The Patrick Springs Ruritan Club recently honored James R. Shough by selecting him as Citizen of the Year.
“Our recipient of this year’s award is a person who goes above and beyond what is expected of your average citizen. He has a huge heart for others in the community, especially the elderly, veterans, and the needy,” club members said at the annual awards banquet.
As the sixth child in a family of seven, Shough learned at an early age that everyone has a job to do to make things work. He was raised in the Patrick Springs Pentecostal Holiness Church, where he continues to be an active member, and grew up in a home where God’s word was read and His values were taught; where hard work and respect for others was expected.
Even though he was required to do his chores, like cutting and bringing in wood, working in the garden, moving and helping to keep the family car clean, Shough also was expected to keep good grades at school.
With all these responsibilities, he also played baseball and basketball during his high school years at Hardin Reynolds Memorial School. His Christian parents taught him in his early years how to manage his time wisely while fulfilling everyday responsibilities. He also learned to valuable lesson of getting along with others by growing up in a large family.
After graduation, Shough worked for Martin’s Texaco until he went into the military. He was called to active duty in the United States Army in 1968, and proudly served for three years, including a one year stint in Vietnam.
Through that experience, Shough learned a greater understanding and respect for your country and of those in authority. It taught him to be more disciplined and prepared him for the challenges of work, making decisions, and dealing with the choices you have to make in life on a day to day basis. He now is a member of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
Shortly after returning home from Vietnam, he went to work with most of his other family members at DuPont in Martinsville, and worked until the plant closed in 1998. Shough then became the co-owner/operator of Carquest Auto Parts until his retirement.
In 2008, a group of men met to consider a project that would be solely a men’s ministry effort. Shough agreed to be the overall coordinator of the group that would include about 10 dedicated men and meet each Wednesday afternoon.
In that role, Shough has planned, ordered supplies, and directed preparation of more than 100 hot meals for all who came to eat every Wednesday.
Shough and his team have served more than 40,000 meals in the past 10 years, and according to reports, more than 30 people have been saved during the men’s ministry project. The meals project is funded by anonymous benefactors and other donations. The project as described by Shough is a work of serving Jesus and led by the power and strength of the Holy Spirit.
As president of the men’s ministry, Shough also arranged and coordinated the annual fruit baskets for Christmas. Many in the community are blessed by the men’s ministry as led by Shough.
In 2010 with the help of many generous donations, he helped in the purchase and installation of state-of-the-art basketball goals for the church’s fellowship hall in memory of his son and nephew. He also assisted in bringing Upward Sports to the church for a season, helping numerous children begin their love of basketball in a Christian environment. He has also served as a deacon of the church, a member on the church administrative board, and was on the long-range planning committee for the development of the fellowship hall and food ministry center.
With God’s anointing on his life, Shough pursued and attained a long-time goal. In June 2014, he was ordained as a minister in the Cornerstone Conference Ministry Center in Brown Summit, N.C.
Shough is always open to any opportunity to help others by spreading God’s word. He continues to be a huge asset to his God, his family, his church and his community.
Shough is married to Regena M. Shough. They have two children, Timothy L. Shough and Kelly D. Burton. Shough also is the son of the late George and Elsie Shough.