Brittney Lohmiller /   The Natchez Democrat — Jack Cox volunteers his time to help with projects around Grace United Methodist Church. Last year, he helped supervised the renovation of the church’s kitchen and helped repaint the parking lot lines.
Brittney Lohmiller / The Natchez Democrat — Jack Cox volunteers his time to help with projects around Grace United Methodist Church. Last year, he helped supervised the renovation of the church’s kitchen and helped repaint the parking lot lines.

Everyday Hero: Volunteer spends time giving back to church, community

Published 12:10am Friday, April 18, 2014

NATCHEZ — Jack Cox enjoys what he does so much; it can hardly be called work.

Cox has been involved in the Petroleum Oil industry for more than 50 years, and though he could retire, he just can’t get himself to stop working.

“I’m a petroleum engineer working 10 hours a day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” Cox said. “I told my wife (Pat) when I get to be 80, I’ll slow down. I just enjoy working. I could retire, but we couldn’t give a lot of things to our charities.”

Working 10 hours a day as the owner of Anderson Oil Company isn’t much to the Washington native, he also spends a lot of time helping at his church, Grace United Methodist Church.

Cox is the president of the men’s club, the chairman of the pastor relation committee and he’s on the finance committee.

Though Cox juggles several titles at the church, the tasks he takes on far outweigh his job description.

Cox has painted the stripes of the parking lot, supervised the installation of the church kitchen’s stove and helps usher on Sundays.

“One of the other usher won’t be able to be here Sunday, so I’m assuming responsibility of getting the church ready,” Cox said. “I’m going to opening the doors and lock up the church after the service.”

Cox also helps when the church gets involved with Habitat for Humanity to build houses.

His wife was the former manager of the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society, and they still volunteer their time and efforts toward the organization.

Though Cox is a big part of Grace Methodist, he has his Methodist wife to thank in the long run.

“We got married in a Methodist church in August of 1960,” Cox said. “I thought it would be easier for me to become a Methodist, because we’re all looking for the same thing — eternal life.”

Grace Methodist pastor Nance Hixon said it has been a blessing to have Cox and people like him at the church.

“He is one of those people that if there is a need, he is able to meet it,” Hixon said. “It’s a tremendous blessing and weight off of my shoulders because I have people that are dependable and come through for you.”

Hixon said he admires Cox’s personality and work ethic the most.

“He’s very warm, and he and his wife are very thoughtful of people,” Hixon said. “They want to know if there is a way to help care for someone who is in need.

“He has an amazing work ethic with how much work he does over at Anderson Oil Company.”

His duties with his career and church seem overwhelming, but Cox still manages to keep himself in shape.

The 76-year-old has been jogging for 50 years, and he sets an annual goal of keeping in shape.

“I’ve been jogging since 1965, and I try to jog 1,000 miles a year,” Cox said. “You have to do something to get rid of the stress (of work).”

No matter what, Cox said he keeps himself busy because there is always someone in need and something to be done.