Community leader, longtime pastor J.H. Flakes Jr. passes away

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - It's a sad day for the members of 4th Street Baptist Church and also for the parishioners of Good Hope Baptist Church in Phenix City.

Their pastor of more than 50 years has gone home as they would say in the Baptist church.

Many tell me Pastor Flakes wasn't just a pastor - he was also considered a community activist who stood for righteousness both in and out of the pulpit.

Some called him J.H. Flakes, and others knew him as Johnny Flakes. Karl Douglass, a member of 4th Street Baptist Church, says Dr. Flakes wasn't just his pastor, at one-time he called him neighbor.

''We grew up in the Boxwood community with his son Meryle," Douglass says. "He was not just about being in the church and what's going on in the four walls, but what's going on in the community."

Douglass says Dr. Flakes was engaged in the community. A pivotal player in starting the Urban League of Columbus civil rights organization and also helped lead "One Columbus," bridging the racial divide, Douglass says Flakes knew how to deal with opposition .

"I remember when people fire bombed our church and he was very active, not just for our church but other churches as well," Douglass said.

But, when it was time to change hats on Sunday, Pastor Flakes didn't just preach sermons; he would often sing.

Arrangements for the body have been made. Dr. J. H. Flakes, Jr. will lie in state at the Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church starting at noon on Thursday, then a brief memorial service on Friday at 8 a.m.

The homegoing service for Dr. Flakes will take place at 4th Street Baptist Church at 11 a.m. on Friday.

His family asks that contributions are made to the the Reverend J. H. Flakes, Jr. Memorial Fund at the Chattahoochee Valley Community Foundation located at 1340 13th Street, Columbus, GA 31906.

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