James A. Cox
He loved his God.
He loved his family.
He loved his congregations.
My father, James A. Cox, was born in Maysville, Kentucky, on April 30, 1927, to a loving family who taught him Christian values and the joy of caring for others. His church was important to him from an early age; he announced in kindergarten that he wanted to be a minister and he never wavered. He began teaching Sunday School at 12 and preached his first sermon at 17.
He met the love of his life, my mother, Angie Rhodus, in a class at Transylvania University. It was love at first sight for him — but she wasn't too sure about the man her sister called "that long-legged preacher." Their first (chaperoned) date was a church service and from that moment on they were inseparable. Married on September 4, 1948, they shared a constant love until her death in 2007. I never heard them exchange a cross word and he cared for her lovingly through her last years with Alzheimer's. She died holding his hand.
He was proud of his education: a triple major in English, Philosophy, and Religion from Transylvania University; a double Masters degree in Church History and Christian Education from Lexington Theological Seminary; and a doctorate in Counseling and Small Group Therapy also from Lexington Theological Seminary. He studied at Yale, Oxford, University of West Virginia, and Youngstown State University.
Dad served churches in: Louisville, Kentucky; Florence, Alabama (where he also taught at Florence State College); Huntington, West Virginia; Warren, Ohio; and Leicester, England. He completed his full-time ministry at First Christian Church in Richmond, Kentucky, before serving interims in Irvine, Ravenna, Middlesborough, and Paint Lick, Kentucky.
He loved his church people and his community. He enjoyed gardening and entertaining and in later years was known to bake pies for people and turn up on his walker to deliver them. He leaves well-loved brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and their families, as well as many friends.
Above all, he loved his family. I couldn't have wished for a better father and he loved my husband, Graham, as his son. His granddaughter, Victoria, brought him joy every day. He adored her, as well as his great-granddaughter, Addy Leigh, whose love, I am sure, caused his life to be happily prolonged.
Dad died peacefully on January 6, 2017, at the Compassionate Care Center in Richmond, where his last days were filled with the love and companionship of family and friends. We shall all miss him, but because of his love and guidance we know we will be reunited.
I am sure the Lord is saying, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
Visitation is Tuesday, January 10, from 5-7 p.m. at First Christian Church. The funeral service is at the church on Wednesday morning at 11. Thank you to Oldham, Roberts, and Powell Funeral Home.
Published on January 9, 2017