imageLongtime Jasper physician and founder of Dickerson Hospital, Dr. Joe Wesley Dickerson died Wednesday in a Lufkin hospital.

He was 96.

Funeral services are pending at Forest Oaks Funeral Home and Crematory in Jasper.

Condolences can be posted at

Apart from his medical career, Dickerson, an Episcopalian, was deeply passionate about uncovering the origin of the Shroud of Turin.

In a Feb. 3, 1990 story in The Beaumont Enterprise, Dickerson said, "Within my heart, I think that it is (the image of) Jesus (in the Shroud of Turin). I think it’s a miracle."

Many, like Dickerson, believe the shroud, a linen cloth 14 feet long and 3 1/2 feet wide, bears the image of the crucified Christ. Scientists, however, claimed carbon dating invalidates those beliefs.

Dickerson was an observer in 1978 when scientists conducted a series of tests in Turin, Italy on the shroud.

We might want to say that SOME “[s]cientists, however, claimed carbon dating invalidates those beliefs,” but that that has been shown by a number of scientists writing in peer-reviewed journals to be incorrect.

Jasper doctor Joe Dickerson dies at age of 96 – Beaumont Enterprise