Years in the making: man finds home, ministry in Brookhaven

Published 1:03 pm Monday, December 5, 2022

BROOKHAVEN — Douglas Kimble wrapped lights around a real tree in his front yard on Summer Drive close to where The Dart landed Thursday afternoon. He said they do the standard Christmas decorating with lights, Santa and his sleigh and a christmas tree in the front yard. 

His wife likes to put up a big Christmas village display and get the special annual Hallmark decorations. The live Christmas tree started as a tradition when their son Andrew was growing up. It was a way to experience going to a farm and cutting down a tree, he said. Allergens keep the tree in the front yard. 

This year’s tree came from Timber Hill Christmas Tree Farm near Magnolia. We are now about 20ish days away from Christmas. Kimble said his favorite Christmas memory came from a trip to see his parents in Delhi where he grew up. 

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“We spent several days with them in Louisiana. My dad and I built a trailer together in his shop. He was a welder,” Kimble said. “I still have that trailer. It is 20-plus years old. We just built it out of scrap and it was a phenomenal time. I lost him last year so the memory is very vivid for me right now. He had everything but the tires and the hitch so I put in about $70 for a trailer that has lasted 20 years.” 

Kimble said he and his wife moved to Brookhaven in 1992. It has become his home and will probably be like that for a while. He is a minister at Johnson Grove Church of Christ in the West Lincoln Community. 

A graduate of Magnolia Bible College in Kosciusko, he earned a bachelors of science degree in the bible. He actually finished his degree while living in Brookhaven as he drove back and forth to go to class and serve Mt. Zion Church of Christ. 

“Ministry has always been a part of who I am. I grew up worshiping and helping out whether it was leading the singing. I was always there,” Kimble said. “I wanted to do something different but God has a funny way of steering you in the way you need to go.” 

In the early 2000s, his wife was diagnosed with cancer. He decided to leave the ministry and find a job where he could work and be a strong provider. Nissan’s plant in Canton was his first stop and he worked night-shift there for about six and a half years. 

Fortunately, his wife never had to worry about getting the first treatment as doctors were able to take out the cancer with a surgery. 

“It was scary. Our son was six years old at the time and thinking of raising him without his mom was terrifying,” Kimble said. “We thought it was serious and it wasn’t as serious. It was a bad type of cancer but it did not progress.” 

After working at Nissan, he earned a certificate in teaching and went to work at South Pike teaching fifth grade. She retired six years ago from education but returned to work teaching at the Reading Nook where Kimble is on the board. 

Kimble’s ministry work is spent preaching, teaching and visiting others. He said he had just returned from visiting a few of the nursing homes. He and his wife are also active in the youth program at Johnson Grove. December is a big month for church events so those also take up his time. 

In his free time, he enjoys working in the yard and is currently working on building a new deck. 

“I will likely work on getting the leaves cleaned up after I get done with the lights,” he said. “I think there is a satisfaction with yard work because I can see the immediate results. With a ministry, you do not always get to see that. Sometimes it is years in the making.”