Who is He?

Published 6:01 am Saturday, August 4, 2018

By Larry Spears Jr.

Since May of 2018, it has been an honor and a pleasure to serve this community as the Mayor of Orange. In my lifetime, there are many people that have influenced, uplifted and encouraged me to reach higher to accomplish more and make a difference in my environment. I have read the comments on social media of people asking the question of “who was” or “I never knew” when it pertains to the previous office holder and I wanted to take a few minutes of your time to express who he is to me. Reading those comments hurt my heart because I know the man that they speak of and I hate that they may have missed the opportunity to get to know one of the strongest, most loving, God fearing men in the city, Mayor Jimmy Sims. I am writing this because I want to speak on his behalf to give just a little bit of insight as well as honor a man that gave his “ALL” to this community and citizens of Orange.

Jimmy Sims is a man that followed God’s word and lead this city as Mayor for many years by doing what was best for the people. I was privileged to work beside him the last 4 years and I learned so much from him that I could never repay him for the knowledge and experience I gained. There were many instances where just being in his presence at the appropriate time changed my perspective on things. I was blessed on several occasions to see how he would handle certain issues with boldness or pause to pray over a situation that needed the Lords direction to see that the community was best served. Some people have asked me what was he like or what did he do that made a difference in my life, so here are a few things I wish to say.

Jimmy and his amazing wife, Kaye, came into my life at a very early age. They were my youth pastors for several years and I had the chance to get to know them on a family type basis long before the recent City Council years. I watched them help cultivate the youth of our area through mentoring and opening their home to anyone who needed prayer, support or guidance. They were vessels for Christ and the Lord used them to change the lives of many over the years. I have witnessed people from all walks of life come to them with problems, issues and needs and they never turned anyone away. They have given this community their very best for so long that I could write a novel explaining their love for people and helping them to find their purpose in life.

During Hurricane Harvey, I saw our Mayor drop to his knees in prayer, I saw our Mayor shed tears and sit in silence as he brainstormed for solutions because we were in a predicament that no one was truly prepared for or expected. I have worked with a Mayor that put citizens and strangers before his family, children and grand-children to ensure that all was proper and in order during some very difficult situations. I know our Mayor stood on the word of God and did what was right at every given opportunity because of his character. Last, but not least, I know our Mayor walked away from his final council meeting with his head held high because he gave us his very all and did an amazing job. I want to personally thank Mr. Jimmy Sims for everything that he has done for this community and for pushing us toward a brighter future in Orange. I want to also thank his loving wife Kaye Sims for all that she has done, encouraging others for so many years and truly being a representative for Christ. The Sims family has made an amazing impact in this community. I pray that God allows our City Council and Staff to continue to follow the path that has been laid before us and make an impact on the citizens and future of this community. So, if you ask me “Who is He”? My response will always be that Jimmy Sims was an honorable mayor and a true leader but most importantly… He is my Friend!

God Bless you and your loving family and thank you for all that you have done!

Larry Spears Jr.