March 18, 2007, I stood on the parcel of ground where Oak Ridge Baptist Church is now located. There, Pastor Tom Craig, Pastor Gary Ledbetter and myself gathered in prayer for the future construction of their church building. As we joined our expectant hearts together before the Throne of Grace, we asked God to do a mighty work for His glory. God answered our prayers as well as the prayers of a host of others. Not only was the building constructed, but greater still, lives were and continue to be transformed and built for God’s glory. Tom was sure that would happen. He discipled, loved, cared, and ministered the Word of God with grace and balance.
Interesting enough, that March 18th morning, another individual who impacted Gary’s and my life through his music, Roger Bennett, passed into the presence of the Lord after a long bout with leukemia. The connection with Roger and his ministry team, Legacy Five, was the primary purpose for Gary and I being in Oak Ridge that weekend. I remember walking into the Hampton Inn to meet Gary and his family on that Friday afternoon. There in the front lounge area was Tom and Bobby cheering on their UT Vols in the college basketball tournament! How surprised he was to see us. He thought he had missed some conference in the area. 🙂
Tom and Roger, two men from two completely different ministry orbits, but today in the presence of the Lord! Both involved in a journey with cancer now forever over. How thankful I am for those the Lord brings into our lives to edify, encourage, exhort, and enjoy! Thank you, Tom, for being such a man. Gary and I will continue to sing and preach the Word until we join you on the other side. Until then, My Hope Is Jesus.