Ed Young Jr. with his mother Jo Beth.
Ed Young Jr. with his mother Jo Beth. (Ed Young/Twitter)

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Jo Beth Young, wife of Second Baptist Church Pastor Ed Young, died early Sunday morning. She was 80 years old.

"Jo Beth was the consummate Christian woman, whose gifts of teaching, hospitality and encouragement so blessed this church family. A genuine lover of people, Jo Beth knew no strangers. From her smile, her laugh, and her wink to her expressions of concern or empathy, to speak with Jo Beth was to connect to a woman who always had time to listen. As a gifted teacher of God's Word, Jo Beth faithfully taught Bible study classes, often on multiple campuses. From her charges to the wives of deacons and pastors at ordination services to the fun and inspiring lessons at Women's Retreats or Mother's Day Services, Jo Beth modeled grace, dignity, and faithfulness in all things," according to a church post on Facebook.

Jo Beth was married to Young for 58 years. Together, they pastored Second Baptist Church in Houston since 1978.

The church statement continued: 

She was the proud "Mom" of her sons Ed, Ben and Cliff, all of whom serve in the ministry. Ed is the pastor of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas. Ben and Cliff serve as pastors here at Second. She was the beloved "Mimi" of her eleven grandchildren: LeeBeth, E. J., Landra, Laurie, Nicole, Claire, Rachel, Susannah, Benjamin, Bekah and Samuel, and great grandmother to Sterling.

Most of all, she was the beloved "Joby" of her husband, our pastor, Dr. Ed Young. "Edwin," as she called him, and Jo Beth were married for 58 years. Whenever asked how they first met, they would answer with a smile on their faces, "We met in the church nursery." Natives of Laurel, Mississippi, they both attended First Baptist Church with their families and dated throughout high school and college. Jo Beth attended Blue Mountain College in Blue Mountain, Mississippi.

Jo Beth was the model "pastor's wife," always supporting Dr. Young's ministry and encouraging him. She was indeed that "great woman" behind the "great man." She never wanted to be up front. Instead, she made an impact behind the scenes, extending the arms of our pastor and church to the membership and surrounding community. Jo Beth was described recently as a woman of substance and of service. Her family would be the first to agree and to tell you she modeled the love of 1 Corinthians 13 and the "blessed woman" of Proverbs 31.

Our love, prayers and expressions of gratitude go to our pastor and all the Young family. We love you and thank you for leading us in such a selfless way to make a difference in this world for Jesus Christ and to stand up for Him at all times.

Her son, Ed Young Jr., posted a photo to Twitter announcing her death.

 

Several mourners used the Facebook statement to remember Jo Beth.

"Laurie & I had the honor to serve at 2nd in the 80's. JoBeth is an amazing woman in so many ways. Her legacy will continue to change lives through all of us that were touched by her. We will be forever grateful for all that Dr. Young and JoBeth poured into our lives," writes one person.

Another says: "Prayers to the Young Family and entire Second Baptist Family. This news breaks my heart. What a sweet soul who walks the streets of gold now! I lived in Katy from 2002-2007. God saved my life (very abusive marriage) through Ed at Second Baptist. Ed and JoBeth have such a precious relationship of God."

And another: "My thoughts and prayers are out to the Young family. God bless Jo Beth. We all know the Lord has said, "job well done" and the many lives touched by you we all echo. Well done, Jo Beth ... well done."

Her "graduation" service is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 21, at 1:00 PM in the Second Baptist's Woodway Worship Center in Houston.

Jessilyn Justice is the director of online news for Charisma. Born and raised in a pastor's family in Alabama, she attended Lee University and the Washington Journalism Center. She's passionate about sharing God's goodness through storytelling. Tell her what you think of this story on Twitter @jessilynjustice.

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