Saturday, August 29, 2015

In Memory of Clarence McCall (1918-2015):

A Man of Christian Character

The moment I heard of Clarence McCall’s death, it brought me to the 5th Commandment. But I soon realized his life was much more than living long from obeying this Commandment. He was a holy man dedicated to living in God’s will through his acceptance of Christ. And when I read other people’s memories of him it confirmed the way he served God and others.

I met Mr. McCall 40 years ago when his son Phillip (Phil) married my sister Elizabeth (Liz). I remember noticing the joy Clarence displayed from being the best man at his son’s wedding. The smile he expressed lit up the room.

Sixty-six years earlier Clarence married Dorothy (Dot). The same faithfulness he had with Christ showed up in his long marriage to Dot. His unselfish services to his wife testifies. The Lord used his marriage so we could bear witness to a man of God. Here God shows divorce isn’t a choice for those who are an earnest follower of Christ.

Mr. McCall’s wife Dot has the same spiritual values. Dot always spoke fondly of her husband. The love they expressed made it impossible not to see God’s hand working in their lives. Watching the loving ways they treated each other extends God’s unconditional love and an inspiration of a godly marriage. I’m glad the Lord added both of them to my life.

My brother-in-law Phil is the only child of Clarence and Dot. I’ve left no doubt in my mind the spiritual impact Clarence made in his life. The godliness in Phil’s heart is the direct result of the Christian standards Mr. McCall taught his son. Phillip’s addition to my family is a gift from Christ. Clarence’s love, selflessness, kindness and forgiveness are extended in Phil’s life. I can’t say enough about what Phillip has meant to me and my family. Mr. McCall did a fine job in raising Phil.

The greatest example of Mr. McCall’s devotion to God was his dedication to the church. He was a long-time member of the Lake Shore Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida and spent many years as a deacon and church leader. Clarence puts into action the essence of the Lord’s First Commandment by providing his time, resources and love for God. The way he lived outside the church exemplified the relationship he built with Christ through his attendance. His unshakable trust and uncompromising loyalty to Christ were the result from keeping the Sabbath day holy.

Clarence was a veteran of the Second World War, serving in the Army Air Force. After returning home he worked in the Jacksonville area for many years as an aircraft technician. We can see God’s protection working in his life was long and prosperous. The Lord had plans for Clarence and living to the age of 97 provides the facts of God’s truth.

My family’s Thanksgivings and Christmases won’t be the same. Clarence spent many of those holidays with my family. His love, kindness, godliness and humor will be absent. I will miss Mr. McCall presence at those gatherings, but his spirit will stay with me.