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James E. Carney

A Celebration of Life for Rev. James E. Carney will be held Friday, February 19, 2021 at 7:00 pm at Woodlawn Church in Columbia. The doors will be open to the public at 6:00 pm. Hathorn Funeral Home in Columbia is in charge of arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the James E. Carney Memorial Fund to construct a Bible School in his honor on foreign soil. Global Missions was his heartbeat.

Rev. James Edward Carney was born at home in Wesson, Mississippi on December 3, 1947. He was called to his heavenly home on Tuesday, February 9, 2021. He was born to Grace Alexander and Rev. A. E. Carney, the youngest of 6 and the cherished baby of the Carney family. His siblings are Charles Ray Carney and wife Janet of Tylertown, MS, Donald Earl Carney (deceased) and wife Marjorie Lambert, Annie Rose Graves and husband Billy Ray Graves (deceased), Maxine Magee (deceased) and Judy Hoyt and husband Rev. Larry Hoyt of Lucedale, MS.

As the baby of his family, he carried out his role to perfection. His mother loved him so very much, it was quite a rare occasion for him to encounter trouble. It was said that he could pop you with a wet washcloth and never get caught. Always the instigator but always found innocent. Even still, he really wasn’t spoiled. He loved to play with his siblings and was always ready for fun. He loved to play with anything and everything, but most especially, he loved to play ball. That love for ball followed him for his entire life.

Before graduating from The University of Southern Mississippi, he married the love of his life, Barbara Jean Hickman on May 31, 1968. You almost never saw him without her nearby. They lived their lives with an inseparable bond. He is survived by his sweetheart of 52 years. His family was without a doubt his pride and joy. He is survived by two sons, Rev. Jay Carney and wife Demetra of Tupelo, MS and Rev. Jerron Carney and wife Holly of Columbia, MS. His incredible legacy lives on through their work shepherding the body of Christ and loving their families deeply.

His beautiful grandchildren were the gleam in his eye and the object of his absolute affection. They are Jayda Carney and fiancé Austin Marshall, Jayce Carney and fiancé Madelyn Ham, Juliana Carney, Jane-Claire Carney, Jack Carney and Everly June Carney. If he could help it, he was cheering at every single basketball game, baseball game, bible quiz tournament or birthday party. Papa could not get enough of his grandbabies.

His first job was in Bastrop, Louisiana at International Paper, working as a Cost Accountant. His professional career eventually led him to Columbia, MS where he worked in accounting at TL Wallace Construction and served as the Secretary & Treasurer and on the Wallace Board of Directors.

He began serving at Woodlawn Church in various roles, as a song leader, youth leader and Church Secretary. In 1987, he became the Pastor and led faithfully and with tireless commitment for 27 years. During his tenure as Pastor, he impacted deeply the lives of thousands. The reach of his voice cannot possibly be calculated. He transitioned to the role of Bishop in 2013 and continued his steadfast service for 8 more years. His loving presence and Godly wisdom continued to lead the body of Christ until the day he was called home.

His heart for building the Kingdom of God on earth is evidenced by his involvement in many endeavors of the United Pentecostal Church International. Throughout his lifetime of service to the Lord, he served in numerous positions such as Executive Board Member of the UPCI, Board of Directors for Tupelo Children’s Mansion & Lighthouse Ranch for Boys, UPCI Loan Fund for Stewardship Services, Superintendent of the Mississippi District, and Presbyter of the Mississippi District.

His influence in God’s Kingdom on earth will never be known. It is truly immeasurable. In addition to the flock he shepherded for more than 3 decades, he mentored hundreds of ministers throughout his life. He was passionate about Global Missions and financially supported many missionaries. He was always ready to give generously to the work of spreading the gospel on earth.

As demonstrated by his drive and motivation in life, he was incredibly competitive. He loved a good opportunity to win. If he didn’t win, it was surely because someone cheated. Rook, Phase 10, chicken foot, basketball, ping pong, golf, hunting and fishing, these were a few of the things he loved to be the best at. If you ever asked him if he had his rook cards with him, his automatic response would be, “Do I have my britches on?”

Bishop Carney experienced 7 notable and significant miracles in his lifetime, “The God Files” as he called them. He was anticipating how he would share God File Number 8 this year. While we are not able to hear him tell it himself, we know that he has received it.

Number 8 is currently dancing on streets of gold near his brand new home. Why is the number 8 so significant? It is found 73 times in the Bible. Bishop Carney passed at the age of 73 and received his 8th miracle. 8 is the symbol of Resurrection and Regeneration. This number holds a special significance that points to a new beginning. A new beginning for our beloved Bishop who is now whole and with our Saviour. God File Number 8 is alive and well, and we will see it for ourselves when we get there.

Until we meet again on the eastern shore, with determination we will live out your legacy of kingdom building, people loving, and winning every chance we get.

Ready your rook cards, Bishop.


James E. Carney
December 2, 1947 - February 9, 2021





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