James D. Jenkins

Dr. James D. Jenkins, 89 of Cleveland, passed away on Thursday, March 21, 2024. Dr. Jenkins was affectionally known as “Don” by his family and friends.

Dr. Jenkins could be called an international ambassador for the Church of God. He traveled around the world preaching the gospel of Christ. He was also appointed by the General Overseer of the Church of God to represent the church at the Catholic/Pentecostal Dialogue which was held in Europe most of the time. He served in that capacity for 12 years and entered into discussions with Catholic and Protestant participants from around the world.

On the domestic scene, Dr. Jenkins had an equally impressive resume. After serving as pastor of two congregations in Monroe and Detroit, Michigan and then 14 years in Lebanon, Ohio, He served as Director of Marketing for Pathway Press, the Director of General Education, State Administrative Bishop of the Church of God in Mississippi, Parliamentarian for the General Assembly. Other areas where his influence has been felt include: 14 years in the World Missions Department as (Field Representative for 8 years and Coordinator of Education for 6), the origination of Pastor Appreciation Day, Teacher Enrichment Seminars, the Office of Ministerial Care, Bible Institutes, and the Ministerial Internship (MIP).

Dr. Jenkins held earned degrees including a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Education from Lee University, 1963; a Master of Education degree with a concentration in Counseling from Xavier University, 1970; and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Hamma School of Theology at Wittenberg University, 1976.

Don attributed the providential hand of God on his life before his conversion and throughout his life to the prayers of his father and mother. He acknowledged the many ways his wife, Rebecca, walked beside him and added great value to his life and ministry. He expressed pride in his family and how each of them has contributed to the kingdom of God.

Don was preceded him in death by his parents, Rev. and Mrs. Arthur L. Jenkins, his brothers: Weldon, Horace, Hiram, Joel and John; his sisters: Sethelle, Evelyn and Clara, as well as nieces and nephews.

Those who survived him are: his loving and faithful wife, Rebecca; daughter, Janet J. Smith, son-in-law, Dr. Russell S. Smith; three grandchildren, Rev. Michael S. Smith (Shauna K.), Natalie R.G. Smith, and Dr. Michelle L. Smith; four great grandchildren, Izabella M. Smith, Sienna S. Smith, Samuel J. Smith and Luke M.D. Smith and several nieces and nephews.