who we are
Our hope for the Jackson Family Ministry is for God to use our gifts and talents to advance the Kingdom of God on earth for His glory and for His name’s sake only. “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to thy name give glory because of thy lovingkindness, because of thy truth” (Psalm 115:1 NASB). Having traveled the difficult highways and byways of life either ourselves or alongside of others, we desire to bring attention to God’s faithfulness and comfort, mercy and grace, wisdom and instruction.
In doing so, we hope to help more people in avoiding some of the pitfalls of life by holding on to biblical truth and trusting in a sovereign God during the inevitable storms of life. May lives be transformed by hearing and applying God’s Word.
A graduate of Erskine College, our oldest daughter, Rachel, taught sciences in the International Christian School in Caracas, Venezuela, for two years, but she now lives in Palmer, Alaska, with her husband Trevor Olson and their three precious children. While enjoying motherhood, she also comes alongside of her husband in his real estate/broker business. They serve in various capacities in their church, including on the outreach team and hosting a small group in their home, but their greatest area of service is with foster children. Many foster children have graced their home in addition to Rachel directing a summer camp and supporting a weekly mentoring ministry for foster children with Royal Family KIDS Mat-Su and serving on the steering committee of ROCK, Raising Our Kids with Kindness, with the Mat-Su Foundation. Recently, the governor of Alaska appointed her as a member of the state’s Social Work Examiner Board.
Also a graduate of Erskine College, our second daughter, Rebecca, interned at the Institute of Creation Research in San Diego, California, during her college years then served the Lord among Muslims in the Middle East for three years. Upon her return she met and married Josh Shrom of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where they now reside with their two daughters and son. Rebecca volunteers at her local crisis pregnancy center where she translated parenting classes into Arabic and where she seeks to connect with the local Arab women. Josh serves on their church board while Rebecca serves on an international missions committee; they both teach Sunday School and lead a small group.
Miriam, our third daughter, graduated from Converse College with a degree in Vocal Performance. She absolutely loves singing praises to the Lord with her classically trained voice in churches, but she also enjoys singing the national anthem at sporting events and roles in local theater musicals. Miriam served on short term mission trips in Caracas, Venezuela, and Nairobi, Kenya, and she volunteered as a counselor at the Piedmont Women’s Center, a local crisis pregnancy center in our area. She taught sixth and seventh grade girls in Sunday School for several years, and currently performs with our church’s choir. On May 13, 2017, she married Brandon Schell; they recently bought their first home in Inman, South Carolina.
Our fourth daughter, Hannah, is married to Dustin Miller, a hospice chaplain, with whom she has two daughters. Before college she apprenticed at Miracle Mountain Ranch in Pennsylvania for a year, then she finished North Greenville University while concurrently taking classes to become certified with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. Hannah has served as conference director for Truth for a New Generation, a national apologetics conference, and co-directed a community prayer launch against abortion and Planned Parenthood, attended by 1,500 citizens of the South Carolina upstate. She is a member of the Christian Life and Public Affairs Committee of the SC Baptist Convention while also co-hosting daily on ChristianTalk660, Christian Worldview with Tony and Hannah, a talk show that discusses current events from a Biblical worldview.
The fifth child but first son, Rob, also attended Miracle Mountain Ranch’s apprenticeship program for two years. He grew up down by the river (LOL), so he loves outdoor activities. He is a Safety and Basic Shotgun instructor with the National Rifle Association. Rob has served on several short term mission trips to Caracas, Venezuela and to Guatemala. After taking classes in Houston, Texas, he is level 2 NACE certified. He was ordained as a deacon in his church in the fall of 2015 where he also taught a Sunday School class of fifth grade boys for three years. He married Rachel Marshall of Pennsylvania on October 15th, 2016. They now reside in Inman, SC.
John Richard, the sixth Jackson, brings the Jackson household much joy as the first of our two special needs boys. Born with a serious respiratory defect and brain damage, he now serves in our home as the professor. He teaches us all what it means to be loving and kind while helping us to be servants just like Jesus. He loves to be around people, including traveling to Pennsylvania to help with Rebecca’s babies.
