It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Janet Marie Lewis Bryant, a treasured wife to Wayne Bryant, mom to Jacinda Summers (Ryan), and grandma to Meghan Summers. Janet made her final journey to heaven to be with our Lord and Savior on November 7, 2023, while in the arms of her husband Wayne of 53 years.
Janet was a dedicated wife, mom, mother-in-law, and grandma who cherished her family and friends till her last breath here on earth. She was known to all who knew her as one who you go to for advice or just to sit and have her listen to your concerns. Her patience had no end. She had a huge heart and will be remembered for her kindness to others and her willingness to make time for you no matter what time of day or night it might be. She gave the best hugs, and you wouldn’t be able to leave her house without making sure she hugged you. Most importantly though, she treasured her relationship with Jesus Christ. She loved Jesus and wanted everyone she knew to love him too. Her last Facebook post was a true testament to her love of Jesus. She posted; Jesus is Our Savior. How could we not love him? Over the last few years, she was unable to attend church but that didn’t stop her from watching her “preachers” on TV. She would sit on Sunday mornings and watch 4 or 5 different church services throughout the day.
Janet was born on January 25, 1950, to Merle and Dorthey Lewis in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At the age of 16, she met the love of her life, Wayne Bryant at Grant Avenue Free Will Baptist Church. Wayne and Janet were married 3 years later on January 16, 1970. During their marriage, Wayne accepted the call to preach. While being a pastor’s wife is not what she had envisioned, the Lord knew otherwise. She was a faithful servant to the Lord and was known to others as someone to whom they could go and confide and talk with at any time even up to the last few weeks of her life. She was a pastor’s wife, a Sunday school teacher, and a houseparent throughout her time here on earth. Her unwavering love towards others knew no bounds. She was known to all around her as “Mom”. There wasn’t a baby, child or teenager that didn’t love to be around her. The love she showed each child was evident by the way she took each one into her arms and loved them. She gave the love to others but never expected it back in return. Before their daughter, Jacinda was born, she and Wayne were Godparents to many children. They pastored at Garden Heights Free Will Baptist Church, Checotah Free Will Baptist Church, and Pretty Water Free Will Baptist Church before moving to Lone Grove, Oklahoma in1988 to pastor full time. During their 10 years in Lone Grove, they helped grow the church with many new families and 100+ kids that attended Sunday and Wednesday services. There wouldn’t be a Sunday evening that didn’t go by when you wouldn’t walk into their home and not see a child pulling food out of their fridge because they knew “Mom” had made a good Sunday dinner. She knew how to make a house a home. Her generosity and kindness made everyone feel welcome in their home. In 1999 they moved to Jacksonville, Arkansas to pastor the Jacksonville First Free Will Baptist Church. While there, they met their future son-in-law, Ryan Summers. Later in the year, they moved back to Lone Grove so their only child, Jacinda could finish high school in Lone Grove. They later moved in 2001 to Shawnee, Oklahoma, and pastored there for 3 years before moving back to Jacksonville, Arkansas in 2004 to begin their ministry helping establish the Free Will Baptist Family Ministries Children’s Home in Little Rock. It was always a dream since they were first married to be house parents to children that needed a “mom and dad”. During this time, they helped many children and later retired to help raise their one and only grandchild Meghan. Meghan was the center of Janet’s life until her last day here on Earth. She loved her family dearly and not a day went by where she wouldn’t talk to her daughter or granddaughter over the phone to make sure everyone was “OK”. She was known to always say, “Call me when you get home” and on the day she passed from this earth, she was calling Wayne at 5:30 in the morning to make sure he had made it to Jacinda’s house in one piece. Her time here on earth may have been short, but we rejoice in the fact that we know she is with Jesus, worshiping in his wonderful glory and praising him.
The family wishes to extend their love and appreciation to each person who has reached out to them during this difficult time.
A visitation will be held on Saturday, November 11, 2023 at 1:30pm with a funeral service starting at 2:30pm in the chapel at A Natural State Funeral Service. Burial to follow at Serenity Gardens in Jacksonville, Arkansas.
Arrangements by A Natural State Funeral Service 2620 West Main Street, Jacksonville, Arkansas 72076. 501-982-3400. Online guestbook available at www.anaturalstatefuneralservice.com