Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jack Hamilton, RIP

Jack Hamilton 1921-2008

Today I went to the funeral of a good man, Pastor Jack Hamilton. He lived to the age of 86, and was blessed with good health for the first 84.

I believe that atheists can be happy at a funeral of a loved one, especially one who had a long life. But their happiness is simply the half-smile of a fond memory. They cannot possibly feel the joy that the Christian feels at the death of a fellow saint. (Nor can their sorrow match that which accompanies the death of a loved one who is presumed lost.)

Pastor Hamilton forsook a lucrative career in professional golf to serve God in the pulpit. He was personal friends with the likes of Sam Snead. Over the years I am sure he touched thousands of lives.

I met Pastor Hamilton in about 1999. He taught me a great deal in the short amount of time that he was my pastor. We moved to New Hampshire in 2002 and then back to Virginia last October. He was no longer the pastor of Grace Baptist Chapel, but he was attending and occasionally gave a sermon. He was razor sharp to the end, and the last sermon he gave was very memorable: it involved ripping the fraud John Hagee a new one.

Pastor Hamilton was a man of kindness, humility and intellect. I could fill post after post with the things he taught me. But the one that always percolates to the top of my memory was on an exceedingly rare occasion when he couldn’t explain a passage. He told me: “I don’t know what it means. But it’s not the things I don’t understand in the bible that keep me up at night, it’s the things I do understand.”

There is no person I have had the pleasure of knowing that I am more certain was welcomed by his Lord as a good and faithful Servant than Jack Hamilton.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I just found this after doing a search for Pastor Jack Hamilton. In 1961, he returned to North Run in Richmond to preach a revival. It was then that I heard the Gospel for the first time, and knew God was speaking to ME, even though I was only 9. Jack Hamilton was used by God to speak to me, and begin what would become a lifelong work in my heart. I remember him fondly. Thank you for posting your experience.