Words fall short.
Pastor Vernon McGarvey, a dear friend and mentor, passed away last weekend.
He was ill, but I thought I would have more time with him. I won’t insult the delicacy of the matter by trying to sum up his life here in this space. His departure is still quite jarring, and I miss him dearly.
For a leader of a church that some might call traditional or old-fashioned, Pastor McGarvey was surprisingly progressive and cultured. He never stopped learning. He was just as excited to share a new scriptural discovery with me as he was to share a meal around the dinner table.
We didn’t have a close relationship my entire life. However, once we became acquainted, he quickly became a sort of adviser to me. Virtually every time I was with him or heard his booming baritone voice, he inspired me to transcend the circumstances of my life and to become more — to become all — that God wanted me to be. I felt a genuine, fatherly love from my time with him. I respect this man more than any that come to mind. So I now join a chorus of people who have been encouraged, inspired, and challenged by this great example of servant leadership. He left behind a strong family and a strong church.
This was a life well-lived. He spent his time investing in others and making those around him better equipped to succeed. He was a lover of God and a lover of souls.
Love is his legacy.
To learn more about Pastor Vernon McGarvey, check the McGarvey family blog.