James Austen Woods, son of the late Austen and Accola (Flemons) Woods, was born December 31, 1942, in Lafayette County, Mississippi.
James accepted Christ early in life and united with Water Valley Church of God in Christ under the leadership of Rev. Albert Pass.
He received his education from Oxford Training School. Upon graduating from high school, James enlisted in the United States Army in March 1964 and served in the Vietnam War. He was honorably discharged in January 1966. While serving his country, James received numerous awards and honors including the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Combat Infantry’s, Parachute, Marksman, and Expert Rifle Badges.
James was united in holy matrimony to Mary Turner and to this blessed union, a wonderful son was born.
After returning home from combat, James moved his family to Racine, WI and they lived there for three years before returning to his hometown, Oxford, MS. Once back in Oxford, he enrolled in Vocational School and became trained in upholstery. Soon after, James became an entrepreneur and opened his own upholstery shop, Woods Upholstery. The business did very well and served the citizens of Lafayette County and the surrounding areas.
In 1976, James accepted his calling into the ministry and in 1983 formed his own church, Faith Assembly Church of God in Christ. In 2004, he was forced to close the doors due to his failing health. He later united with New Freedom Ministries Church of God in Christ where he served as an Elder.
James was a man of extraordinary faith, he would always say “if the chances of succeeding were one in a million, he’d take that one chance.” He enjoyed gardening, fellowshipping, and evangelizing while selling produce.
In the early morning hours on Saturday, September 10, 2022, at Sanctuary Hospice House in Tupelo, MS, James answered his Master’s call. He will be missed dearly and cherished forever by his loving wife, Mary Woods of Oxford, MS; son, James A. Woods (LaRhonda) of Oxford, MS; grandsons, Justin Woods (Alexandria) and Nicholas Woods both of Oxford, MS; great grandchildren, Olivia Woods and Ashton Starks; siblings, Albert Woods (Erma), Clara Woods, Lois Woods all of Racine, WI, Freeman Willingham (Evelyn), Josh Adams (Alice) both of Oxford, MS; brothers-in-law, Kenny Turner (Darlene) of Racine, WI, Bill Turner (Reanna) of Water Valley, MS, Steve Turner of Birmingham, AL; sister-in-law, Kathleen Wright (Moses) of Birmingham, AL; special friends, Jessie Dukes and Elder Willie Carothers both of Oxford, MS; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, other relatives, and friends.
James was preceded in death by his parents, one sister, Maggie Davis, and brother-in-law, Charles Turner.