Jesse E. Richardson, 86, of Macon, passed away Wednesday, October 28, 2020. Services will be private. The family will greet friends Friday, October 30, 2020 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Hart’s at the Cupola. Masks are required at visitation and funeral service and the family asks that everyone practice social distancing. Flowers will be accepted, or donations may be made to EZ37 Ministries Inc., P.O. Box 26861, Macon GA 31221, Macon, GA 31210 or Shiloh Baptist Church, 1530 Highway 41 South, Barnesville GA 30204. Jesse’s last request was that he be remembered by the Word he preached, the songs he sang, and the joy he spread and, most of all, the Lord he served.
Jesse was born July 24, 1934, the youngest child of Ruby Ophelia Quinn and Jesse Odell Richardson. He developed a love for the Lord early in life. Childhood friends recall that, while other children jumped rope and played marbles, young Jesse would find a small box on which to stand to preach to the neighborhood children. After God called him to preach at the age of eighteen, he became an itinerant evangelist for three years, traveling across the state almost full-time to share the Gospel. He was ordained in 1955 to pastor his first church, Rebecca Baptist Church in Macon, Georgia. While there, he served a term as President of the Macon Ministerial Association. He continually sought new avenues through which he could share the Good News. In 1956, Jesse began singing with Southern Gospel quartets, traveling to sing Thursdays through Saturday nights, always being back in the pulpit on Sunday. He preached weekly at the Macon Rescue Mission and hosted a weekly radio program.
Jesse’s pastoral ministry took him to numerous churches of varying sizes throughout Central Georgia. His special ministry appeared to be one of turnaround, going to churches that were on the verge of closing. He would implement aggressive outreach programs, rebuild the basic church programs, and assure that all leaders were trained to do the work of the church. Never taking a salary, he helped the church prepare for bringing on another pastor as things began to stabilize. The success of Jesse’s approach led the Georgia Baptist Convention to appoint him as a Small Church Growth Strategist for the state.
After 62 years of pastoring, Jesse retired in 2012 from his beloved Shiloh Baptist Church in Barnesville, Georgia. He continued preaching in revivals and pulpit supply until 2018. He founded a not-for-profit religious charity with his wife Dr. Suellen Richardson, supporting Christian ministries worldwide, including Christian evangelism and church development in India.
From the small boy atop the box preaching to his friends to the wise Christian statesman, pastor, and preacher, Jesse believes that there is no quitting point in serving the Lord and ascribes fully to the words of Paul the Apostle in Philippians 1:6.
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Suellen Epps Richardson; sons, Gary E. Richardson and John Michael Richardson; daughters, Angela Adams and Catherine Barrow (William Dudley Barrow III); 12 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and his devoted sister-in-law, Julie Epps Deese and beloved niece, Olivia Archer Deese.
Please visit www.hartsmort.com to express condolences.
Hart’s at the Cupola, Hart's Mortuary and Cremation Center, 6324 Peake Rd, Macon, GA 31210 has charge of the arrangements.