Posted on : Wednesday October 8, 2008
David Lee, BCM/D Executive Director

David Lee, BCM/D Executive Director

Let me tell you “a story of hope.” On Tuesday, Sept. 30, I preached my father’s funeral. He died at age 77. My Dad “grew up hard.” He never finished high school. He spent much of his life as a sheetrock man. My Dad was a quiet, simple man. He hated crowds. He spent every moment he could alone hunting or fishing.

I came to know Christ at age 15. My Dad was in his mid-thirties at that time. I began to pray then for my Dad’s spiritual condition. I talked to him. I sent preachers around to talk to him. I had nearly given up any hope of his salvation. Dad would at times take my Mom to church, but he would sit in the car in front of the church until after the service was over. He refused to be around a crowd of people.

But here starts the real story of hope and God’s amazing grace. The bi-vocational pastor of the Bluff Springs Baptist Church, a small rural Northeast Mississippi congregation, connected with my Dad. He led my Dad to faith in Christ. I cannot tell you what it meant to me to see my Dad baptized at age 54. A few years later the church made him a deacon. He began to teach Sunday school. Keep in mind that this is the same man who sat in the car in front of the church building because of his fear of crowds.

I got a call one day from Dad. He was 58. He told me that he knew God was calling him to preach. He left Northeast Mississippi, his sheetrock profession, and moved back to the old homeplace. He enrolled in the Diploma Program at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. To be accepted, Dad had to complete his GED. It became even more difficult for him. During his seminary days he often studied with three books in front of him-his Bible, his textbook and a dictionary. According to him, he would have to look up every other word he encountered. But he did it. In 1991, at age 60, he earned his Associate of Divinity degree.
Shortly thereafter he was called to his first pastorate. At the time I was pastoring Faith Church, in Glen Burnie, Md. He called to report to me that he now was pastor of “his own Faith Baptist Church” in Dunn, N.C.
Dad pastored as long as he could. The emphyzema took its toll. At times he could hardly breathe, but he somehow found the strength and the oxygen to deliver God’s message to his people.

In the closing moments of his life, my brother asked Dad, “What is the first thing you are going to do when you get to heaven?” My Dad without hesitation responded, “I am going to hug Jesus’ neck.” My Dad is in heaven hugging Jesus!

Dad’s powerful story of hope and grace has taught me to never give up and never stop telling the story of hope.

God is faithful. God is able. Maryland/Delaware Baptists, tell the story of hope!

By David Lee, BCM/D Executive Director