James Robert (Jim) Maynard was born eldest son of James Shadrack and Frankie Mae Williams Maynard on August 3rd, 1925. The Maynards were honorable people who reared their four children according to the principles of the Bible”. This was evident in the rebutted articles which were written by James Shadrack: The Modern Preacher and Bible, Not Ethical in 1909. Jim had a brother and two sisters: John Porter, Ida Lieu and Cornelia Francis.
Jim inherited his fervor about pertinent issues and ability to write from both of his parents. His father worked for several newspapers throughout Oklahoma and Kansas prior to marrying Jim’s mother. Frankie taught music and wrote several songs throughout her career. J.S. Maynard purchased THE TYRONE OBSERVER three times and served as publisher (while Frankie was contributing editor). The family paper was used to communicate local news, pros and cons on political issues and editorials during the early 1900’s.
Helping with the family business was expected when young Jim wasn’t attending school. At age eighteen, Jim was called to active duty and served overseas with the Army as part of the 75th Company during WWII. Outnumbered in experience, but certainly not in courage, Jim fought against experienced Nazi soldiers in the hottest and deadliest fighting area in Europe, known as the Belgium Bulge. While only 19 at the time, his notable opponents killed many of his home buddies. Jim said many times that the friends who lost their lives saved his several times. Jim was wounded twice and was awarded the Purple Heart with Gold Leaf Cluster, which later thieves would steal from his home. Jim was again awarded his medal in a special ceremony on Veterans Day in 2006. While in the service of his country, Jim earned EAME Ribbon with 3 Bronze Service Stars, Combat Infantry Badge, Good Conduct Ribbon, Purple Heart with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, the World War II Victory Ribbon, a certificate of accommodation from the French government, and he helped liberate a concentration camp of Russian women.
Inherited from his parents, Jim loved to write poems and articles, whether for the newspaper or magazines. He wrote poems and also taught poetry as a guest speaker when asked by Beaver High School. Subjects of his poetry were patriotism, politics, people, animals, and other political issues. At the same time, he also wrote lyrics to songs. Jim wrote the lyrics to the song, “When it’s Cow Chip Throwing Time.”
After his discharge from the service, Jim returned to Oklahoma, and while on a late-night mission with friends in Beaver to raid a local watermelon patch, Jim met a beautiful young lady, Wanita Evans. It was love at first sight. After a brief courtship, Jim and Wanita were married in a quiet ceremony on November 16th, 1947. To this union were born 4 lovely children, Paula Mae, Sheila Kae, Stephen Bradley, and Lois Jean (Jeanie).
When Jim and Wanita were married, they attended the First Baptist Church of Beaver where Jim later served as a Deacon. At age 28, Jim surrendered to God’s call to preach the Gospel. With four small children in tow, Jim enrolled at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma. While attending O.B.U., Jim pastored several churches around Shawnee, and worked extra jobs to care for his family. Jim’s first church was Pleasant Home Baptist Church. While pastoring in Marland, Jim felt God wanted him to attend seminary and he enrolled in Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. Every Monday morning for 2 years, Jim would travel by train from Ponca City to the seminary for classes, and would return on Friday evening. He graduated with a Masters of Divinity from Southwestern. Later his son-in-law, grandson, and granddaughter-in-law would also graduate from Southwestern.
During his lifetime, Jim pastored 12 churches across Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas. His pastorates were at Pleasant Home Baptist Church, Prague OK, First Baptist Church, Ray City, OK, First Baptist Church Edom, Texas, First Baptist Church, Shattuck, OK, Yates Center Baptist Church, Yates Center, KS, Olive Baptist Church, Drumright, OK, First Baptist Church, Kellyville, OK, Gateway Mission in OK, Mountain View Baptist Church, Beaver, OK, Calvary Baptist Church, Guymon, OK, Bethel Baptist Church, Hardesty, OK. Jim also served as non-resident Pastor of Dunaway Manor during the week bringing his pastorates to 13.
Jim believed that God had given him a mission to lead others to Christ. During his lifetime, Jim participated in many mission trips to Mexico with International Crusades. An interpreter was assigned to him the first trip, but thereafter, Jim decided that he needed to learn Spanish. On a proactive visit to Beaver High School, and the local library, Jim gathered some Spanish study books and began his self-study. Jim had his testimony translated into Spanish, so he could distribute tracks as he traveled in Mexico.
Upon his retirement from the ministry, Jim returned to Beaver where he attended the First Baptist Church of Beaver until he was no longer able to physically attend.
Until the Lord called him home, Jim was still leading Bible groups and ministering to residents of the Beaver County Nursing Home and veterans at the VA Nursing Center in Norman. Some residents and staff of the Beaver Nursing Home have said he was instrumental in leading them to Christ. Additionally, the VA residents remember him as ‘a little general leading the troops to God’.
Jim is survived by his children, Paula Mae Maynard of Beaver, Sheila Maynard Harrington of Atlanta, Georgia, Stephen Bradley Maynard of McCloud, OK, Jeanie Maynard Maxwell of Oklahoma City and her husband, Dan Maxwell. Jim loved Dan as a Son. Jim is survived by his brother, John Porter Maynard and sister-in-law, Ruby Maynard of Hooker, OK. Jim is survived by 5 wonderful grandchildren: Conor, Israel, Erin, Charity and Mark. God blessed Jim with 10 great-grandchildren and is survived by Faith, Harrison, Ella, Cole, Maddie, Haley, and Twins: Ayden & Ansley, Malaya, and Miles. Jim was preceded in death by his sister, Ida Lieu Delk of Balko, OK and Cornelia Francis Maynard of Hooker, OK.