In view of the passing of my brother Jimmy, many people have sent cards, made phone calls or emails, and responded to my posts with words of encouragement and hope as they share a bit in the grief that my family shares. I want to thank all of you. Without your encouragement, the days would be much darker.

But I want to mention two churches that have overwhelmed us with support. It is common to say in our post-Christian America that the church is meaningless and hypocritical at best. There are no perfect churches, of course, since they contain people like me. But I have found that when the chips are down, most Bible-believing churches will give you the shirt off their backs.

Calvary Baptist Church of Smyrna, Georgia is such a church.
It was where Jimmy attended and had a teaching ministry.
The people loved him. They poured food into the house of my sister-in-law Eileen during our worst week. They filled the funeral home during the viewing and brought more food for the family during that time. The stories they shared about Jimmy did more good than they know as they shared with me and others. During the funeral, they filled the entire auditorium. The teenagers sang “Victory in Jesus.” One young lady sang “Ten Thousand Reasons.” These two songs were Jimmy’s favorites — and mine — old and recent songs. The funeral service closed with a trio of brothers doing a blue-grass instrumental that Jimmy loved as they used guitar, fiddle, and banjo to play “I’ll Fly Away.” It was appropriate as Jimmy is a “son of the South.” Then the church fed us one more time. They handled oxygen tanks, sent cards, gave money, and most of all gave of themselves because I know they were grieving also the loss of their brother in Christ.

West Huntsville Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama was the other church of great blessing. It is our home church. It is where Jimmy and I were saved. They arranged the graveside service where Jimmy was buried at the cemetery. They fed us food before our family set off for our homes scattered across America. The words of those who knew us from Huntsville, people from different churches even, continued to help us begin the healing process — which will never entirely be finished until Jesus comes. You see, the great pain we feel for our loss is a sign that our love for Jimmy was not shallow. It was deep, pure, and real. There are many sources to assist us in our grief, but the Church rose to the occasion and has spoken solace into our hearts by word and deed.