Faith in action
By Erik Kruthoff

James Larry Clemons owns several local businesses, including Gun Guns and The Jewelry Box in Leitchfield.

James Larry Clemons is a man of devout faith with a strong work ethic and an entrepreneurial spirit. He owns several businesses in Grayson County, including Gun Guns and The Jewelry Box on State Highway 62 in Leitchfield.

An assortment of well-worn rocking chairs welcomes a daily stream of visitors, friends and family to the store. James Larry is a talker. His smiling face and warm belly-laugh welcome all who stop in, and they often stay longer than they expected.

His career as a jeweler began in 1983, when he worked up the courage to ask to be an apprentice to Albert Cox, a local jeweler for whom he worked mowing lawns. With support from his family, he was able to start his own business.

James Larry is a devout Christian. He is a founding member of the Mercy Missionary Baptist Church in Big Clifty. He has been married to his wife Sharon for 49 years. They have a son, James Lucas, and three grandchildren. The extended family lives close by and helps operate the family businesses.

A defining moment in his life occurred as a young teenager while attending a church service. "Although I had been taken to church my whole life, I'll never forget that night," he says. "I got down there on that altar, and I began to pray. I just knew I didn't want to die and go to hell. That's when Jesus told me I got heaven. Then it became real for me ... and that fear was gone. I was saved." His voice trembles and tears stream down his face as he recalls the experience.

His faith in Christ helps him navigate through life's challenges. His wife is battling breast cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. James Larry fell from a tree recently and was hospitalized for two weeks with multiple injuries. Despite these setbacks, he remains hopeful and optimistic.
James Larry now devotes his life to putting his faith into action, helping others to seek and find that same salvation he did as a child.

"The Lord's been awful good to me," he says. "I'll just put it that way."

Linda Bean and James Larry talk between the adjoining gun and jewelry stores.

James Larry examines a wedding ring in his workshop at The Jewelry Box.

James Larry, a lifelong resident of Grayson County, began working as jeweler after apprenticing for a local jeweler as a teenager.

Jacob Poteet, with his daughter Addie, inspects a rifle at Gun Guns. Andrew Swift is at left.

James Larry resizes a wedding ring in his workshop.

Linda Bean and James Larry

James Larry is a founding member of Mercy Mission Baptist Church in Big Clifty. The church was established in 1987.

Congregants of Mercy Mission Baptist Church pray at the altar. The church holds service several times per week and is led by pastor Matt Milam of Falls of Rough.

James Larry loves spending time with his grandsons, Ledger Ripken, 4, and James Maverick, 8.