“In Memory of LeRoy Sells”

“In Memory of LeRoy Sells”

This week we received noticed that LeRoy died. LeRoy was part of our church family in Colville, Washington.  The Sells family owned the Colville Glass Company. LeRoy was a real craftsman, but not a Christian. Every time she had an opportunity, LeRoy’s wife, Janice, would request, “Pray for my husband. He needs Jesus” She never gave up on that prayer request for over 3 decades.

I remember that Easter Sunday morning so vividly. LeRoy came to church, but NOT with his wife. He came late. When the altar call was given, he slowly walked to the altar, knelt and folded his hands. He remained that way for at least 20 minutes. He didn’t move a muscle. He said he didn’t need any help praying. He then announced to me, “I found Jesus, after He found me.”

I showed up at the glass shop on Monday morning and I asked Janice Sells, “Aren’t you thrilled? LeRoy was found by Jesus. He’s saved!”  Her response surprised me. “I’m so mad at LeRoy!” “Why?” I asked. “HE DIDN’T EVEN GO TO CHURCH WITH ME, OR ASK ME TO GO TO THE ALTAR WITH HIM!After, he came home on Sunday, he never said a word to me about getting saved!”

“Well, LeRoy said plenty to me, as his Pastor. He explained, ‘Salvation is a private matter. I had to do this alone. Getting saved is between the sinner and God. Not his wife. I had to answer to God for my own sins.  Janice can’t repent for me. Pastor, I am now born again!’”

So when I received Janice’s letter that LeRoy died after a lengthy illness, I wrote back, “Isn’t that awesome? LeRoy made it to Heaven!” I wasn’t being unsympathetic. I was so excited, because LeRoy was a “tough egg to crack.”Janice later confided that LeRoy would spend hours carefully pouring over his Bible, with tears in his eyes.

I pray the same for each one of you … That you make it … you know … to Heaven as your home!

Bye, LeRoy. You made my day one Easter Sunday morning!

Pastor Stan