Born in the parsonage provided by the church her daddy pastored, Doris says, “God has been a part of our lives, all of our lives.” Growing up in West Texas, ministry was a common thread throughout her life — her father and grandfather were both ministers, as were several extended family members. So it felt right to marry a man with his own long family heritage of ministry. When William Jackson Jr. saw Doris, he knew he had to meet her. That was the beginning of a lifelong love story.
Doris and William married in 1961. The call to become a pastor for William came 10 years later. Like many preachers in those days, William’s pay was meager. To help make ends meet, he started his own auto body shop business. Through the years, William served on the local school board and served as a volunteer fireman and policeman.
However, it was his ministry that had the biggest impact on the community. William felt that the youth who came through the church’s doors should not go away without being fed both physically and spiritually. William also mentored and encouraged the local youth, spending time at baseball games and other recreational activities.
Doris soon earned a degree in nursing and worked in the local nursing home for many years. She has volunteered there since her retirement in 2006. Many of the residents call her to walk alongside them through doctors’ appointments and therapy sessions.
After 42 years in the ministry, William was called home following a valiant battle with cancer.
After William’s death, Doris realized her financial situation had her against the wall, but saw hope when the application from Mission:Dignity arrived. She says, “There have been times I would not have made it without you, but God’s loving heart and tender hands led you my way. Mission:Dignity means life. It has eased my pain and filled in spiritually, physically and financially.”
Today, Doris continues to volunteer at the nursing home. It’s just one more thread tying her to a life of ministry.