James Ellis Jr.

Published 2:48 pm Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Dr. James M. Ellis Jr. “Buster,” went to be with his heavenly Father on Jan. 21, 2018, at his home in Bogalusa. He was 85 years old.

Jim is survived by his devoted wife of 60 years, Sylvia Smith Ellis; and his children, Debbie Ellis Dooley (Jason) of Lawrenceville, Ga., and James Ellis III of Bogalusa; four grandchildren, Ashley Barnes, Brandon Barnes, Ryan Ellis and Jeremy Ellis (Eldi); three great-grandchildren, Ayden Sides, Braylon Ellis and Lexi Ellis; two brothers, Dr. Wesley Ellis (Patricia) of Brookhaven, Miss., and Sam Fauntleroy (Martha) of Covington; one sister, Rosalie Copsey of Slidell; three brothers-in-law, Harold Smith (Glenda) of Bogalusa, Ernest B. Smith Jr. (Dianne) of Angie, and Larry Smith (Annise) of Bogalusa; and numerous nieces and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his mother and step father, Dillard and Essie Lee Fauntleroy of Bogalusa; his father, James M. Ellis Sr. of Chattanooga, Tenn.; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. E.B. Smith Sr. of Bogalusa; and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, R.S. and Jimmie Nell Page of Bogalusa.

Dr. Ellis graduated from Bogalusa High School in 1950 and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1950 and served until his honorable discharge from active duty in 1953. He then served in the Air Force Reserve from 1953 to 1961 where he received an honorable discharge with the rank of Staff Sergeant.

He surrendered to preach in the Manley Beasley Revival at Calvary Baptist Church in Bogalusa in 1966 at the age of 34. He graduated from Tennessee Temple Bible College (Chattanooga) in 1971 with a THG (Graduate in Theology). He earned a Ph. D. in Theology from Landmark Baptist College in Haines City, Fla., where he also taught as a visiting professor for 15 years.

In 2003, Landmark Baptist College awarded him the “Isaac Backus Award for Defense of Religious Liberty.” Ellis was also a lifetime member of the NRA and was a certified NRA Pistol Instructor.

Dr. Ellis founded New Testament Baptist Church in Ft. Myers, Fla., in 1977 and served as the pastor until his retirement in 2002. He was the author of several books, including “Rightly Dividing The Word Of Truth,” “The Egyptian Connection,” “Only Two Bibles” (a defense of the King James Bible), “Religious Freedom Issues That Affect Churches,” and, “Proofs of the Pre Tribulation Rapture.”

The funeral service and visitation will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 24, at Bible Baptist Church of Thomas, located at 29567 Highway 424 in Franklinton, and officiated by Pastor Harold Gaddy. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m., with the funeral service beginning at 11 a.m. Burial will follow at the Bible Baptist Church Cemetery. Military graveside rites will be performed by American Legion Magic City Post #24.

The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Bible Baptist Church of Thomas Mission Fund.

Pallbearers will be Jeremy Ellis, Brandon Barnes, Jason Ende, Leyton Page, David Brooks and Bennie Schilling.

To view and sign the register book, visit online at pooleritchiefuneralhome.com.