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J.R. Rakes



I was born to Amos and Lillie Rakes on January 28, 1939 in Patrick County, VA. After high school I married Estelle Marie Hylton, and to this union came a son, Allan Donathan Rakes, and a daughter, Angela Dee Rakes. Angela married Gregory C. Evans and they have one son, Joshua Weldon Evans, our only grandchild.

I joined the Missionary Baptist church in 1967, and was ordained by them October 24, 1971. I served a Missionary Baptist church in Sandy Ridge, NC for four years.

I was enlightened to see the doctrines of Grace and believe the Primitive Baptist doctrine, and came to the Primitive Baptists in May of 1975. There were 19 that came out of the Missionary Baptist and joined the Primitive Baptists that day. We were all baptized in June 1975 by Elder Donnie Conner and Elder Rupert Turner. Those 19 were organized into Grace Primitive Baptist Church, near Sandy Ridge, NC. I was ordained by the Primitive Baptists on November 29, 1975, to serve Grace Church. Out of this church came Elders E. Guy Parks and Elder Sammy Coleman.

I served Grace Church for 17 years. I also served churches in Norfolk, VA, Martinsville, VA, and am now serving Sugartree Primitive Baptist Church in Danville, VA, and have been there for several years. (2001)

Latest update on the death of Elder J.R. Rakes:

Elder Amos David Rakes, Jr., lovingly known as J.R., age 72 of Patrick Springs, passed away Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, North Carolina as the result of an automobile accident. He was born in Patrick County on January 28, 1939 to the late Amos David and Lillie Plaster Rakes. In addition to his parents, Elder Rakes was preceded in death by seven brothers, Bill, Harden, George and Glen Rakes and Kenneth, Hobert and James Cain; and three sisters, Dorothy Martin, Lucy Hall and Zelma Bullins. He had retired as a mail carrier with the United States Postal Service with over 20 years service, and had been the Pastor of Sugartree Primitive Baptist Church in Danville for the past 25 years.

Elder Rakes, survived by his wife, Estelle Hylton Rakes of the home; one daughter and son-in-law, Angela R. and Gregory Evans of Virginia Beach; one son, Allan Rakes of Lawrenceville; one grandson, Joshua Evans of Virginia Beach; and one sister, Thelma Strader of Reidsville, North Carolina.

Funeral services for Elder Rakes was held Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 1:00 p.m. at Moody Funeral Home in Stuart with Elder Sonny Phelan officiating. Burial followed in Patrick Memorial Gardens.

The following was written by Jonathan and Julie Snyder of Tidewater Church in Norfolk, Virginia, who attended the services:
June 11, 2011
The Funeral of Elder JR Rakes The Moody Funeral Home in Stuart, Patrick County, Virginia, was packed with family, church family and friends. Elder E.W. Hooven opened the services with prayer. He then spoke about how Elder Ed Kirkpatrick called him and asked him to join the family at the medical center when Br. JR was brought there by emergency services. He spoke about how much it meant to be able to be there with the family, and how this reminded him of others in the Bible who met an untimely death. He mentioned that after John the Baptist died, the apostles gathered together. On Tuesday evening, when Elder Hooven arrived at the hospital, he was amazed at how many family members and friends had gathered at the hospital. During the time there, they prayed together and shared many memories. In Br. JR’s presence, they read scriptures, including Psalm 23, and sang Amazing Grace. Br. JR was able to respond with a hand squeeze now and then.
Elder Hooven then spoke on five words of encouragement from the Old Testament: “I will be with thee.” (God was speaking to Joshua in Joshua 1:5): “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”
The congregation then sang two hymns: Where We’ll Never Grow Old and The Unseen Hand.
Next, Angie Rakes Evans, Br. JR’s daughter, and Joshua Evans, his grandson, both spoke beautifully and shared wonderful memories. Josh spoke about Luke 6:38 (“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”) In addition, Josh shared some words from his Uncle Allan, who was unable to be there. We felt so blessed to hear these loving words from his children and grandson.
Then, the congregation sang Victory in Jesus.
Elder Sonny Phelan then spoke. He shared words of thanks from the family. He cited II Samuel 3:38: “Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?” Elder Phelan shared his memories, of how Br. JR was speaking at a meeting at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church in 1983, and how he felt moved to join the church at that meeting. How just this past year, at the same church, Br. JR had preached again and how Br. Phelan had the privilege to wash Br. JR’s feet. Elder Phelan shared many other memories. Elder Phelan spoke on the need to lift up the Lord in praise, to know that we have victory in the Lord: He quoted I Corinthians 15: “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (55-57) He mentioned how James said that our lives are but a vapor (4:14), and that in a short time we will be with the Lord. Elder Phelan said that death causes us to take a sober look at life, and to count our blessings, and although we see death as a loss, to the Lord, it is as if we are just walking into another room as we join Him in Heaven. Elder Phelan read from Philippians Chapter 1: “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith”. (21-25) Paul’s purpose here was to serve, as was Br. JR’s. Elder Phelan then spoke about Heaven, and thinking of those we will see again in Heaven. He ended by reading from Revelation 13:14: “ …Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” As it is with Elder Rakes.
The congregation then sang What A Day That Will Be.
Elder Devon Harris then closed the services with prayer. The gravesite was on the side of a hill in a beautiful setting. However, there were storm clouds gathering above.
Elder Jamie Hancock read from Psalm 63 and said the final words of the services, including prayer.
Several verses of Amazing Grace were sung by those gathered at the graveside.
Then the rain from the storm clouds gradually increased and we had to head for the cars. We left the services with wonderful memories of Elder Rakes, and so blessed by the outpouring of love we felt at the services. May God bless and comfort his family and the Church at Sugartree.

larry heldman  

Elder James Compton (1905 - 2007)
Elder James Compton was the original founder of the 'Gospel of Grace Tape Supply.' His collection of tapes began as he traveled to Church meetings and Associations recording sermons on Reel to Reel. He has maintained this library of sermons faithfully over the years and are now the foundation of PB Sermons. org. This web site is dedicated to Elder James Compton (1905 - 2007)