Today we gathered with many, many friends and strangers to remember a precious man who went home to be with Jesus this past Saturday. Our family has only known Mr. Gregg for a little over 12 years, but I dearly loved this quiet, Godly gentleman.
I’m not sure I can explain why I loved Mr. Gregg so. He was indeed a Godly man, but I know many Godly men – yet he was special. I wonder if it might be because of our common background. You see, our church is filled with wonderful people who have come from many different denominational backgrounds. Some were Catholics, some Methodists, some Church of Christ, some Lutheran. As a matter of fact, even though we are a Baptist church (albeit an unusual one!), not many of our members came from a Baptist background. That is where Mr. Gregg and I were on common ground. He had been a Baptist always, and I have been a Baptist always.
Now, lest anyone think I suppose Baptists to be better than any other denomination, let me assure you that I don’t. Since I have been old enough to understand what denominations are, I have wished there were no such thing. Our pastor says the only reason our church has “Baptist” on the sign is to let people know 2 things about our doctrine – we believe and preach security of the Believer, and baptism by submersion. Other than that, we’re not like any Baptist church I have ever belonged to!
My point here is simply that the fact is that I have always been Baptist, and Mr. Gregg had always been Baptist. I always felt he understood me, perhaps knew me even better than some of the others I was much closer to. Mr. Gregg sang hymns with gusto, and he not only knew all the words – he knew the original words!! When we sang “At the Cross”, I knew he wasn’t going to sing what the hymnal said – “…Would He devote that sacred head for sinners such as I”. No, he was going to sing it as it was originally written – “…Would He devote that sacred head for such a worm as I?”
Mr. Gregg also looked like a Baptist. Well, not just any Baptist – he looked like a Baptist Deacon! He had silver hair that he combed straight back – Bill calls that look “Evangelist hair”. He always wore a suit and tie to church, too! He was a good Texas Baptist, too – he wore cowboy boots with that suit!
Mr. Gregg didn’t just look nice. He was one of the nicest men I’ve ever known. He was kind, and he loved to meet and greet people. He held out his hand in fellowship to those he knew, and to those he’d never seen before. No one ever felt left out – he loved everyone!
Mr. Gregg developed colon cancer 11+ years ago. He fought and beat that, and was cancer free for 5 years. When the cancer came back, it was in his lungs. He fought and beat it a second time. When it happened the third time, it was growing all over. He fought for a long time, but finally, Christmas night, he asked Jesus to bring him home. He did, about 2 hours later, early on December 26th. He was 66 years old.
I am truly going to miss him, have been missing him during his time of illness. He was simply a good man, and deeply loved by our church family, and if the crowd gathered there today is any indication, loved by a good many other folks as well! As the young people sang today, he is now in a place where there is “No more night, no more pain, no more tears, never dying again…” God be praised!
I will catch everyone up on our wonderful Christmas later this week, but tonight, I just want to remember and honor Mr. Donnard Gregg. He is already missed so much by so many.
May God bless your day…..