James E. Messer Sr. — a pastor and evangelist for more than 50 years — died Oct. 6. He was 76.
A Mississippi native, Messer served for more than 20 years as pastor of churches in Mississippi and Louisiana and two in Alabama — First Baptist Church, Creola, and First Baptist Church, St. Elmo.
He then served as a full-time evangelist for 34 years, preaching more than 1,000 revivals across the U.S. and two countries — India and Germany. His ministry, James E. Messer Ministries, also sponsored Bible conferences throughout the Southeast. He also served as president of the Alabama Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists.
Messer graduated from William Carey College (now University) in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Toby; sons, Jimmy and Chris; daughter, Amanda; and seven grandchildren.