Two Kingdom Giants Have Died

I lament this week the loss of two giants in the Kingdom: Leroy Garrett and Roy Osborne. Both died on September 29.
I have read Leroy’s work, and love him for it, though I have only met him a few times in passing. The fact that he survived the attacks of others with grace and love is a sign of the Spirit within him.
Roy I knew much better. I first met him when he was part of Campus Evangelism back in the 60s. The CE Christmas program in Dallas, 1968, was a life changer for me. Roy, Prentice Meadow, John Allen Chalk, Jim Reynolds, Jim Bevis, Stanley Ship, Rex Vermillion – what a spiritual force that changed many in my age group forever.
Then when I came to Houston to Southwest, I found that Roy was a long-time friend of the congregation as well as of Central and Bering Drive, being invited numerous times for “meetings” and counsel. When we hosted our first BIM Thanksgiving Service many years ago, we had Roy as our guest speaker. The ministers of other groups said afterwards, “Who was that man? I have never heard anyone like him.”
It was always awkward introducing Roy. I would ask him what his topic was for the evening, and invariably he would say, “I don’t know yet.” And that was 5 minutes before the service was to start. He had the breadth of knowledge and wisdom to “feel” the worship and speak a message of grace out of the moment. If he had prepared a specific message in advance, he never let on.
We called him Abe Lincoln. I have only seen old photos of the real Abe, but Roy fit the image. I will never forget the way he said “God.” It was at least a two syllable word with an enormous sense of might.
Roy preached for the Sunset Ridge church in San Antonio for 21 years and mentored many young preachers. He was also an avid golfer and hosted an annual golf tournament that attracted many of our men for many years.
God blessed Leroy with 96 years, Roy with 92. They used those years to the full.
-Steve Sandifer