Funeral Services Set for Pastor Big Jim Wheatley

Funeral Services for Pastor Big Jim Wheatley will be Saturday May 3, 2014 Mt. Zion Baptist Church 11 16th Street in Alexandria, La @ 11:A.M.  Rev. J.L. Franklin Officiating. For more information, please call (337) 215.5353 or (318) 451.4583.


Pastor Jim Wheatley, 82, of Winnsboro, Louisiana entered peacefully into the heavenly gates of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Sunday, April 20, 2014

Pastor Wheatley was born April 03, 1932 to Joseph and Paretha Wheatley in Winnsboro, Louisiana.   He grew up the youngest of 10 siblings. After graduating from Winnsboro High School, he attended Grambling State University where he played baseball. He was married to Corrine Drummer from January 1958 until her death in 2007.

His first pastoral appointment began in 1977 where he served as Senior Pastor of New Hope Baptist Church for over 36 years and became Pastor Emeritus in 2013. He also served as assistant to Dr. G.C. Jacobs at Pilgrim Baptist Church, and thereafter became the Senior Pastor from 1979 to 1982.

He was affectionately known across the city and state as, “Big Jim” Wheatley His common words were: “Have No Fear, Big Jim is Here.”

Pastor Wheatley was a member of the Old Eight District Baptist Association as well as many other State Local, Baptist, and Interdenominational Organizations. The Rev. “Big Jim” Wheatley was a force in the local pulpits and in community affairs in Alexandria for more than 40 years.

Pastor Wheatley’s chief aim was to make a difference for the Kingdom of God. He loved not only his members but he indeed had a “heart for the city.” His pastoral ministry was deeply embedded with character and integrity. He was committed to Christian service, and would often affirm the statement by Howard G. Hendricks, who said, “God is not looking for more stars: He’s looking for more servants.”

Pastor Wheatley strongly believed the words of Oswald Chambers who said, “There is no greater threat to our devotion to Christ than our service for Christ.”

Outside of his pastoral duties, he worked at Holsum Bakery. He poured his heart out to help people with illnesses and disabilities. He worked at Pinecrest Developmental Center for nine years, and served as a chaplain at Huey P. Long Medical Center.

Pastor Wheatley’s desire was to change every person’s heart and touch them in every aspect of their lives with the Good News of Jesus Christ. In addition, to the love of God, Pastor Wheatley loved children. They were a joy in his life. His primary focus for children was their well-being, education, and knowledge of knowing and living in the will of God.

Pastor Wheatley was preceded in death by his Wife, Corrine Drummer Wheatley.

Forever cherishing his memory are:

Son: Austin Henderson Sr., a loving and faithful Granddaughter, who was also his caretaker, Tonya Henderson, Kimberly Sewell, Linda D. Henderson, and Austin Henderson Jr. his Sons –in- the Ministry,  and a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.