Final Words - 9/30/18

Pastor’s Corner 09 30 2018

This last Sunday during the service at First Christian Church – Timpson, TX., the pastor, Larry
Stegall gave his message, then informed the congregation that he had preached his last sermon.
Larry turned, walked away from the pulpit, sat down … and died at the age of 79.
Larry was, what is recognized in our denomination, as a Commissioned Minister. Larry was
mostly self-taught in theology but did take ministry classes offered through the Northeast Area of
the Christian Church and also attended a certificate program at Jarvis Christian College.
I was friends with Larry but never real close. We took some classes together and later, when I
became a member of the Area Committee on Ministry, sat in on several of his interviews. For
more than the 20 years that I have known Larry, he served mostly small Churches that could not
afford a full time minister. He did this service at little to no pay. He was also a volunteer
chaplain at Bradshaw State Jail, where the inmates he ministered to greatly appreciated his
Larry was stubborn and hardheaded. I mean that in the best of ways. Larry had a stubborn
determination for ministry and was hardheaded enough that he would let nothing get in his way
or discourage him from this mission our loving God had directed him to. There are many Saints
with their Lord today because of his preaching of salvation; … too many lives to count that have
Larry’s mark of ministry on them. There was no place for nonsense in the sermons Larry
delivered and believe me, … he was not shy about his method of delivery.
Larry had his faults as all of us do but my admiration for him was based on his willingness to
offer a message of LIFE and HOPE, … regardless of how little reward and recognition was in it
for him.
Did I say, “little reward and recognition”?
How many of us, when we leave this earth for eternity with our Lord, will be able to say: …
“God arranged it so I could leave this earth from His House”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What a celebration it must have been when Larry took the nail scared hand of His Savior and
heard the words: … “Well done, oh good and faithful servant”!
Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Jim