Another Special Life in Christ
These testimony lives are not stories of "role models". Jesus is the
These are lives wonderfully touched & changed by Jesus!
George Jones (1931-2013):
He was born about 1933 in Saratoga, in East Texas.
George Jones is my all-time favorite Country Music singer, and I happened to see the Scott
Ross interview shown on the 700 Club on 9 January 2004...I had no idea George had become a
true Jesus follower. I had a lump of joy in my throat as I heard the
George, "Well, I never thought anything about
being a professional in it [singing]. We’d just go to church and sing. My dad would get me
and my sister Doris and we would sing together. I sung the harmony, and my sister Doris took
the lead. He would get us up and he’d want us to do three or four songs. Then we’d go back to
bed. That’s how we started...knowing or not knowing, not even realizing that we would sing
professionally or anything. In fact, my sister didn’t ever venture into it. We did that in
the Sunday school. I started singing with the Sunday school teacher and wife of the
"He [Beryl Stephens] would preach on the street
like the old-timey ones did on Saturday afternoon, and sister Andrea and I would sit in the
car and over this horn speaker we’d sing some gospel songs. Later he would give his little
sermon on the street corner down there in the little town of Kountze, Texas. I really started
singing a lot in church."
As a kid, he sang for tips on the streets of
nearby Beaumont. "I’ll tell you the first big break I ever had, at least I thought at the
time it was the biggest break that anybody would want; and that’s when I played at the front
of the arcade downtown in Beaumont one Sunday afternoon and I stopped a little crowd of
people that threw quarters and halves down and I got $24.90. I had never seen so much money
in my life!" By age 24, he had been married twice, served in the Marines (went in Nov. 1951)
and was a veteran of the Texas honky tonk circuit.
"After the first couple of years recording I did a
lot of praying. I said, 'Lord, please give me a hit. I want one so bad.' I had been around
some artists already like Jean Shepherd. She was real hot at the time, and so was Hank
Locklin with 'Let Me Be the One' and all those old songs. In fact, he turned out to be a good
friend of mine at that time. Boy, I realized that the thrill of knowing these people and Hank
Williams--he’s my favorite--and that they had hit records going for them, was playing on the
radio, and at the time I become thrilled of the idea of having a hit record. On a recording
session in 1955 for Starday Records, producer Pappy Dailey suggested he quit singing like his
idols, Lefty Frizell, Roy Acuff and Hank Williams, and try singing like George Jones. The
result was "Why Baby Why," his first Top Five hit. His first #1 hit was in 1959, White
Lightning. George went on to produce more top tens than any recording artist of any type in
history...165 top tens!
"My dad drank, but he only drank on weekends and
he never missed a day of work. He drove a log truck and loaded logs with the mules in east
Texas, but he had to let his steam off on Friday nights. No matter how sick he got by Sunday,
he went to work Monday morning at 3:30."
In going through 3 failed marriages (including the
one to legendary country singer Tammy Wynette), George also became legendary for his love of
alcohol, drugs, and trouble. "So with God answering all your prayers, and obviously you
prayed for that hit and he has over and over honored that, why the dark side? Why the down
side? What have you discovered about George Jones that that side could have killed you? I
mean, you came close to that many, many times--the alcohol, the drugs, the whole deal." In
fact, at his worst, George had gotten down to 105 pounds (usual weight 165) by the time that
he met Nancy, and he thought that there was no way back.
Scott, "I was reading something that was pretty
amazing. You became psychotic it would sound. You were hearing voices, imaginary voices.
These are people that fought inside your head that literally had names." George, "Right.
Well, this is when you’re just about gone, you might as well say. You don’t trust anyone.
There’s no one there to love. You feel like you’re lost. You’re just lost and there’s no way
back and very lonely."..."I got down to 105 pounds [by about 1990], and I met Nancy. The
doctor told me that I wouldn’t last another two months if things didn’t change. I went into
Birmingham to the hospital, and she was there by my side. I went through 30 days of reading
the Bible, keeping my mind off of anything else, and the Bible was one of the books that I
really believed in but never lived or read like I should have until I was in the hospital. I
saw a different life. Where [before] I didn’t know there was a way back, I didn’t believe
that there was a way back. There was no way. But then I started reading the Bible, and I
found that way back with the Lord’s help...and Nancy...and her staying by my side, even
though I backslid there with the drinking about four years or so ago."
By 1998, something started stirring in him; he
says he wanted and needed more of God. In fact, George later went out somewhere back in the
back of his property, parked and then, " I had a little talk with Jesus just like the song.
And I said, 'I want you to straighten my life up, if there's any way possible. And I don't
care if You have to have hit me in the head with a sledge hammer!'" Six month later in 1998,
the "hammer dropped", see below (as Jesus HAD come into George's life).
In 1998, while in the middle of recording Cold
Hard Truth & in a moment of weakness, he drank that morning (after nearly a decade of
sobriety). Jones then had a horrific car accident when he lost control of his Lexus SUV
vehicle and hit a bridge just a mile from his home. It took almost two hours for emergency
medical teams to free him from the car. Doctors feared the worst as Jones had a collapsed
lung, torn liver and other internal injuries. Jones remained in critical care on a ventilator
to help him breathe for eleven days. He then developed pneumonia, which further exasperated
his recovery. The situation looked bleak. Performers from all eras - Little Jimmy Dickens,
Alan Jackson, Randy Travis, George Strait, Sammy Kershaw and Billy Ray Cyrus, as well as
Jones' famed retired producer and friend Billy Sherrill, came to lend their support to Jones'
"They said when I started coming out of the coma,
I was singing gospel songs. I had met Vestal Goodman about six or seven months or so, maybe
longer, and the Carolinas, real briefly one night." Scott, "That is the Goodman from the
Goodman Family Gospel Singers for many years." George, "I didn’t have her in my mind any time
after that [meeting] that I know of. All of a sudden, when I started coming out of the coma,
or whatever it was, my wife said I started singing gospel songs and I wanted to see Vestal. I
said, 'Why would I say that? I’ve only briefly met her one time.' Well, come to find out,
she’d been praying, doing a lot of praying for me. I wanted some gospel tapes and gospel
music and my whole life changed. One of my next thoughts after Vestal was about that talk
with Jesus in the back of the property. When I woke up, I had a tough time there at first,
the first year or so. I couldn’t eat, so I got back down to...where I was normally 36 in the
waist...I got down to about a 33...a 32. Then I gained it back and got my weight back,
finally, with good old chicken and dumplings." See Ralph Emery's introduction in a 2 minute
video mentioning Vestal coming over to see George, and help him get out of this
depression...its on YouTube as they do a duet of "Angel Band" [HERE].
After recovering for several months, Jones resumed
his career with the release of Cold Hard Truth and his never-ending touring schedule. But...
this was a new George Jones who had finally had his life turned around by the divine power
available to us all! Not only did he give up liquor, he stopped smoking and drinking coffee.
"That accident put the fear of God into me," said Jones. "I realized I was getting to the age
that I had to quit all that mess, and smoking was hurting my lungs and affecting my voice.
So, I just quit it all. Within months I was hitting higher notes than I ever hit before and
wishing I had done it years ago." Here is write up on Wikipedia; his memorial on Find a Grave.
***give me your comments about this
(posted 10 January 2004; addition 5 January 2014)
You have just read a very brief example of the
powerful, supernatural transformation of a person's life which is possible through the
acceptance of Jesus as your savior. Are you tired of life as it now is for you? He will
accept you just as you are right this second! Consider accepting Jesus now