This past Wednesday I lost one of the dearest friends I’ve ever known, Chaplain Bob Gregory. Not really, I did not lose him he simply got ahead of me and went on to heaven to see Jesus and be reunited with his parents, son, grandson and brother that had gone before him. I will see him again in the place Jesus has prepared for all those who know Him and trust in Him as personal Savior.
He leaves behind his wife, Janice, his daughter Susan, son Chip, their spouses, several grandchildren and a host of friends. Literally hundreds of folks gathered at Calvary Temple of Praise in Sanford to celebrate the Gospel lived out in the life of Chaplain Gregory. He served as chaplain at the Seminole County jail for a number of years. He also served as a member of the board of directors of Christian 12 Step Ministry. He will be greatly missed but never forgotten.
Bob was one of the most unselfish people I have ever known. He was always giving. When I was released from prison back in the 80’s he employed me in his business and moved me into his house to live with his family. I will never forget his example of compassion, his giving by sharing his material and spiritual blessings, and his overwhelming demonstration of an unconditional and non judging love.
When I spoke with his son at the service he said “I have one problem with my dad” and I asked what that could be. Then he made a statement I will never forget, “Dad set the bar so high I am not sure I can ever match the legacy he leaves”. What a challenge for all of us.
The eulogy given by his wife and daughter described the godliness and character of a husband and father that lived out his life according to the principles set forth in the words of Jesus. Chaplain Bob was honored by family and friends for a life lived in total trust and faith in a living God who gave us His Son, Jesus, to be our Lord and Savior. It was Chaplain Bob’s desire that all would know Him.
I have been privileged to know three men who have had a most meaningful influence over my life, Chaplain Bob Gregory, my brother Al Earnest and Brother Mickey Evans, founder of Dunklin Camp, a ministry to alcoholics and drug addicts. These three men have carved out a legacy and a life that continually challenges my commitment to the call God has upon my life. I will miss Bob and I will plan to spend as much time as possible with Al and Brother Mickey until we are called home.
My prayer is that as I continue to serve on the staff at Christian 12 Step Ministry that I will incorporate in my life the love, compassion and caring that these three have demonstrated and continue to demonstrate so that along with them I will hear Jesus say to me as I enter heaven, “well done good and faithful servant”.
So long Bob….for a season! I will be coming soon!!!