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James E. Graves

October 2, 1931 — November 21, 2022

James E. Graves

James E. Graves, the youngest of five children, was born to the late James E. Graves and Martha L. Gosset Graves in 1931 in Davis County, Iowa, Coatsville, Missouri. 

In his early teens James accepted Jesus Christ as his Savior and was baptized at the Lancaster Baptist Church. James scored high in the Iowa Basic Elementary Skills Test and received his Honor Letter “I.” He was on the basketball team at Lancaster High School ranking second in the state of Missouri his senior year. Early work included shearing sheep in the spring and lambs in the fall.

James taught in a one-room country school while taking college classes at night and on Saturdays. He earned an A.A. from Hannibal LaGrange College, a B.A. from Culver Stockton College, and a B.S. from Central Missouri State. James was a teacher and elementary principal for 35 years in Missouri and a trustee at Midwestern Baptist Seminary for 5 years. He loved teaching in Baptist churches and was often invited to preach as well. 

James started a new class at Balboa Baptist Church and over 130 attended the first year! Sixty-six members of that class started a new church in Hot Springs Village called Coronado Baptist. As a member of this church, James made 60 trips with the Arkansas Baptist Storm Relief Team.

Before retiring, James worked for 11 years as a Lake Ouachita State Park Interpreter and led many Village church groups through the park and on lake cruises.

At age 91, James passed peacefully into the arms of his sweet Jesus.

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