In October, it will be twenty-five years since my father died suddenly. I still think about him and at times I can’t believe that he’s been gone for so long. My father had been born in a family that seemed to go through the motions of faith. My grandparents were Episcopalian and had each of their six children baptized as infants, but they were never regular in church attendance; and I can’t recall any conversations with them about faith in Christ or salvation.
Fortunately, a block or so from their home was a small Baptist church. One day when my dad was still young, a woman from the church invited him and his siblings to attend Sunday School.
It was through this contact that my father was led to a real and lasting faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our sins, and his life’s direction was changed from that moment.
From that time, my father was determined to serve God in whatever capacity that God directed. In college, where he met my mother, they thought they would go on the mission field, but instead they ended up in a little independent church of about thirty people located on Locust Avenue in Peekskill New York.
After a few years, my father decided that full-time ministry was not for him and he began working at a local chemical plant and my mother found a job at Readers Digest, a publication many of you are familiar with.
My parents settled into a local church, First Baptist of Peekskill, and they taught Sunday School, sang in the choir, served on boards and committees, and raised their three children to know Christ and serve Him as they did.
My father was also a gifted musician. He played piano and organ by ear, finally learning how to read music in his late fifties and a few years before he died, became the church organist, a position he always wanted.
As I remember him again this “Father’s Day,” I will remember his commitment to his faith in Christ and how he was a witness to his co-workers. He worked hard and desired to live the Christian life and pass that on to us. I can let you know that he and my mom succeeded. Not only are my sisters and I still walking by faith, but many grandchildren are also followers of Jesus Christ.
To all the fathers who read this, I would encourage you as you reflect on your own dad’s and perhaps even your own experience as a father. May God grant you a lasting and enduring influence on your children and grandchildren.