After his birth, the family returned to their home in Mars Hill, a neighborhood of Indianapolis, where Gene lived until college. As a boy Gene took piano lessons, and later learned the clarinet in school, playing it in the band at basketball games. He was editor of the Ben Davis High School Spotlight, as well as working on the railroad and writing for the Indianapolis Times. As a high school junior, Gene began attending Youth For Christ rallies with a girlfriend. At one YFC rally in March 1945, Gene accepted Jesus into his life. The next week, during an evangelistic meeting at Mars Hill Church of Christ in Indianapolis, he and his parents were baptized on March 23, 1945, his dad’s birthday.
In January 1946, Gene, age 17, left home to attend the new Lincoln Bible Institute in Lincoln, IL where he would train for ministry. He began his ministry on Easter Sunday 1947 and was ordained to Christian ministry at Mars Hill Church of Christ in March 1950. He then attended Greenville College, IL where he standardized his degree and met his future wife Alice Arksey in debate class. They married August 18, 1951 and began life together in Scottsburg, Indiana where Gene served Zoah Christian Church. While ministering there, he attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY, receiving a Master of Divinity in May 1954.
Gene expressed his passion for ministry in various ways. He sang in Way of Gladness men’s quartet whose signature song was “I’ve Discovered the Way of Gladness”. Also, for many summers he served as dean of a week of Christian camp at Illiana in Indiana, camp at Newnan, GA, and finally at Woodland Christian Camp in Temple, GA which he helped to start. Gene also took part in and at times led the Georgia Christian Evangelizing Association which planted churches in Georgia.
Over the course of 45 years Gene served nine congregations in Illinois, Indiana, and Georgia, including two church plants, First Christian Church of Morrow, GA and McDonough Christian Church, GA. After retirement in 1993, Gene and Alice moved to Jekyll Island, GA where he enjoyed golf, tennis, visits from family, gardening, volunteering with MAP International and Lions Club, serving as president of the Jekyll Island Citizens Association, and interim preaching. In September 2016 they moved to Johnson City, TN near two of their daughters.
Gene's parents Eady McCoy, father John Jarrett, and sister Patsy Jarrett Wilson preceded him in death. Gene's wife Alice Arksey Jarrett as well as their four daughters survive. Becky Jarrett Allsop (Kevin), granddaughter Jessica Allsop Brandt (Michael), and great-grandchildren Austin and Whitney; grandson Erik Allsop (Erin), and great-grandchildren Malachi, Elliott, and Jonas. Cindy Jarrett Schade (Scott), grandson Isaac Schade (Maggie), and great-grandchildren Paxton and Poppy. Laura Ruth Jarrett (Meck Groot). Jennifer Jarrett Kelley (Bryant). Gene's brother Ron Jarrett (Pam), brother-in-law Bob Wilson, sister-in-law Laura Arksey, 6 nieces and 3 nephews and their families also survive.
The service of remembrance will be held at Grandview Christian Church, 300 University Parkway, Johnson City, TN, 37604 on Saturday, March 14. Visitation at 3:00 with service to follow at 4. In lieu of flowers, any donations may be made to Grandview Christian Church.