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No Greater Joy

“The elder unto the well beloved Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 1-4 (emphasis mine.)


He came to sit with us when he saw us across the large church in Modesto, and we were disappointed to see that Aisha and the children weren’t with him. “Thane just can’t miss any more school,” the teacher had said. He could not stay with us throughout the service, though, for at the opening word, all the candidates for ordination were called to be seated in the first row of pews.
After the songs, the presentations, the business and the sermon, Joel and the others were called to the platform. An usher came and escorted Jerry to the platform. “We want you to give him the special Bible, and to pray over him.”
It was beautiful. When it was his turn, Jerry spoke briefly to Joel, reminding him of his rich heritage and of his excellent opportunity. He charged him to preach truth. Then Jerry laid hands on his grandson Joel, a called minister of the Gospel. He blessed him.

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 81 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 64 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

10 replies on “No Greater Joy”

Children’s children are the crown of old men; and the glory of children are their fathers. Joel, take care of my crown. With admiration, Pappy.



I never actually lived there, it just happened to be the hospital where I was born. We lived down the road in Turlock when I was very young, a few vacations, and then I moved there for a few months after high school, before returning to iowa! I do know the general location surprisingly, considering most of my happenings in modesto occurred along McHenry!


This was such a special moment. I cried as Bro. Buxton spoke to Joel and prayed over him. It was just too special for words. Love the Buxton family.

I cried, too. We love all of you dearly.


Modesto..I was born there!

Mike, if you lived in Modesto very long, you will probably know their church. Several years ago, they bought a large theater and transformed it into a lovely church that seats around 2500, I believe. The location is corner of 7th and I Sts.


Len and I give our congratulations to Joel and Aisha. They are very special people to us and we love them very much.

May God always bless them with the desires of their hearts and use them mightily in the Kingdom.

Tena, thank you for these godly wishes for my children.


What a great privilege God has granted you. There is no greater calling. How awesome that you and Uncle Jerry could be there and pray over Joel.

Are we not blessed beyond words, Nita?


Sis. Buxton, this is so beautiful! I’m glad you were there with your grandson. That will be a special landmark for him through life! Love you!

I hope you get to know Joel and his beautiful wife, Aisha. They are a wonderful couple…and have 3 of the most beautiful little boys imaginable.


I’m so bummed that I missed this and missed seeing you guys. It was good to hang out with Joel the night before (we played raquetball until 1 in the morning) and then sit by him when we voted. I couldn’t have chosen a better “adopted” family.

You are sweet, Scott, and I love you. Hope you and your family can come over and see us sometime.


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