July 8, 1952 - December 27, 2020
You can show your support by sending flowers directly to the family by contacting our floral advisor and they will assist you during this holiday season. 870.270.0406 CHAPTER ONE: The Birth: I, James Baker, was born on a Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. to Essie Mae Martin “Mother” and Allie Baker “Father” in Monroe County, Arkansas. As I grew with my parents, they were not able to keep me in their loving care, so my brother “George” (who is now deceased, my brother Charlie and I moved in with my Godparents—Mr. and Mrs. Coleman and Sadeere Hollis. There I received the nourishment that will take me to my teen years. Although, like any other child, I played, laughed, and oftentimes found myself being a little mischievous; but through it all, I really enjoyed my years as a child. As the years began to increase, so did my ability in finding my place in this world. I knew I had a purpose, but what? I knew my struggles would be the greatest challenge of my life, for one day, my name will be remembered by man. MY TEEN YEARS CHAPTER NINETEEN: Now from my birth up until I reached the age of nineteen, I had been alone in my life. Yes, I was around many, but yet I was alone. Until one Sunday I went down to the Gumwood Missionary Baptist Church in Ratio, Arkansas, where Reverend P. L. Perkins was baptizing in the pool down in Ratio, and I became the 41st person to be baptized. Now I see what my good friend Pickle meant when he would sing, “Since I met Jesus, I am a brand new ME”, and to tell you the truth, I am mighty glad I got acquainted with HIM, because from that day I was never alone. After I found Christ, my ability and knowledge from singing took off among the clouds and never came down. My music was not only for me, but for the glory of God, for I loved Him so because He first loved me. Man!!! The memories and the places God took me because of my voice was outstanding; and in that I found a purpose (Singing), and yet He still wanted me to go higher...not singing about His goodness but preaching about His goodness. In the year 1978 I began my journey, not only as a singer, but as a minister for God who found favor in me when He blessed me to preach His word. Another purpose: TO PREACH THE GOSPEL. A GROWN MAN CHAPTER FORTY-EIGHT: Now from my younger teens, even while just going day-to-day with certain ideas on how I wanted my life to become, I was still wrestling with the term of being lonely. Yes, I have married and had children and been a father-figure for many others during my years, but something still seemed off in my life. But at the time my life and my heart were still distant and lost, until the day I saw Shirley Diane Anderson. BOY! My spirits shouted and leaped for joy!!! For it was then that I knew my life was complete. So, on May 5, 2000, WE became as ONE until one day when God called me home. And from that day, my days have been sunny and the only rain I will have will be when I must leave my Bae Bae, my Honey, my wife. Purpose: TOO FINALLY KNOW HOW TO GIVE LOVE. Now within my chapters, I have lost loved ones along the way: my mother, father, Godparents, my brother George, my son Artic Baker, my sister Geraldine Wallace Williams, who one day will be standing on the banks of Jordan to welcome me on the other side. So, on December 27, 2020 on that early Sunday morning, when usually I would be preparing for my Sunday morning Worship Service and to listen to God on what to say to His people, the death angels came down and told me that my story had ended on this side and picked up on the other side with a brand new life and brand new memories. Now if that day should come, I pray that the chapters that I left behind will be comforted and sweet and loving memories to my loved ones who are left: my loving and devoted wife—Lady Shirley Diane Baker; in my chapters God blessed me with three sons—Kevin (Tyesha) Anderson of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Jimmie James Baker of Atlanta, Georgia, and Eric (Kristian) Anderson of Minneapolis, Minnesota; five daughters—Yvonne Baker of Senatobia, Mississippi, Sadeere (Kevin) Edmond of Helena, Arkansas, Tonya Carthan of West Helena, Arkansas, Vandria “KeKe” Brown of West Helena, Arkansas, Jasmine Anderson of Little Rock, Arkansas; one brother—Charlie Peterson of West Helena, Arkansas; three sisters—Annie Lee Hargraves of Monticello, Arkansas, Mae Francis Wilson of Helena, Arkansas, Elnora Banks of Helena, Arkansas, Godmother—Mae Lee Gums of Lakeview, Arkansas; three brothers-in-law—Dennis (Fredrica) Anderson of Chicago, Illinois, Calvin (Karen) Anderson of Atlanta, Georgia, and Michael (Marilyn) Anderson of Barton, Arkansas; two special sisters-in-law—Pastor Caroline Williams and Bobby Pruitt; twenty-nine grandchildren; numerous great grandchildren; with one special little caregiver—Kennedi Neal; and on yeah, my alley buddy—Gretchen Wilson Taylor. Most of all I leave my love to my preacher brothers and to the Phillips County Quartet Union and surrounding quartet groups who I have loved to sing with and love to hear. And don’t you think for one minute that I will forever forget my loving and dedicated Pilgrim Guide for my FINAL STANDING OVATION goes off to you, and always know that your Pastor Baker loves you and will miss you all. May Heaven’s light always shine upon your faith; for I have found a FRIEND in you ALL. Benediction: Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. To the only wise God, our Savior, be glory and majesty dominion and power, both now and ever. AMEN. MY LIFE ACHIEVEMENTS Pastoral/Leadership: Mount Lula Missionary Baptist Church, later merged with Pilgrim Guide Missionary Baptist Church | Modoc, Arkansas—40 years Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church | Southland, Arkansas—14 Years Trinity Missionary Baptist Church | Marianna, Arkansas—14 Years MY SINGING ACCOMPLISHMENTS Ratio Male Chorus | Johnson Caravans | Faithful Harmonizers | The Southern Tonnetts | The Spiritual Harmonizers | The Angel Voices | The Gospel Six of Tunica, Mississippi | Eternal Light Gospel Singers of Marianna MY ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS Organized the Supreme Angels, The Baker Family, The Gospelettes, The Jordan Wonders Helped Organize Young and Ready (known now as Pastor Randy Williams and the Fellas) Took up under his wings Beverly Trice-Bell and the New Life, and they have spread their gift throughout the United States. So long to my longtime friends: Sister Joyce Truitt, Elder Charles Jones, Mother Pinkie Lewis. Keep a close watch over my Ann for me, okay?
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