One More Word About Ron Dunn
From the Cluttered Desk... July 15, 2001 Volume 47, Edition 26
October 24, 1931 - June 29, 2001
MONDAY, JULY 2, 2001 will forever be etched in my mind. The most difficult assignment God has ever given me was preaching the message at Ron Dunn's service. I cannot begin to express the emotions I have experienced in the last few days. Around 5:00 pm we buried the earthly tabernacle of Ron Dunn by his son Ronnie. He leaves behind Kaye, his soul mate, partner in ministry, and one of the godliest women I've ever known. Stephen and Kim have a great heritage.
I FELT THE PRAYERS of this congregation on Monday. The presence of God was all over that service. I told Tern, I don't know if I've ever been in a situation where I felt the power of God to be more real and evident. For someone like me, who cries over ground beef, to be able to stand and deliver the Word for the hour was something I never thought I could do. Thank you for praying for the family and for me.
I REMEMBERED that Vance Havner preached the Sunday after his wife died. I remembered that Ron preached Romans 8:28 just a few days after Ronnie died. I remembered that Ron was with us the day his father died, and he preached twice that day -with power- in spite of the great sorrow in his heart I asked God for the same grace and strength he gave my heros and I found it.
NEARLY 1,000 PERSONS set aside their normal schedules to attend the service. Pastors flew in from all around the country Ron would have been shocked. I don't think Ron ever realized how much of a blessing he was to all of us. I think he would have been surprised at the size of the crowd. As George Harris said, "Ron Dunn went to heaven never realizing his importance."
TOM ELIFF CALLED RON the "Columbo" of Southern Baptist preachers. "He suckered you in to thinking he was a bit bumbling in his way, then, when you least expected it - wham! He would nail you. He would stick a theological knife between your doctrinal ribs and get your heart." Ken Whitten was right, "One of my hero's has died."
I THINK ALL OF US who were privileged to participate in the service felt honored. Ron honored the Lord so it wasn't difficult to honor him. David Allen, his pastor at MacArthur Boulevard said Ron was known for his superb ability to take biblical truth and cast it in a profoundly simple way.
RON DUNN was the only American preacher to be invited to preach at Keswick Convention in England. His books have been best sellers in England. His book on prayer was used several years ago by the Billy Graham organization as a gift on one of their telecasts. Hundreds of thousands of those books were given away Ron's ministry tapes were sent to over 2,000 persons each month.
RON PREACHED his last message to Kaye, the night before he went into ICU. He had been working for several months in the book of Philippians. He preached his last sermon to a congregation at First Southern, Dell City, where Dr. Tom Elliff is pastor. His text? "That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death." (Phil. 3:10).
I WAS READING Ron's web site the other day I found this posted in his devotional section. "Dunn, not finished." Ron said, "I have been practically bedridden since October with hemorrhagic lung disease. I appreciate your prayers and patience while God does what He wants to do. When He brings me through I will return to my schedule Ron Dunn is not finished. The earthly tabernacle has been laid to rest. The lung disease and the other complications were not the victors in this fight.
THE MINISTRY OF RON DUNN will live on in the hearts and lives of those who loved him and heard him. All of us who were privileged to sit under his expositions of Scripture can tell our children and grandchildren, "I was one of the fortunate ones to hear Ron Dunn in person." Those who had him sign a book, or their Bible will treasure the simple signature of a godly man.
IN A WORLD where preachers parade their flesh like those who hawk their wares in a side show - Ron Dunn stood head and shoulders above the crowd. George Hams said, "those who tried to impress him, didn't. Those who criticized him, he forgave. Those who tried to use him, failed."
YEARS AGO, I was in a meeting where Ron was preaching. A "big shot" in our convention came up and said, "Ron, I'm going to have you in a Bible Conference." Ron turned to me on our way to the car and said. "He's been telling me that for ten years. He never did. He probably couldn't, I have a hunch his people would have found out where he got all his sermons. Ron was never impressed with big shots. He was only impressed with Jesus.
WHILE AT MacARTHUR, Ron started an annual conference for pioneer pastors called, "The Encourager Conference." Ron loved pastors. He encouraged all of us to stay the course. Appropriately, Ron's last conference was in early May at MacArthur. He had come full circle. He fought the good fight, he finished the course, he kept the faith. In all those years of ministry he never did anything to bring shame to the name of Jesus.
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH of Euless was very gracious to work with us in taping the service. I appreciate Kim Noblitt, the Minister of Music for his hard work in making this possible. If you would like an audio tape of the service or of Ron's last message (you need to get it) you can contact Lifestyle Ministries, P.O. Box 153087, Irving, Texas 75015. The Media Ministry at Sherwood is currently editing the video tape of the service. We are going to broadcast a special "Conversation with the Giants" with Ron in a few days. If you would like to purchase a copy of either the memorial service or of the Conversation, you can contact the Media Ministry here at the church.
WHILE SARA HAVNER lay dying, she wrote Vance a note. She said, "There are so many things I can't tell you, until Ron was so weak throughout this past year, there are things we won't know "until." I wish I could know it now. I'd like to sit under one more sermon, enjoy one more meal, one more phone call, one more instant message. Ron, I don't want to, but I'll wait-until we meet again.
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