A joint statement of Marceline Jones and Lynetta Jones, 1975

HE DIDN’T HAVE TO DO IT, BUT HE DID

Excerpts taken from a talk given by Marceline Jones and Linnitta [Lynetta] Jones on May 20, 1975.

Jim’s choices were always good in whatever situation he found himself. Marcy met Jim at 16 years old. She was in nurses training and in charge of the ward. Jim was an orderly.

Present in the ward was a lady that came to die of trichinosis. An orderly was needed and Jim was the orderly that was sent, he was a very young man and before long he was appointed head of the orderlies. Marceline was so moved by his tenderness, empathy, sadness. He was very handsome, blue black hair, although Marcy makes note to say that she didn’t notice that about him, his intellect and brilliance far outshone any other facet of his personality.

Marceline was a very sensitive person, with a very strong belief in the sky god. Upon their early weeks of meeting, Jim introduced the problems of the blacks to her. He was the first person to introduce her to such problems. He was a freshman at the Indiana State University, with a straight A average. He called himself an agnostic, while attending the university he began to tell the others he came into contact with in the classroom, that hypocrisy was rampant, and it is interesting to note that the FBI sat in the classroom. Here was a very young 18-year-old man telling them what he thought. At [And] 18 years old was the age when he walked out of a barber shop with his hair half cut because the barber refused to cut a black man’s hair.

Marcy tells us that she was a doubting Thomas. In order for her to believe in healing, she had to see it. Marceline mentions her first healing. It was her lymph node and she didn’t want healing but Father healed her anyway and this healing occurred in Los Angeles. When Jim was in his twenties, Marcy and Jim went to the Latter Rain Church, and Jim said, “I will now have a deliverance ministry,” so he got up and began to call out the people’s illnesses, manifesting the gift of the spirit. She said she couldn’t express her feeling, totally stunned, awareness, sadness and happiness at the same time. Upon considering these gifts, she became aware of the responsibility and was not sure she wanted him to carry this load. She was very moved and not sorry at all, and said it was such a privilege to serve in the manner she was serving.

Marceline thanks Jim for Justice, Truth, Peace, and Socialism. Jim had an opportunity to go abroad, Africa, England, Siam, but he wouldn’t go. He was encouraged but his reply was, “Someone must stay and live the life.” HE DIDN’T HAVE TO DO IT, BUT HE DID.

Looking back she mentions how much she has learned from Jim. Over the years of his development she notes that whatever the situation, he always stood for Justice. The decision is not made unless he has considered every angle. (everybody).

They received threatening phone calls in Indianapolis. For example: “We know where Susan [Suzanne] walks.” The choice Father always made was for the total, Marcy’s comment is the courage it takes to take stands like that. She is so glad that He was strong enough to do right. She was aware of how the children needed a father. She thought of this much, but never did ask him to compromise. Her quote at the time was, “it is better to live for something, than to die for nothing.”

In Indianapolis, Indiana when Jim was a young man and assistant pastor of a church, his services were found to be packed, even to the extent the people crawling in the windows. There [Their] hope was to just have his shadow caste [cast] on them.

One particular Sunday afternoon, the ushers were found to be sitting the black women on the back row. Upon the impact of the injustice being done, a total opposite of the total equality Father stands for, Father requested that all of the women sit on the platform. The church board had a meeting due to this move, and told Father they wanted them in a black section. The results was [were] Father and his family promptly got up and walked out.

Jim was offered a prestigious position in a church at 15 St. and North New Jersey. This is a very elite section of town. His reply was, No. HE DIDN’T HAVE TO DO IT, BUT HE DID.

When Father was a social worker for Marion County, a man attempted to hold him up, but before he did, Father discerned his need and said, “You need $29.00.” Yes, replied the man. He was given the $29.00 and $5,000.00 was saved!

Marceline and Father went to visit a woman in a nursing home. The lady’s name was Betty Cooper. She had attended one of Father’s services before. This particular day Betsy requested, “Get me out here.” Chuckling, Marcy says that they did. They just promptly picked her up, one on each side and kidnapped her. She was taken care of by Jim and Marcy until she died, and the beautiful part is the care they gave her.

The first People’s Temple Christian Church was located at 15th and New Jersey. They formed teams and approached approximately 10,000 black people by knocking on their doors, meeting their needs, and telling them about Father. It was at this time that Archie and his family came. All of the black people said, “He must have a gimmick.” He was just too good to be true. This encounter with Father was hard on Archie, Archie did not believe in his theology but believed in his honesty, because of this Archie stayed with the church.

An incident that occurred regarding Archie: Archie was on the church board from the beginning. The church organist at the time was the sole supporter of the church. Being a very racist person she threatened Father with withdrawing her money unless something was done about Archie. Father simply said, “Goodbye, we don’t need your money.”

Father’s ministry has always been feeding the hungry, clothing the naked. At this time to Civil Rights Law had not been passed, and the courage it took was just beautiful. He attacked Bill Telephone, went on TV and fasted until the whole Median [unknown reference] became integrated.

Father entered the hospital with cancer, upon admittance the hospital clerk asked him if he was colored or white. Father said, “You shouldn’t have done that.” He was very irate and called upon the higher-ups. They consequently were going to fire the clerk, but Father protested being aware that she was only following procedure. He told them he would go to the press. The Chamber of Commerce tried to bribe him also.

Two years ago, the 12 day of June Marceline’s body was healed. She states how grateful she is, the injury occurred in front of the San Francisco Temple. Since the healing she has been able to travel 3,000 miles a month. After her injury she could not walk, but she determined to live for Justice even if she had to use a wheel chair or crawl. The doctor’s comments were that of disbelief, it’s a miracle.

Marceline states that there are some that think Father’s life is “glamorous.” It isn’t, standing for right is hard. Her desire if she let herself relate to her “natural” feeling would be to choose a turtle so she could crawl under his shell, or be on an island. One evening she made the remark to Father. “Please don’t send me to the jungle, as long as I can do anything, let me always be in the struggle.” He has changed her whole value system. The fact that He CHOSE to go this way made a tremendous impression on her. He started way back making the decisions as a child to be loving and unselfish, live a day at a time. Although Marceline has struggled and suffered, she remarks of her own growing pains over selfishness, and that there is no other way to live. How grateful she is that he brought her a mighty long way.

An amusing remark made by Linnitta was at the kindergarten teachers had a special meeting on how to handle Father. Father had the nickname of Tarzan of the dogs. He always had so many around him.

On their honeymoon they were not alone, a dog and hamster accompanied them. Marceline mentions that they took in children before Agnes. One particular child, Marcy felt needed the help of a psychiatrist. After taking the child, she realized they were more interested in Father than in the child. Their remarks were, “We have never seen such a dynamic presentation, he will totally exhaust himself, and will not live beyond thirty years of age.”

Father stays in the body because he is needed.

It is not Father’s nature to follow a schedule.

Marceline’s love for Father she made clear was that she loved him before his ministry.

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