A Tribute to God’s Work

This was originally posted on my other blog on November 6, 2007.

I’m briefly going to write about the life of Rev. Bob Green, a pastor from my home town. I was going to call this post “A Tribute to Bob Green,” but that would not correctly speak to what his life was about.

I first moved to Dahlonega in 1987 as a five year old. Since my grandmother attended Dahlonega Baptist Church, as did my mom when she was a child, we began attending there. Reverend Green was the pastor. I listened to him week after week from 1987 until 1993, when he retired. The entire time he was my pastor, he lived out the fruit of the Spirit. His life was love, which led to joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. He was always digging into God’s Word and looking at the meaning of the original Hebrew and Greek.

Very recently, he passed away from a serious medical problem. My wife and I decided to drive to Georgia to attend his funeral. We arrived there thirty minutes early to make sure we had parking, since we were bringing my grandmother. She’s in her eighties and has trouble walking. There were only one or two spots left in the entire parking lot of the biggest church in town – his former pastorate and current church. We barely got seats in the sanctuary. They also had overflow with video and audio all through the hallway and into the fellowship hall downstairs.

The fruits of his life include an amazing testimony in his children and grandchildren. His son Mark, currently a minister (of music, I believe), spoke of his amazing ministry to his family and how he never let his family fall by the wayside. He also read to us what was Bob’s last writing – a list of things he would like to do before he went to be with Jesus. At the end of this list, he said basically what Jesus said in the Garden of Gethsemane – “not my will, but yours be done.” Also, a hospice chaplain whom he had worked with spoke of his great humility. Finally, the pastor who came in after he retired, Bill Hutcheson, spoke of how Bob never got in the way when he released the pastorate. He also told of how, up to the end, he was asking how others were, what was going on in their lives, and how much he loved them all. Both Mark and Bill picked Galatians 5 – the fruit of the Spirit – as a focal passage. That was unplanned, but really showed how true it was in Bob Green’s life. One just automatically equated those aspects to his life.

Another aspect of the funeral that glorified God was his grandchildren. They all got up and read various Scripture. Of those grandchildren that I knew, each verse he or she read exemplified either where they were or were going in life. For example, one of those that is currently overseas working with a church plant, Andy, had the Great Commission read for him and his wife, by his little brother.

Obviously, his life touched many people. He officiated so many weddings and funerals and baptized and counseled so many people and touched so many lives – his life was a legacy. Now don’t get me wrong, this was not a legacy to him; it was a legacy to God.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23

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