By Don Hastings
God has said, “Render to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor” (Rom. 13:7). Jesse Flowers is due our honor. He was a very dedicated child of God whose life manifested his great faith in the Lord.
Jesse Edward Flowers was born on September 8, 1941, in Miami, Florida, to Jimmy and Jennie Flowers. He was the only boy in the family of four children. His three sisters are Mary, Pat and Betty. He went to Florida College and majored in Bible. He excelled in this subject. It was at Florida College that I first became acquainted with Jesse and his bride to be, Charlotte Smith. After completing his education at Florida College, he began faithfully proclaiming the gospel.
He preached on a regular basis for the Lord’s church in Miami, Florida; Seymour, Indiana; Louisville, Kentucky and Bowling Green, Kentucky. He took a strong stand for the truth and contended earnestly for the “whole counsel of God.” I remember hearing him preach on the evils of smoking. He sought diligently the favor of God and did not seek to please men as he boldly proclaimed the truth. The courage to sternly rebuke sin and discipline the unrepentant Christian is often lacking in preachers. It was not found wanting in Jesse.
Jesse and Charlotte raised four children – Laura, Jenny, Jesse Alan, and Rachel. Jenny and Jesse Alan are attending Florida College now; Laura and Rachel still live at home. They taught their children to love and obey the Lord. All their children have been baptized into Christ and are now faithfully serving him! Jesse Alan has a strong desire to preach “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” His father had the opportunity of hearing him preach twice before he died.
Jesse suffered a massive heart attack in 1984. The doctors gave him only six months to live. With God’s help and a cheerful, courageous attitude, he lived eight more years. However, during this time he had to lie down often and could only preach once on the Lord’s day when his health permitted it.
His devoted wife went to work to help support the family. She works the midnight shift for Kroger’s bakery so she can be with her family some during the day. She tenderly and lovingly cared for Jesse. Her mother-in-law calls her “a worthy woman” which she truly is! “The warm personality of Charlotte Smith is equaled only by her humble attitude, her faith in her fellow man, and her desire to be a friend to each person with whom she is associated.” This quote was taken from the 1965, Florida College, yearbook.
Jennie Flowers told me about the time she talked to Jesse about the financial burden his doctor bills had placed upon him. She had been asked to speak to Jesse about this matter because he had not discussed this burden with anyone. Jesse said, “Mom, the Bible teaches that worry is a sin. I am not going to commit this sin!” He did not worry about how his bills would be paid, but trusted in the Lord to provide for his needs. What a wonderful lesson on faith we can learn from Jesse!
Jennie, also, told me that Jesse really wanted to be ready to die in the Lord’s favor. He asked his mother, “Is there anything you see that I need to correct about my life?” What an humble, God-fearing attitude!
Jesse had an excellent sense of humor. He loved to laugh and most of the time had a broad smile upon his face. He didn’t lose his cheerfulness even after he was struck down by a severe heart attack. You would not have known by looking at them that he was seriously sick.
His spirit left his body on August 20, 1992. Rick Russell and Tim Hale conducted the funeral service in Bowling Green. Bobby Thompson and Bill Simmons spoke at the graveside in Madison County, Florida.
If you would like to express your sympathy to Charlotte, her address is: 233 Mark Trail, Bowling Green, KY 42101.
Jesse’s great love for his family, fellow-Christians, and the Lord helped him through the years he lived on this earth. He let his light shine. I am so thankful for Jesse’s life and the good influence he had on me!
Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 19, p. 581
October 1, 1992