Senior Pastor James Earl Handie, Sr.,’s Legacy
Senior Pastor James Earl Handie, Sr., taxied the runway and gained clearance from the towers for takeoff on Friday, January 6, 2023. He was born February 15, 1950, in Eudora, AR, to the late Sophronia and Reverend Edgar Douglas Handie, Sr. He accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior at an early age and was baptized and at the Central Baptist No 2. Church in Lake Providence, LA, under the leadership of his father, the late Reverend Edgar Douglas Handie, Sr.
Pastor Handie Sr. excelled academically and graduated from East High School in 1968. At EHS he was an all-star basketball player. He attended and received an athletic scholarship for the University of Arkansas at Monticello and Philander Smith College in Little Rock, AR, and established a basketball career with an opportunity to try out for the NBA.
For many years, Pastor Handie Sr. was a community leader alongside his father. He was a strong advocator of education and community student involvement. Many years later, he was elected as the President of the Eudora School Board.
Pastor Handie Sr. embarked on his ministerial journey under the tutelage of his father, the great Reverend E. D. Handie, Sr., at Zion Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. He preached his first sermon on Friday, October 10, 1975, at Zion Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. He was licensed and ordained soon thereafter and became the pastor of First Baptist Missionary Church in Eudora, AR.
He was united in holy matrimony to Lanita Gibson on October 9, 1971, and to this union, two sons were born Dennis Earl Handie, Sr., and James Earl Handie, Jr. He was a loving father, caring brother, and grandfather.
In 1990, he retired from the Union Pacific Railroad so that he could focus on his initial “calling” in the ministry. Pastor Handie did as II Timothy 2:15 says, “Study to show thyself approved unto God.”
Pastor Handie Sr. was such a prolific Bible scholar who understood the importance of answering such a call, and he demonstrated these attributes as the pastor of Union Valley Missionary Baptist Church for 17 years and Logtown Missionary Baptist Church for 28 years. After the untimely death of his father, he was elected to the Bloomy Shade Baptist Church to carry on in the footsteps of his father where he served for 25 years. He was a true servant of God who proclaimed the gospel all over the country.
Pastor Handie Sr. was preceded in death by his parents, Sophronia and Reverend Edgar Douglas Handie, Sr; stepmother, Myrtle Handie; siblings, Eddye Mae Handie Wallace, Lee Verda Handie, Nathan Handie, Edna B. Handie Beard, and Darryl Handie.
Pastor Handie Sr. leaves cherishing memories to his sons, Dennis Handie, Sr., of Arkansas, and James E. Handie, Jr., of Oakland, CA; daughters, Sharron Handie of Orlando, FL, LaKeisha Jenkins Washington (Earnest) of Beavercreek, OH, Re’Ven A. Lewis of Maumelle, AR, and Jasmin S. Reed of Grand Prairie, TX; sisters, Robbie Brasfield, Ruthie White, Gwendolyn Brown, Rosalind Renee Burgess, Evetta Handie, Alwanda Hodge, and Shenaye Johns; brothers, Edgar Handie, Jr., Clarence Handie, Elbert Handie, Sr., Eldred Dewanye Handie, and Antonio Handie; sister-in-laws: Phyllis Handie, Yvonne Handie, and Faydra Handie; ten grandchildren; a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.