Pastor Harry David Jackson was born June 26, 1940, to Roy and Mabel Jackson in Pueblo, Colo., the youngest of nine children.
Following his graduation from Central High School in Pueblo and Pueblo Junior College, he received his bachelor of arts in music education from Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo. While at ASC, Harry met Meredith Ann Barrett, who would share his life and ministry for the next 50-plus years. The couple was married July 28, 1963, in Pueblo, Colo.
He attended and graduated from Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Mo., and was ordained into the ministry on Aug. 23, 1967. Pastor Jackson was also awarded two honorary doctorate degrees, including one from San Francisco Baptist Theological Seminary.
After graduating from BBC, Harry served as a youth pastor and minister of music at churches in Kansas, Missouri, Ohio and New York. In 1974, the Lord led him to start a new church in the Chicago suburbs which would ultimately grow to a congregation of more than 1,500. Pastor Jackson then served at Calvary Baptist of Fairfield, Calif., as senior pastor and head of the church’s Christian school.
Harry served as Chairman of the California Council for Religious Freedom. In this role, he assisted California state legislators in drafting three laws protecting religious freedom for California churches, a legacy that protects the tax-free status of churches in that state to this day.
After many years in the pastorate, Harry and Meredith began Heritage of Faith Ministry that educated churches on early missionaries’ histories. He went on to serve as vice president of Western States Baptist Bible College in California and it was there that he first became ill. He and Meredith moved to McKinney, Texas, in 2005. Although battling health issues, Harry continued to serve the Lord at Prestonwood Baptist Church, where he taught an adult Bible class from 2007 to 2013.
Harry was preceded in death by his parents, Roy Earl and Mabel Odell Jackson; brothers, Carroll Jackson, Alvin Jackson, Hubert Jackson and Kenneth Jackson; sisters, Lula Mae and Loretta Enderud; and father-in-law and mother-in-law, Cliff and Mary Barrett.
Pastor Jackson is survived by his wife, Meredith; sons and daughters-in-law, Dave and Tina Jackson of Sugarland, Texas, Jon and Meredith Jackson of Dallas, Texas, and Cliff and Cindy Jackson of Dallas, Texas; grandchildren, Charla Jackson, Barrett Jackson, K. C. Yost, Jon Michael Jackson, Braun Jackson, Cherish Jackson, Caleb Yost, Isabella Jackson, Ellie Gould, Julia Jackson, Olivia Jackson, Harry Jackson, and Charles Jackson; sister, Loraine Hoagland of Hemet, Calif.; sister-in-law, Beryl Jackson of Broken Arrow, Okla.; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Melinda and Wayne McCutchen of Bronte: and numerous nieces, and nephews.
A funeral service will be held 11 a.m., Thursday, March 27, 2014, at Prestonwood Baptist Chapel in Plano, Texas. Interment will be at 3:30 p.m., Friday, March 28, 2014, at Fairview Cemetery in Bronte, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, Pastor Jackson has requested that friends and family make donations in his honor to the Missionary Care Offering, payable to Baptist Bible Fellowship International, PO Box 191, Springfield, MO, 65801.
To convey condolences or to sign an online registry, please visit www.tjmfuneral.com.