GRAND BLANC, Mich. — Howard Lee Woods, age 98, passed away on Thursday, July 16, 2020.
He was born on March 28, 1922, to Howard and Anne Woods in Huntington, West Virginia.
Howard, known most of his life as “Jimmy”, “Jim” and “Red” to family and friends, committed his life to Jesus Christ at the young age of 14. At the age of 16, while plowing on his grandpa’s farm in the hills of Ohio, he felt the call of God to preach. He said he put away the mule, put all he owned in a flour sack, took his Bible in hand and stuck out his thumb. He preached his first sermon at the age of 16 and began speaking at revival services. After a powerful encounter with the Holy Spirit in a Huntington mission meeting, his ministry took off in new life and power. He began to preach at street meetings with Lloyd Hayton and Charles McKinney.
Lloyd had a sister named Erma, and when Jim and Erma met, Jimmy was smitten. They married (Jim, 20 and Erma, 17) and were married for 64 years.
Jim was drafted into the Army during WWII and was nicknamed “Preacher” in boot camp. This included much persecution but also many great ministry opportunities, especially as the troops were moved closer to the battlefield.
Jim had so many stories of miracles and open doors that there is no way to even begin to share them here. (Hopefully a book will be coming soon that will tell of the wondrous miracles God has done, including saving his life by miracles many times).
After being shipped to the Philippines, Jim was asked to help with chaplain duties due to a shortage of chaplains. Soon, as a PFC, he was given a Second Lieutenant as a driver and was traveling all over the island doing services for the troops.
After the war, Jim returned home (West Virginia) to Erma and his first-born son, David, and served churches and did ministry work. They were blessed with a baby girl, Peggy Ann, born on his own birthday. She had his heart from day one and her standing as “his sweetheart”.
Bible college took him and the family to Michigan, and soon after they were blessed with another baby boy, Barry. After Bible school, Howard joined the Church of the Nazarene denomination and served as pastor in a number of churches for many, many years. Even after he retired, he would be asked to pastor churches that were between pastors or to minister to churches that had been wounded and just needed love. Wherever he went, there were many, many blessings and healings because he loved people. He was a much loved husband, father, grandfather and pastor and his life was a wonderful example of Ephesians 4:34 — “And be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ.”
He is survived by three children, David Woods (Janet), Peggy Hopkins (Charles Hopkins, deceased) and Barry Woods (Vickie); eight grandchildren, Janice Cooper, Shandi DeKeyser (Denver), Shelly Roberts (Bernie), Jeremiah Woods (April), Joshua Woods (Leah), Jasa Woods, Justice Woods and Jenna Woods; seven great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren; along with numerous nieces, nephews, friends and family in West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan.
Howard was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Anne; his first wife, Erma Woods; his second wife, Noreen Woods; son-in-law, Charles Hopkins; granddaughter, Jordan Woods; and great-grandson, Eamon Woods.
In lieu of flowers, it was Howard's desire to have donations made to the VFW and mark donations in the name of Howard Woods to: Clio VFW Post 1452, 10380 N. Saginaw Road, Clio, MI 48420.
Memorial services will be announced at a later time.
Arrangements are being handled by Sharp Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 6063 Fenton Road, Grand Blanc, Michigan.
Tributes may be shared at www.sharpfuneralhomes.com.