“Only Death Has Silenced Him”

. . . be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. – Revelation 2:10

I had the opportunity today to attend the funeral of a faithful man of God who would have turned 91 this coming Wednesday. He preached last Sunday at the church where he was serving as pastor. I only met Philip Thompson once, but also had the opportunity to speak with him for nearly fifteen minutes on the phone one evening a few months ago.

Those fifteen minutes were fifteen indelible minutes. The reason we were speaking, is because a pastor search committee had asked me to speak on a Sunday evening at the church where he pastored. During those few short minutes he spoke of his heart for a word we should all learn more about: “shepherding”. He also was forthright in his passion for preaching. He said, “my wife says I’m too old and I should retire, but He says (quoting the verse above), “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” He took this to heart, until his heart stopped. As his friend and long-time colleague, Dr. Ed Cliburn remarked today, “only death has silenced him.”

When I met “Preacher Philip” he had a stately presence. He was ageless though aged. He treated me with the dignity of an ambassador, and was even kind in response to the message I delivered. I am honored to have met him, though our earthly discourse has been cut short. I look forward to continuing one day as we both cast our crowns at the feet of the One who called us to preach His gospel.

“Much more could be said about this Gospel but I am too weak.” – Martin Luther (concluding a sermon, 3 days before he died).

Obit from the Pasley-Flecher Funeral Home Site of Thomaston, Georgia:

Name: Rev. Philip Thompson

Date: September 28th, 1920 – September 22nd, 2011

Obituary: Rev. Philip Thompson, age 90, of 120 R. Street, died Thursday Afternoon, September 22nd, at his residence. Rev. Thompson was a native of Upson County. He retired from the B. F. Goodrich Co. and was pastor of Jeff Davis Baptist Church. He had served as pastor of several other churches in this area. Rev. Thompson was a Naval Veteran of World War II. He is survived by: His Wife – Mrs. Lorene McDaniel Thompson, of Thomaston; 1 son – Mr. David Thompson, of Thomaston; 3 Step-Sons – Mr. Glenn Burkett, of Sant Rosa Bay, Florida; Mr. Edward Burkett, of Woodland, and Mr. Gary Burkett, of Thomaston; 4 Grandchildren, several great-grandchildren, and several great-great grandchildren also survive.

Memorials: Memorial Contributions may be made to Jeff Davis Baptist Church.

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