On Thursday and Friday of this week I attended funeral services for the mothers of two of my colleagues and fellow ministers at FBC Lee's Summit. Marianna Baker, Allen's mom, passed away on Tuesday morning at the Kansas City Hospice House where my own mom spent the last 3 weeks of her life and received outstanding, compassionate care. I was able to visit Marianna two or three times the last week of her life and was privileged to be asked to share the eulogy at her service on Thursday as well as handling the graveside service at Mt. Washington Cemetery in Independence. I had enjoyed getting to know her as one of our senior adults at church since she joined back in May 2004. We'll all miss her and are certainly praying for the Baker family in these days.
Randy Buffington's mother, Virginia, passed away last Sunday night. We had honored Randy during the services on Sunday morning and evening in recognition of his 20th anniversary on staff at First Baptist Church Lee's Summit. The choir and orchestra surprised him with an anthem arrangement of his favorite hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness" on Sunday morning. On Sunday evening following the Pops Concert that featured the orchestra, handbells, and a couple of musical ensembles, Randy was also treated to another surprise--a combined group of the current youth choir plus former youth choir members who returned to sing a favorite number of the youth choir down through the years. There were more than 60 present. Randy displayed his emotions as he's prone to do in both services, getting pretty teary-eyed both times.
After the service, Randy drove through the thunderstorms that hit about the time the reception for him was concluding after the concert in order to be with his mother who's been in failing health and under hospice care for a few weeks. He arrived and sang her into heaven as she opened her eyes briefly as he was singing "The Old Rugged Cross" and then took her last breath.
Several of us from church drove to Jeff City yesterday (Friday) for the funeral service and it was a beautiful tribute to Virginia Buffington's life, complete with music by the Buffington brothers and a solo by Randy.
Three of us on staff have lost our mothers now in the past year and a half and Mike Eaton (our facilities manager) also lost his mother-in-law just a few weeks ago. All of these women were wonderful Christians and undoubtedly our loss is heaven's gain.