Attending Miracle Mountain Ranch as an apprentice for one year, Jehu, the seventh Jackson child, returned to begin school at North Greenville University in 2015 where he is studying Outdoor Education Leadership. He hopes to share Christ through the avenue of the outdoors. He is the fourth Jackson to have worked with Child Evangelism Fellowship, sharing the gospel with children in backyard Bible clubs. He also served as a counselor in our church’s Kidfuge program and sang in the youth choir. Typical of a Jackson, he loves to sing and continues to sing in the adult choir. He has worked the last two summers as a counselor at Camp Ridgecrest for Boys.
Carla, our eighth child, graduated from our homeschool In His Steps Academy (as they all done so). She took voice lessons throughout her high school years and taught horse riding lessons in addition to participating in one summer of Child Evangelism Fellowship. Like other siblings she completed a gap year at Miracle Mountain Ranch and currently attends North Greenville University, where she is working to complete the prerequisites for USC Upstate’s nursing program. She is the only one of our children to follow her parent’s footsteps into the medical world.
Thomas Jonathan Lee Jackson, named after Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and his grandmother, Margie Lee Watson, is the caboose of the family but certainly not the least. Thomas loves listening to music and often sings around our home. No one would send Thomas back. As a family member with Downs Syndrome, he is the best professor of all because the lessons we all learn at the feet of Thomas are never ending and make us more like Jesus every day. Oh, yes, we love Tommy-boy!
Robert & Carlotta Jackson
We were both born in rural South Carolina, albeit three hours apart, to Christian parents. Carlotta’s dad was a Baptist pastor while Robert’s was a physician. Saved at the age of eleven, Robert believed on the name of Jesus as his Lord and Savior at his home after a pastor shared Christ with him, and Carlotta did the same at a Baptist girls’ camp. We spent our youth participating in church and school activities. Robert began reading through his Bible every year at the age of thirteen and continues to this day.
Arriving at Clemson University the same year, 1973, we both embarked on spiritual journeys with Christian campus organizations (Campus Crusade for Robert and Navigators for Carlotta). Members discipled us, helping us both grow in our love for Christ and in spiritual disciplines such as Bible reading, scripture memory, and evangelism. We turned around and discipled others, a habit continuing to this day in one form or another. Robert’s Sunday morning men’s group is currently called the “Biscuit Busters Men’s Group.”
We met the spring of 1976 and became an “item” in the fall, but we postponed marriage until October 1981, after medical school and Carlotta’s missionary experience.
Both of us dreamed of lifelong foreign missions. Carlotta participated in a two-year mission experience as a nurse in Gaza, Israel, (where she saw twenty-two Muslims come to Christ) while Robert completed medical school. During school an optometrist diagnosed him with glaucoma. Ultimately, the glaucoma became quite severe requiring multiple laser surgeries in the early 1980s during his residency, and effectively ending our dream of serving Jesus overseas full time. (He has had about twenty-five eye procedures now.)
Nevertheless, we can see the hand of God on our lives as He pushed us into the prolife arena with Robert being a cofounder of our local crisis pregnancy center so many years ago now and a persistent “voice for the voiceless” in our state. We also perceived His call on us to “enlarge our borders” by parenting nine children, two of whom had medical needs that would have been difficult to handle in a foreign country.
It has been our privilege to serve the Lord through multiple mission trips and church and community responsibilities, including a vibrant Christian medical practice. However, we have come to realize our greatest contribution may have been made sitting around our kitchen table – reading a great novel to our children, discussing a spiritual truth or scripture passage with whomever was with us, memorizing scripture as a family through the years, reviewing the moral and political issues facing our community, country, and world, and entertaining angels unaware – black and white, straight and gay, Americans and foreigners, ex-convicts and political leaders, sick and well, broken and whole. We have loved them all in the name of Jesus and by His power.
We love Jesus, the Author and the Finisher of our faith. He is the one true God and is worthy of our truest and purest praise. He has been merciful to us, and His grace has been abundant in our lives time and time again. He has not spared us from multiple difficulties, but He never left us nor did He forsake us. Blessed be His name – the name that is above every name!