A little tow-headed boy, John Edward McCollum, was born May 30, 1953 in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana to Douglas Edward McCollum and Mary Henrietta Roland McCollum. John could not pronounce his name, so he referred to himself as John Ebby Cobby.
He worked in his parents’ store, McCollum General Merchandise in Lauderdale. He attended MS State University and played coronet in the marching band. He worked at Lockheed, Trustmark National Bank, was on staff at First Baptist Church in Jackson as an assistant to Rev. Don Rhymes in Pastoral Care, where he visited the homebound and helped them take Communion, and he was a chaplain at Baptist Hospital.
October 7, 2008, he and Rita Wood joined their lives together in a little log wedding chapel in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Together they made their home in Brandon for almost 11 years.
He loved to cook, especially barbecue, but he excelled in several cakes, pies, "little lemon butter sugar cookies," and banana bread. Probably his proudest accomplishment was his ministry Praise the Lord Breads, baking and mailing thousands of “Bread and Bibles to the Troops."
John began to ask the Lord to guide him to a new ministry, despite being disabled from an incurable lung disease. God answered that prayer as John was able to share the late Dr. Frank Pollard’s sermons online. With several others’ help, he achieved that goal, and a large number of Dr. Pollard’s sermons are reaching people worldwide with the gospel.
John loved his wife and family, Destin, coffee, good barbecue, puppies, funny jokes, the Moody Blues, Mississippi State, hymns, Dr. Frank Pollard, gospel grass music, Brandon Baptist Church, and his pastor, Dr. Clarence Cooper. Special love and thanks to the Seekers Sunday School class and Rev. Gayden Harrell, for encouraging John through many difficult days of physical challenges.
He is survived by his wife, Rita Wood McCollum, sister-in-law Terri Hallman (Keith), mother-in-law Mamie "Pat" Wood, dad Albert F. Roberts, Jr., brother Albert V. Roberts, (Estelle), sister Sue Roberts (Dick Tinsley), uncle Joe Lott (Sally), cousins Beverly Jo Youngblood and Judy Spears, and many other cousins, nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be at Ott & Lee Funeral Home, Brandon, Thursday, August 15, from 5 - 7 p.m., and Brandon Baptist Church, Friday, August 16, from 10 - 11 a.m., followed by the funeral at 11 a.m. Burial will be at Hillsboro Methodist Church Cemetery at 2:30 p.m.
Memorials may be made to Brandon Baptist Church, 100 Brandon Baptist Dr., Brandon, MS 39042, or Our Daily Bread Ministries, PO Box 2222, Grand Rapids, MI 49501.
Online condolences may be made at www.ottandlee.com.