As I write this, Debbie and I are returning home from a wonderful trip to the Northwest. It was highly profitable in many ways and in other ways, not so profitable. We sat in the Portland, Ore. airport, and waited as mechanics tried to fix the airplane we were to take home to Burbank. Then they decided to give us an airplane out of the hangar so that we could finally leave… several hours late. They weren’t overly concerned that my six hour sleep pattern would only yield me three tonight! However, the airline gave us a $25 off certificate on our next purchase of an Alaska Airlines ticket!
Our brief itinerary took us through Eugene, Ore. where Debbie and I spent time with Pastors Steve and Tana Overman of Faith Center, as well as Kay (Hicks) Bourland, and her husband, Roger. We had a great time reminiscing about Roy Hicks, Jr.! Roy had been the pastor of Eugene Faith Center during the explosive growth of the church during the 70s and 80s. Steve had been the college pastor and followed Roy, Jr., at the church. The church continues to have amazing influence!
The first time I met Roy, Jr., he was speaking at the Southeast District Pastor’s Conference in Roanoke, Va. It was 1980 and I had only been pastoring in Cornelius, N.C. for four months. Roy’s message sticks with me today–he was waxing eloquent over a passage in Exodus concerning God’s encounter with Moses at the burning bush! You’ve probably heard Roy’s sermon in which he points out four responses that Moses made to God during that episode! I had never quite heard anyone preach like Roy, Jr. That night was the beginning of a partnership between Roy, Jr., and me. He would preach and I would order his tapes and preach the sermons just like him… well, sort of.
Roy went on to be a district supervisor and also headed up Foursquare Missions International. He tragically died in a private plane crash in the early 90s. He was only 50 years of age when he went to be with the Lord, but his influence lives on!
This week, I had the privilege of ministering to 130+ leaders gathered in Eugene that represent the new district formed out of the Willamette Valley. I was impressed to discover how many of the churches had been “birthed” directly or indirectly out of Faith Center. Further, Foursquare is so well represented in Lane County that with the exception of the Mormons and the Catholics, Foursquare is the leading presence in that area!
You can have a magnificent building, you can even produce a strategic plan that Peter Drucker would have been impressed with. You can have a wall full of degrees or even have an impressive title or position. But if your life doesn’t get deposited somehow into others, then your influence will drift away like the wind. No greater investment will you ever make, than in the life of another! Plant a seed today. Deposit something of God’s grace and wisdom into an eager student. They are out there just looking for someone willing to invest some time, willing to take a risk, and willing to believe in them.
Roy, Jr., left a legacy of devoted followers of Jesus Christ!