This week on NBC 5 we are taking a close look at religion in North Texas with our series Beyond Belief: Faith in Texas.
James Webb and his family have a unique story. It's a story of love, a story of loss, a story of commitment and a story, of course, of faith.
James Webb met Marcia Fisher in 1992. They fell in love and wanted to get married, but James was concerned. You see, he's a Southern Baptist from Laurel, Mississippi, and Marcia was Jewish.
Jim’s two brothers are both Southern Baptist ministers, so he went to them and said, “Show me in the Bible what I need to do, teach me the right thing to do. And have to tell you it was a short conversation at that point." They said, "You don't have to do anything. The Jews are Gods chosen people." They said, "Embrace it and move forward.”
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So Jim and Marcia were married four years later. They had two sons and life was going very well. Until shocking news that nobody could possibly be prepared for.
As Jim tells it, “Things were going quite well. Then in 2011, Nov. 28 to be specific, Marcia was unexpectedly, and without any symptoms diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer and given no chance to live.”
She was given six months and lasted almost exactly that long. Their boys were young, and as things deteriorated for Marcia, Jim wanted to be sure she was at peace with everything. So the Southern Baptist man made his Jewish wife a promise.
"It was one of the last two things that I said to her as she took her final breath was that I would continue to honor her and honor our children by continuing to raise them Jewish,” Jim said.
It was a promise kept to Marcia and a comfort for her sons.
Joey, a freshman at Frisco High School, recalled, “It was very important to me. At that age it would have been hard to do things with my religion if I didn't have his support. It helped me develop as a mature and be a better person.”
Life went on for Jim and his two boys. Then Jim met someone new; someone he described as “someone who fit my life perfectly. A beautiful Christian girl. I don't know that it could have been a more perfect match.”
From the get go, Kathy was on board with raising their sons in the Jewish faith.
“I think it's incredible,” she said. “It's been, really, a beautiful thing learning about the Jewish faith and being involved in everything that surrounds that. It wasn't difficult to be part of this family because they all made it so easy.
The boys are doing well. The oldest, Max, is in Israel preparing for college and Joey is excelling during his sophomore year."
And as for Jim, he thinks there is a valuable lesson to be learned from his family and what they've been through.
“I'm a huge fan of not any one particular religion," said Jim. "I thought about all that in the process, why can't we all have this one god that we love and why can't we just all get along?”