Kiwanis Club in various cities in which he lived. He loved to travel and was able to visit many countries. In addition to his Bible, he read everything from newspapers to the latest novels. He was especially interested in history and sports. He enjoyed watching the Atlanta Braves in person and on TV, as well as attending UGA football games. He had the privilege of being a volunteer for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.
Lowndes is survived by his wife of 67 years, Doris Jean Thurman, and five children: Jack Lowndes Jr. of Duluth, Stephen Lowndes of Dunwoody, Barbara Lowndes of Houston, TX, Carey Lowndes of Smyrna, TN, Mary Ann Swanson of Olympia, WA, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.