James Cleyon Langford of Ozark, Missouri was born in Upshur County, Texas on October 8, 1933 near Latch community where he grew up and went to school. He went to meet the Lord on Good Friday, April 7, 2023.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Sue Carole (Collier) Langford, his second wife, Merna Marie (Banz) Langford, his father James Clifton Langford with his mother Vida Lee (Petty) Langford, also his brother Oris P. Langford, and sisters Dorothy L. Flowers and Rosedyne Wade.
James is survived by his wife, Simin (Xie) Langford, along with two children from his previous marriage to Merna. They are Cinnamon Bobbitt of St. Charles, Missouri, and Ginger McPherson of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He also has five other children from his first marriage to Sue. They are Marlyna Tougas of San Antonio, Texas, Caron Johnson of Lake Dallas, Texas, James C. Langford II of San Antonio, Texas, Ellen Mills of Cumming, Georgia, and Cessala Hirsh of Thornton, Colorado. He has eighteen grandchildren, three step-grandchildren, and twenty-four great-grandchildren with two more on the way. He has two stepsons who are Rui Luo ("Lo Ray") and Yaxing Wang ("CC") of Joplin, Missouri.
He attended Harmony and East Mountain High Schools in Texas. His graduation was in May of 1952. He enrolled at Bethany Nazarene College in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma the fall of that year. He received a BA degree in the summer of 1955 and a THB degree in 1962. He earned his Masters degree from Azusa Pacific University in California during 1969.
James was called to preach while attending Bethany or Southern Nazarene University as it is called today. His ordination was conveyed upon him in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957. He pastored in Texas, Arkansas, California, and Missouri. He also did evangelistic and supply work in between churches. He was in the ministry for over twenty-five years and retired in 1995 from full-time assignments.
James was a full-time minister for over ten years. He then was bi-vocational. He was a public school teacher of junior high during the week and a pastor of a church on Sunday. He enjoyed working with children and adults alike. Preparing every school student for a successful future was his goal. His first assignment was in Texas. From there he finished his teaching career in Coachella Valley near Indio, California. He retired from teaching in 1990 and moved to their farm in Norwood, Missouri. In 1994 the family moved to Ozark, Missouri.
He loved sharing the Gospel with everyone. His greatest heritage was coming from a Christian home and being in church every Sunday. James joined the Church of the Nazarene and was baptized while a child in Texas. He was a member of the Ozark congregation. He counted it a pleasure to preach and sing. Most of all, his greatest reward was winning souls to the Lord Jesus. He always prayed that he would have an unbroken family in Heaven. He showed continuing love for all his family and counted them a special blessing from the Lord.
Some of his favorite verses in the Bible are found in Philippians and Proverbs, which state:
“My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
“I can do all things through Christ which strengthenth me.”
“In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”
A Funeral will be held for James at 10:00 AM on Thursday, April 13, 2023 at Adams Funeral Home in Ozark, MO. Following local services, James will be interred with a Graveside Funeral at 11:00 AM on Friday, April 14, 2023 at Hopewell Cemetery in Gilmer, TX.
Friday, April 14, 2023
11:00am - 12:00 pm