For Christians, every Sunday is a celebration of Easter. And on Sunday, September 17, at 3:50 AM, Dr. Young's beloved wife, Jo Beth, joined the Easter Parade. "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8).
Jo Beth was the consummate Christian woman whose gifts of teaching, hospitality, and encouragement so blessed her church family. A genuine lover of people, Jo Beth knew no strangers. From her smile, her laugh, and her wink, to her expressions of concern or empathy, to speak with Jo Beth was to connect to a woman who always had time to listen.
As a gifted teacher of God’s Word, Jo Beth faithfully taught Bible study classes, often on multiple campuses. From her charges to the wives of deacons and pastors at ordination services, to the fun and inspiring lessons at women’s retreats or Mother’s Day services, Jo Beth modeled grace, dignity, and faithfulness in all things.
She was the proud Mom of her sons Ed, Ben, and Cliff, all of whom serve in the ministry. Ed is the pastor of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas. Ben and Cliff serve as pastors here at Second. She was the beloved “Mimi” of her 11 grandchildren: LeeBeth, E. J., Landra, Laurie, Nicole, Claire, Rachel, Susannah, Benjamin, Bekah, and Samuel; and great -grandmother to Sterling.
Most of all, she was the beloved “Joby” of her husband, our pastor, Dr. Ed Young. “Edwin,” as she called him, and Jo Beth were married for 58 years. Whenever asked how they first met, they would answer with smiles on their faces, “We met in the church nursery.” Natives of Laurel, Mississippi, they both attended First Baptist Church with their families and dated throughout high school and college. Jo Beth attended Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain, Mississippi.
Jo Beth was the model pastor’s wife, always supporting Dr. Young’s ministry and encouraging him. She was indeed that “great woman” behind the “great man.” She never wanted to be up front. Instead, she made an impact behind the scenes, extending the arms of our pastor and church to the membership and surrounding community. Jo Beth was described recently as a woman of substance and of service. Her family would be the first to agree and to tell you she modeled the love of 1 Corinthians 13 and the “blessed woman” of Proverbs 31.