And so it happened just as the Scriptures say: "Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith." He was even called the friend of God.
I first met Jim four years ago. He was one of a kind. After being in the military and going through some very difficult times, he had a stroke that made the left side of his body partially paralyzed. But he didn't let his physical issues keep him down.
Jim lived life to the fullest. The last few years if you live in our community you would have seen him crossing the highway in front of the church on his power scooter sporting a huge American flag flying in the wind. On that maroon cart that seemed to run at NASCAR speed you would find some unique items. Most common was probably a golf club, but you'd also find a teddy bear, a fire helmet, a toy double barrel shotgun, incredible hulk hands (the glove things) and a knife of some sort. He was different but in a cool way.
For some time you might have seen him diving in one of the local dumpsters finding some really cool items, like the ones on his cart. He found a Bible I watched him give away and lots of other items he shared with other people. Jim loved to share.
Every summer Jim loved to grow tomatoes, and Jim shared those with his favorite people … neighbors, some church friends and a few more. He loved those plants, and he loved his cats. He also had a serious crush on Kelly Ripa, but few people knew that.
Jim Fulcher was a part of The Community Fellowship and loved by his church family. In the spring of 2009 I had the honor of baptizing him, and what an awesome honor that was for me and for his church family. He had deep faith and deep convictions.
The last 18 months brought Jim another battle that was really tough. It first showed up as a knot on his neck and was diagnosed as cancer. He took treatments, and it went away. Jim was back to his normal self, everything but his taste buds that is. This man was resilient and a giant in my book.
A few months back Jim came looking for me during the middle of the week which was rare for him. We'd talk most weeks as he was going to the store down from the church. But this time he came to tell me that the cancer was back. Jim was hurting. We prayed together, and he would talk to me about his wishes. I pushed Jim to believe the best and work hard to be well. This man had faith but was tied.
Three weeks ago the cancer was removed via surgery, and it was tougher than his doctors thought. Recovery was very slow. The last time I spoke with Jim he could barely talk. One of our men, Gordon, was with Jim this last Wednesday and says that it was a tough time. Like always, he took care of himself with a little help from his brother, Keith, and a few neighbors or close friends.
Jim Fulcher walked into heaven Saturday afternoon. It was a quiet and pretty day, and Jim was home alone. I miss Jim already.
He will be missed at church. Jim Fulcher has left an incredible mark on so many people that he encountered. His faith left the mark of hope on people who dealt with so much less than Jim had to deal with. Jim's strong personality left a mark on many of us as he shared his ideas and concerns with us through the years. Jim's heart for others has left a mark on all the people who knew and loved him as I have.
Jim will be missed much. Jim Fulcher was and is a friend of God. He was my friend too. I learned from this man, and I pray that we will see his example and his faith as a testimony to the goodness and grace of God.
Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.
PLEASE PRAY FOR Jim's family (write Keith and Patty Fulcher at 421 Mulberry Rd., Ridgeway, VA 24148).