I was shocked yesterday afternoon to discover that a great pastor in our organization had gone to be with the Lord immediately after preaching his final sermon. It’s simple, evocative title? “I’ve Already Done Enough.”
When I happened upon the title of the minister’s last message while perusing a variety of testimonials and comments about this special leader, I was struck by the profound significance that now permeates those four words. Most of those who attended yesterday’s service will, undoubtedly, be forever impacted by the fact that they were privileged to be present when a warm, loving man delivered such a timely, fitting message just moments before his demise.
But, something far more important underscores the effect of the preacher’s message. For, I strongly suspect that those who knew him, those who loved him, those who supported him, and those who sought his counsel, would answer the aforementioned question with a resounding, “Yes.” Though in his late 50’s, the pastor to whom I refer was young at heart and was beloved by his parishioners, his community, and his fellow pastors. He and his dear wife of many years—with whom he raised twelve exceptional children—established numerous ministries, community outreach facilities, programs, ministerial alliances and educational institutions. To put it plainly, the preacher to whom I refer was “about his Father’s business.”
All who were acquainted with the pastor—whether intimately or superficially—were staggered by the news of his death. Though the minister died a relatively young man, I would posit that our collective astonishment had little to do with his age. We stood amazed at the news because of the effect his very existence produced upon our own. We sometimes meet individuals over the course of our lives who leave such an indelible impression upon us—such an ineffaceable imprint upon the very fabric of our souls—that we are incapable of forgetting them. Bishop Richard V. Allmon, Sr. was such a man. He was not only warm and loving—as I’ve previously indicated—but he was also humorous, vibrant and engaged in others’ concerns. Most importantly, he loved the Lord, he loved his wife and family, and he loved God’s people.
When I stand before the exalted throne of the Lord Jesus Christ—and the events, successes and failures of my life as a Christian, a wife, a mother, a writer, a lawyer, and a teacher of the Gospel are laid out before Him—it is my sincere desire that I, too, will be able to answer the title query with an unqualified, unmitigated, “Yes.” Ask yourself sincerely, “Have I done my best? Have I done enough?” It’s not too late… yet. But, our time here is only fleeting. Won’t you take up your cross and follow Him? Pray for me as I pray for you.
Always with the Love of Jesus Christ and with Kindest Regards to the Family, Friends and Congregation of Bishop Allmon–
4/16/12 – 5:18 pm EDT – I have been alerted to and have corrected errors in the prior version of this post. Should you be privy to other mistakes in this testimonial, please be kind enough to bring the same to my attention. Thank you.