We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Whitaker Funeral Home
By the Grace
And then, along came John. Born September 23, in Waynesville, Georgia, he was the seventh child of the union of Willie Lucile English Leggett and Robert Joel Leggett. Many things changed as he grew. The family moved from Waynesville to Brunswick and three other children were added to the family bringing the total to ten children. His father, the late Rev. Dr R. J. Leggett became an ordained minister and his mother, Lucile became a working mom. With mama away at work, older siblings were assigned to “look after” John.
Even as a very young boy, there was an air of respect due to him because of his desire to be “Christ like”. John truly honored his parents by being obedient and trustworthy. As children, there were times when his siblings joined friends in doing things that would get them in trouble with their parents. Although they encouraged him to join in, John refused, he remained steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.
John attended the historic Risley High School. Many teachers named him as their favorite student. He was an excellent student and earned acceptance into the University of Georgia. He graduated from UGA with a bachelor’s degree in French. As an alumnus, he cheered for the Dawgs. He was glad to wear the National Championship shirt that his grandson gave him when the Dawgs beat ‘Bama.
John was also an avid student of the Bible. He read where Jesus gave the commandment in Matthew 28: 19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Reverend Leggett was obedient to that command. At an early age, he traveled to Togo, Africa doing missionary work. He later went on to train and commission missionaries at the Foreign Mission Board in Richmond, Virginia. He was also invited to preach in Saudi Arabia for a summer. Even though there was a threat to people who proclaimed to be Christians, John was obedient and responded, “Lord, if you send me, I’ll go!”
As a young man, John worked with Coastal Area Community Action. One day, while working in Liberty County, John became smitten with Brenda Holland. John and Brenda, whom he affectionately called Babe, joined hands in holy matrimony. To this union, three children, Derrell, Lynee, and Leah were born.
Each morning, John would call, “Derrell, Lynee, Leah! This is the day that the Lord has made!” John and Brenda were very serious about their children studying to show themselves approved. The Leggetts expected their children to be diligent in their school studies and in their spiritual studies. He led family devotion and prayer regularly. Each week, the family would learn a new Bible verse. He continued to pour spiritual knowledge into his family. He taught his grandchildren a song to help them learn the books of the Bible. They would happily sing the Books of the Bible with Pop Pop.
Attitude Check! Praise the Lord! Oh! What A difference time makes… A-T-T-I-T-U-D-E! Check your attitude! Welcome, welcome, welcome to church! Crucified to Rise! These are just a few lines from some of the many productions written by Reverend Dr. John Leggett. Even when producing, Reverend Leggett was “about my Father’s business.” He made sure every movement was made on time and that every note was sung in tune. His stride towards perfection was not in vain. Reverend Leggett and “The Jewels”, and then “ The New Jewels” were invited to perform in cities across the country. His passion for writing continued throughout his life. He had two books, Crucified to Rise and Jessie the Jolly Little Jellyfish, published.
Reverend Doctor John Leggett traveled to many places and accomplished so many things. Reverend Leggett was active in the church and in the community. He led the charge into getting part of Lillian Street in Metter, GA renamed after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He worked tirelessly with the NAACP to fight for the rights of others. His hard work and dedication was recognized and he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by the Wings of Faith Bible College.
Everything that he did, he did to the glory of God. He preached the gospel of Jesus from a very young age. God called him to pastor several churches including Abyssinia Baptist Church (Brunswick, GA), Second Woodland Baptist Church (Cox, GA), Sam’s Creek Missionary Baptist Church (Metter, GA), St. Luke Independent Methodist Church (Metter, GA), and St. John Missionary Baptist Church (Claxton, GA). He was serving as pastor of Emanuel Baptist Church (St. Simons Island) and First African Baptist Church (Waynesville, GA). when the Lord called him home.
In life, there were good times and bad times. But, no matter the situation, John never complained. He stood fast in his faith. He believed in “calling those things that be not, as though they were.” Rev. Leggett truly believed God. He remained faithful. There is no doubt that he heard The Father say, “Well Done My Good and Faithful Servant!”
He was preceded in death by his parents Robert J. Leggett and Willie Lucille Leggett; his in-laws James Holland and Margurite Holland; three siblings, Alexander (Carole) Leggett (both deceased), Robert C. Leggett, and Dorothy Williams; and his brothers-in -law Melvin Holland, Jesse Holland, and Edward Flowers.
He is survived by his wife Brenda Leggett; three children Dr. Derrell Leggett (Che’), Natalia Smith (Rodney), and Shonda Martinez (Irving); six siblings Emma Pierce, Burnell Williams (Gerald), Luree Miller, Millie Flowers, Ronnie Leggett (Angelica), and Janice Reed (Andre); brothers-in-law Billy Williams and Eddie Holland (Valerie); eleven grandchildren Johnell Leggett (Paige), Radrikka Smith, Micah Leggett, Dathan Leggett, Anaya Leggett, Armarie Nelson, Abriel Nelson, Rokyra Smith, Kenyatta Smith, Christole Martinez, and Margaurit Martinez; and great grandson Ahmaud Smith. He also leaves a host of cousins, nieces and nephews and family and friends to cherish and honor his memory.
Until we meet again, God bless you! I love you! I plead the Blood of Jesus for you!”
"I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
~ 2 Timothy 4:7-8 NKJV"
Whitaker Funeral Home is honored to serve the Leggett family with Dignity, Respect and Integrity.