Saturday, December 30, 2017

Obituary of a Friend

I was sad today to see the obituary for Fidel Martin in the newspaper. He was the pastor of The Church of the Living God on Happy Hill Rd. in Stokesdale. He was only 58 years old.

He holds a special place in my heart, because of his church's hospitality to Crossroads. When we launched as a church in 2000, we needed a place to meet. Meeting space is scarce in Stokesdale, due to limited occupancy for most storefronts. We needed assembly space. Another pastor, Gwathney Leak, found out about our situation and introduced me to Fidel. He thought we could work together.

The Church of the Living God meets on the Sabbath (Saturday), and their building was not used on Sundays. With a little logistical work, we arranged to meet in their church building on Sundays for about 18 months, 2000-2001. This old, small building on Happy Hill Road served as an incubator for our fledgling congregation. Without the hospitality of the Church of the Living God, I'm not sure what Crossroads would have done.

Although Fidel and I have not been in touch much in recent years, I look back fondly at the time we worked together. While Crossroads was meeting in the old building, CoLG was constructing a new meeting place. We offered a bit of construction manpower, and rejoiced with them when the building was completed. Crossroads even worshipped in the new building on Easter Sunday, 2001.

Pastor Martin celebrated with us in November 2002 when we dedicated the Longhouse on Christopher Road in Stokesdale. Our church had completed the construction of this lodge building, and Pastor Martin was one of our guest speakers at our dedication ceremony. I respected him for his leadership, vision, and kingdom perspective.

Certainly he was called home too soon. I look forward to seeing him again in glory.