Remembering Dr. Wayne Bell

Dr. Wayne Bell died peacefully in his sleep Monday morning. He had been the president of Lexington Theological Seminary from 1974 until 1986. Along with his extensive service to the church as a pastor and on boards and committees, he had been an interim pastor at our church several years ago.

He was a good friend to Marie Smart and to Ted Kuster, who was once an elder here and served on the LTS Board of Trustees.

We all had the highest respect and affection for him.

His ever present smile, his warmth and his wisdom embraced and led many people to accept and love the Savior.

I witnessed him once, keep up a friendship with a colleague who had deeply hurt the church by his actions. The colleague showed little appreciation for Dr. Bell’s action and yet Wayne still loved him.

Though we were not related, we had a running joke between us, since my middle name was Wayne, whether that would help me with my seminary professors.

Once, during my student ministry, an older minister showed up and began attending our little country church. He clearly wanted to do everything he could to embarrass me with designs on taking over the church.

Wayne counseled me and helped me understand that such people usually imploded on their own. Soon enough that is exactly what happened to this dark soul. He went on his way and the church was saved to face another day.

He was wise, kind and had a spiritual depth, that, had I not already been a member of the Disciples of Christ church, I would have wanted to be a member.

His funeral is Sunday at 4:30 p.m. at Central Christian Church. I hope to  be there to celebrate his life and pay tribute to a wonderful man.

Moving to the deeper places,
Jeff