It started out just like any other morning for James. He headed out before the sun was up to deliver bread to stores throughout Eastern Carolina. His infectious smile and friendly disposition was something folks on his bread route had grown accustomed to looking forward to. But it wasn’t just fresh bread he wanted to deliver, he wanted to spread hope and encouragement everywhere he went. That hadn’t always been the case for James though.
Not long before James left to serve his country in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II, he meet his sweetheart Larue. While his ship was in port Larue went to Georgia to meet James and there they were married and started there life together. After the War, they moved back to Eastern Carolina and started their family. Larue had come to no the Lord as a child, but James had not, and because of some bad choices in life he had experienced plenty of rough spots. One day however, all of that change. A knock at the door and a simple initiation to church was the start of a new beginning. James and Larue accepted that invitation to visit Calvary Baptist Church in Greenville where James gave his heart to Jesus.
Just over a year latter, on what seemed like just another routine day on his bread route, tragedy would strike and James would never make it back home. I’m sure he probably had know idea that when he kissed his wife good by and left their five children still sleeping, that this would be his last day on earth. While leaving one of is many stops at a crossroads community known as Speed, NC, a train struck James’s bread truck. He, along with a new trainee, were both instantly killed.
I never had the chance to meet James Edward Mumford, because my mother was just twelve years old and was one of those five children he left behind that day.
There where however two significant things my Grandfather did just before that tragic event. The first, was that he purchased life insurance. Had he not done so, there is no telling how my grandmother would have ever been able to raise those five kids. She never re-married, so that insurance was enough to keep them going and build a modest little home, as she took in sewing jobs and found various ways to work from home.
The second thing my grandfather did, was get some Legacy Assurance. He somehow managed to get some money together and took it to his pastor so that his church could start a radio broadcast. My grandfather’s life had been so radically changed by receiving Jesus Christ, that he wanted as many people throughout his community as possible to here about this Good News. And sure enough, that radio broadcast was launched, just days after his death.
What is “Legacy Assurance” you may be asking. Well, Proverbs 18:16 says, “A man’s gift makes room for him, and brings him before great men.” This word “gift” here is not only referring to a talent, but also a financial gift as well. And we certainly know that throughout scripture God has always referred to himself as a generational God….” I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” And although my Grandfather may have not realized it, his gift would one day make room.
For a really long time now I have had this “thing” in me about Christian Radio. In fact, I remember several years ago having a conversation with a well-known local radio broadcaster about his station at the time, and asked him to consider a Christian format. Although I had almost forgotten that conversation, he reminded me about some time ago and little did I know that one-day a door would open to launch a station on that very same signal.
On November 1st 2012, 98.3 The Bridge went on the air with the mission of building a bridge of hope and encouragement through positive music and a positive message. God strategically used Brother Johnny Bryant, Dr. Ronald Benfield and Wesley Hines, along with many others as “Bridge Builders” to help bring this vision to pass. Many local businesses and churches have joined in this mission too by becoming sponsor’s and we are hearing from people everyday about how much of a difference 98.3 The Bridge is making in their lives.
You see, just like my grandfather I’ve had some “rough spots” too, but what has sustained me in life is a continuous revelation of His Grace through the “Sozo” Salvation Jesus died to give us on the Cross. And just like James Mumford, I want as many people as possible to experience this “Good News” too!
May you be encouraged to share your life with others through giving and sharing the “Good News”. It may seem insignificant at times, but every time you do, you’re “building a bridge“. You are making a way for others to reach Jesus, and in doing so He is well pleased.