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Remembering Beloved 'Pastor McMuffin': 'Would You Like Some of God's Word With Those Fries?'

07-07-2020
Image Source: Rest Haven Funeral Home/Rev. James Hodges Jr.
Image Source: Rest Haven Funeral Home/Rev. James Hodges Jr.

One Maryland preacher is being remembered for having a kind heart and a love for McDonald's that allowed him to minister to countless fellow diners through the years.

Rev. James Hodges Jr., who passed away on June 16, was known by many as "Pastor McMuffin" and the "McDonald's Chaplain." The 95-year-old spent much of his life preaching in churches across the country, until the last few years of his life.

Hodges grew up in Virginia, then met his wife of 76 years – Mary Jane. The couple traveled as evangelists and sang together from coast to coast until they settled down in Hagerstown, his obituary reads.

When he was unable to preach in church, Hodges started visiting various McDonald's locations for coffee, a chicken sandwich, and the opportunity to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

Bob Hodges told Herald-Mail Media that his father would even go into the parking lot and share the gospel if he saw someone that "needed healing."

Heather Witmer, a McDonald's manager in Mercersburg, PA, said she remembers Hodges coming into the restaurant "with his little briefcase" and talking to many customers. "He would be here for hours," Witmer said.

Pastor Ken Harris recalls meeting Hodges 40 years ago and hearing "the anointing of the Lord" in his voice. 

"He loved Jesus probably more than anyone of us," Harris said.

During the funeral, Pastor Terry Elliott talked about a time when Rev. Hodges was overcome with joy and "smiling ear to ear," while playing his guitar.

Hodges revealed to him, "If I die tonight, I know I will be in eternity with Jesus."

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