We have honored author/pastor Jamie Buckingham with a month-long tribute on the Ministry Today website. He served as editor of the magazine for several years before his untimely death in February 1992.
If you haven't done so, we invite you to visit the special section by clicking here. http://www.ministrytodaymag.com/jamie You can read some of Jamie's best "Last Word" columns for Charisma that were chosen by his family and the magazine's article on Jamie's passing.
Additionally, you can read the comments below from several readers who pay tribute to Jamie with their own reflections about him.
"Jamie Buckingham was my pastor from April 1988 until his death in February 1992," recalled Richard Phelps, founder of Hope Ministries and chaplain of the Indialantic Fire Rescue in Indialantic, Fla. "My wife, Judy, and I had moved to Melbourne, Fla., with the dream of restarting our lives in a warmer climate than our native Rhode Island and finding new career opportunities. I had a dream of being a pastoral counselor and encouraging hurting people that God loved them, and He would make provision for them no matter their history of mistakes.
"In November 1988, Jamie approved an opportunity for me to begin a pastoral counseling ministry. Although I had very limited credentials for this ministry, I was permitted on the basis of my limited secular counseling experience, history of personal recovery, relationship with Christ and calling to the ministry.
"I have a special memory of Jamie. The very first public ministry that Jamie and Jackie Buckingham did after Jamie had his surgery for cancer was to attend our home group—a night that I will never forget! Jamie was very emotional that evening as he rejoiced for the success of his surgery and the hope for additional years. A very emotionally troubled woman in our home group asked Jamie if he would pray for her. Jamie knelt down in front of her speaking forth the most compassionate prayer that I have ever heard.
"Jamie was famous as an encourager of ministries. ... On Aug. 14, 1994, I was ordained pastor for the purpose of launching a pastoral counseling ministry called Hope Recovery Ministries, a ministry that continues today as Hope Ministries (hopeministriesflorida.org). Jackie Buckingham was present with Jamie's staff in support of my ordination.
"It is an honor for me to celebrate the life and legacy of Jamie Buckingham. It is very personal for me. As I approach my 72nd birthday in March, I am on fire for Jesus and looking forward to the best and most exciting ministry that the Lord desires. I honor the Buckingham family, which includes thousands of ministry children and grandchildren like me."
Kim Halliday, 51, who with her husband currently serve as elders and home group leaders at Liberty Church in Marietta, Ga., first visited Jamie's Tabernacle Church in Melbourne, Fla., with her mom in 1986.
"I was attending a very legalistic, denominational church in Texas," recounted Halliday, who attended "the Tab" from December 1986-November 1992. "I was very superior in my ignorance and actually quite appalled that Jamie spoke about his bathroom time and other "unmentionables" in mixed company. How dare he! Thankfully, when we moved from Texas back to Florida, the denominational church was too far for us to attend, so we continued to visit the Tab.
"Jamie's naturally supernatural way grew on me as he spoke of grace, toted chicken fat to demonstrate his weight loss and other odd visuals. Most of all, he allowed people to flow in the gifts God gave them—even if they were very unconventional. The Tab wasn't perfect, but it was thriving and so were we. ... For some reason, the Holy Spirit had prepared me for Jamie's passing, but I still grieved deeply for his family. Our loss was truly heaven's gain. I'm forever grateful to Jamie for offending my senses, and ultimately teaching me what it means to live in Hebron."
Ashlee Heminger Phillips, 28, who with her husband currently serve as youth ministers in Belle Center, Ohio, attended the Tabernacle Church in Melbourne from when she was adopted at age 3 until shortly after Jamie's passing.
"They use to do these revivals at night, and I remember being slain in the spirit at such a young age. It was a life-changing occurance—something I will never forget. I think some of us need to go back and relive the ministry that we experienced under Jamie. It was the good old days. ... Jamie used to hug me everytime I saw him. He was an awesome man of God!"
Margaret Williams, 73, attended the Tabernacle Church from 1981-1996. "I had received salvation years before, but never learned more than during those years," recalled Williams, who with her husband recently moved back to Florida from Georgia. "Jamie was a humble man, and he raised a fine family. I consider it an honor to have sat under his teaching."
Ken Walker, a freelance writer in Huntington, W.Va., never meet Jamie in person. "He primarily influenced me from afar," said Walker, who serves as assistant editor for ChurchCentral.com. "I admired his writing talent, never missing one of his columns in Charisma.
"What impressed me most is, long before I had any published books and was literally struggling to stay alive as a freelancer, he took the time to respond to my letter asking for some guidance and feedback. I don't know that such an exchange could take place today with all the 'stuff' coming at each of us in our hyperspeed world. But more than 20 years ago, it meant the world to me that someone as busy as he surely was would stop to offer encouragement."