In 1931, construction began on the Hoover Dam. That same year, the Empire State Building opened to the public, lauded as the world’s tallest building. In 1931 “The Star Spangled Banner” was adopted officially as the national anthem of the United States. And renowned inventor Thomas Edison died.
And in October 1931, Hurricane resident Lowell Jackson (“Jack”) Fellure was born.
During his almost 90 years of life, Fellure has lived through many wars (including a world war), presidents from Hoover to Nixon to Biden, and economic ups and downs.
Yet when he reflects on his eventful life, what he values most is not professional accomplishments, financial success, or accolades he has received.
“The only thing that matters when we come to the end of life on this earth is what you believe and who you believe,” Fellure asserts.
Faith. Scriptures from Fellure’s Christian faith roll off his tongue.
“I believe that ‘Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures and that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures,’” Fellure says, quoting Second Corinthians 15:3-4.
These days, as Fellure’s tall, lean frame is seen more often folded into a chair than preaching at a pulpit, his mind turns frequently to the scriptures he knows by heart. And to his past.
“I was born in Midkiff, West Virginia, which is in Lincoln County,” Fellure says. “That was during the Great Depression.”
Fellure was 10 when the horrific bombing of Pearl Harbor occurred in 1941. That was the catalyst for his own father leaving home to join the Navy. He, his mother, and his four siblings waited anxiously for the end of World War II and his father’s homecoming.
When Fellure’s father returned after the war, baseball became an outlet for him.
“My father played on our community’s baseball team and was an above-average player,” Fellure recalls. “He very much influenced my own love of the game.”
After attending Salt Rock grade school and graduating from Barboursville High School at age 17, Fellure enrolled at Marshall College in the fall of 1949.
“Marshall was not yet a university then,” he notes.
According to Fellure, tuition at Marshall was $37.50 per semester, and he worked at a plumbing company to be able to afford it.
“After college, I taught first through eighth grade in a one-room schoolhouse in Lincoln County,” he recollects.
He went on to raise a large blended family and to enjoy a variety of occupations: fire control technician, project manager at two power plants, preacher, and maintenance contract manager at GE Aircraft Engines in Cincinnati, Ohio.
His faith remained at the center of his life no matter what he was doing.
“In my life, I have found what the Bible says to be true. While we humans sin and change, God never changes and is never wrong.”
Fellure’s desire to spread his faith on a larger scale led to his taking a big step in 1988.
He ran for president of the United States.
“I ran for president because I wanted to draw as much attention to God’s plan of salvation as possible,” he states. “My campaign was based solely on the King James Version of the Bible, God’s holy word.”
Fellure would go on to campaign for president in every presidential election from 1988 through 2012, running on a Republican and later a Prohibition Party ticket. His platform advocated for prayer in public schools and lamented the abortion, pornography, and alcohol industries.
When asked what he learned from his multiple campaigns for the presidency, Fellure says, “I found that people either readily accept or totally reject the Word of God. There seems to be no middle ground.”
As Fellure approaches his 90th birthday, age necessarily has brought with it physical limitations and dependence on others — which is hard on Fellure, who is independent by nature. Yet, as he approaches this milestone, he spends a lot of time reflecting, along with his lovely wife Jean.
Certainly not on things that happened in 1931, the year of his birth. The year that the Dracula and Frankenstein films were released and that the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro was completed.
Instead, Fellure reflects on the truths that he has held dear for going-on 90 years.
“What a person does regarding Jesus is the only thing that matters,” he says. “One day, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord, as the scripture says.”