He was born in Trigg County in the late 1940s when many homes were still without running water or phones. Electricity was often an unjustifiable luxury. In spite of the constraints of segregation, Jimmie’s African-American family was respected in the community, and racial undertones kept their distance from his day-to-day life.
He grew up here, developed his first crush here, went to McUpton School when it was still segregated, and graduated from Trigg County High School after segregation finally ended.
Like many people who look back on their lives, Jimmie sees patterns – mistakes that became life lessons, subtle influences that became life changing.
It all adds up to a testimony, a life story that tells how one man can risk everything in an effort to gain control of his life only to realize in the end that he should have given it all to God. He’s taken that testimony and written a book entitled My Eventful Life.
The book chronicles his life through childhood, an Army tour in Japan during the Vietnam War, and the rocky period of job changes and moves from city to city with his wife and two children which led to a second enlistment in the Army.
Jimmie now lives in Nashville and works as a courier. The book is the result of his return to church and a rededication of his life to God.
“I received revelations from God,” he said. “Those revelations told me to take a review of my life. After I put all the dots together, I found out that if I’d made certain changes in my life, things would have turned out better.”
He started to write, and the more he wrote, the more he realized things hadn’t really been as bad as he’d thought. After all, everything worked together to direct him back to God.
Jimmie published the book through Crossbooks, a self-publishing division of Lifeway. He hopes to use the book to share his testimony with as many people as possible.
“It was one way of giving my testimony to the world,” he said.
His wife and children have been supportive of the book.
“My sisters and brothers were surprised, but sometimes they’ll say, ‘I just knew you were going to do something like this.’”
Jimmie plans to have a book signing in Cadiz in the coming weeks. It’s not only a way for him to share his book with his hometown, but also to express appreciation to the people who helped shape the man he has become.
“A lot of people may be surprised to find themselves in my book,” he said.
And that’s another reason Jimmie felt the need to tell his story.
“I wanted to thank the people that have been in my life.”
My Eventful Life is available at crossbooks.com.