Years ago, in the good providence of God, my wife began attending a local Baptist church. I, in my stubborn pride, would not attend, electing instead to drive her and the children to and from the church each Sunday.
For my part, though having made a profession of faith years before, I had long since strayed and was heavily involved in my career is the USMC.
But, God had other plans.
The pastor of the church my wife attended was only semi-literate from my perspective. He had come to The Faith in the hills of NC and his wife had taught him to read. He subsequently attended a NC Bible institute and began preaching at this Baptist Mission church.
He, his wife, my wife, and my wife’s Sunday School teacher began to meet and pray for me and my restoration to The Faith, unknown to me.
In historical context, this was the months prior to the assassination of JFK, while I was attending a course at USC in So. Cal..
When I returned home to NC, this pastor would screw up the courage to drop by and visit us, inviting me to church. His earnestness and sincerity began to grip me, and I relented. Sometime thereafter, under his ministry, I repented of my rebellion and experienced restoration in the faith.
We became fast friends and I grew under his tutelage in terms of my passion for Christ and the things of The Faith. He deeply instilled in me an appreciation for God and His word, and an unconditional willingness to serve Him, whatever.
Well, among other inputs, his example was one prompting me to resign my commission in USMC in ’66 and enter into Missions. Through those years, he and the Sunday School teacher faithfully encouraged and prayed for us.
At one point, I felt led to give him my Bible, back in ’81, seeing his was nearly worn out!
In 2005, the church where we had met and from which he had subsequently departed had a reunion and we both attended. At this reunion, my first pastor returned that same Bible, which is next to me on my desk!
Now, today, just moments ago, I learned he had passed to the other side!
My, how I will miss him, but thank God for his impact on my life!
In my 70+ years in The Faith, I have been blessed of God to have been significantly been marked, indelibly, by a “Few good men” and Pastor David Cox was one of them!