Remembering My Dad
This Sunday is Fathers’ Day. This will be my first one without my dad around. Last Sunday night he went to be with the Lord. He was ready, but I’m not sure the rest of us were.
He was larger than life over the years. He was the best revival preacher I ever heard and one of the best week-to-week in the pulpit too. I learned more from him than I can ever say. He never pushed any of his four sons into the preaching ministry, yet two of us went there. He attended Midwest Christian College in Oklahoma City to study for ministry. While there, he married my amazing Mom and a couple of years later, they received a big surprise, ME! Because of financial need, Dad did not finish his career in Bible college, choosing, instead, to enter the pulpit ministry. God used him to touch the lives of many throughout 67 years of ministry.
He was pretty tough as a disciplinary figure, but he was also super supportive of all of our endeavors. He seldom missed a sports event, concert, 4-H, or FFA show or other events in which his sons participated. I remember getting him out of bed at 2AM to come rescue me and a couple of friends when we were stranded 45 miles away. The reason for the crisis was my own stupidity in the way I treated my car. He wasn’t happy about the situation, but used it to teach me an important lesson. Instead of jumping all over me he ended the evening with advice, “remember, your friends will help you break it, but they won’t help you pay for it.” And he was right. I paid every penny for the repairs and for bringing a mechanic to my car.
He moved my brothers and me from the city life to the country life in Southeastern Oklahoma. I hated the move at the time, but now I can see that it was one of the best favors he ever did for us. When I went off to college, he explained that he was not going to pay my way. He would help me out financially from time to time, but he wanted me to be able to say that my education was my own. Looking back, I’m thankful for that.
Over the years, he has given me advice for life and ministry many times. I can’t begin to express how valuable this was. He wasn’t perfect and would frequently admit it. But he was a great example to me and my brothers.
He loved God and was energized by “The Great Commission.” He never passed up an opportunity to preach, even if it was a surprise request. I will miss calling him for advice, but know that if I need it, I can think back to all the advice and examples he gave me and it will be right there. His funeral celebration of life will take place this Wednesday, June 21st in Mulhall, Oklahoma and will be held at the building of his last fulltime ministry. My good friend and the son of his best friend, Larry Starbuck, will officiate. My Dad officiated at his father’s funeral about 10 years ago. Larry is not like family; he is family to us.
I can’t begin to express how grateful I am to all of my FCC family and all of our dear friends and family around the world who have supported us through kind words and prayer. I’m a better dad because of Gilbert Forrest.
Fathers’ Day Blessings,
I'm so sorry for your loss! From what I've heard and the way to talk .. your Father was a great great man! This Blog is a fabulous tribute to your Father....
Remember the good times, remember the bad times, remember the sad times.... remember how much he loved you. He was with you every step of your life... and always will be looking over the rest of it too!
Your tribute to your father rings true, since I knew him back at Midwest in Oklahoma City. Remembering the hurt of losing my father as a freshman there, I hurt with you for your loss. But I rejoice with you that he has gone home to be with his Heavenly Father that he served so faithfully for so many years. As they say, “You are a chip from the old block.” You and your brothers have been doing him proud. May the God of all comfort give you and the family comfort in this time of loss.