Monday, April 27, 2009
In Memoriam: Brian Hamrick
I got a call from a Pastor friend last Saturday evening telling me that our mutual friend Brian Hamrick had passed away at age 33. Brian leaves behind a wife, Katherine, and two young sons, Nathan (4) and Luke (1).
Brian was a native of Richmond, Virginia and attended Southwestern Baptist Seminary. I got to know him while he was serving as Pastor of the Fairfields Baptist Church in Burgess, VA in the Northern Neck. He was also part of the Evangelical Forum.
We printed an excellent article from Brian on the subject of church discipline in the summer 2006 Evangelical Forum Newsletter titled "If there is sin, what then?" (look here on pp. 44-52). It was adapted from a sermon he had preached in April 2006 at the annual meeting of the Rappahannock Baptist Association. He also did an article on our 2005 Evangelical Forum meeting for the Founder's blog. I recall when he told me he was moving to Florida to become pastor of the First Baptist Church of Clewiston, I told him that this was really going to be a loss to those of us who had been so encouraged by his fellowship in Virginia and in the Evangelical Forum.
Tom Ascol has offered some insightful reflections on Brian's death on his blog. Tom describes a visit with Brian:
I visited with Brian last Sunday night during one of his more difficult times. I read Augustine's favorite Psalm to him (Psalm 32) and before we prayed, he said, "Tom, I want you to know that I am ready for whatever the Lord has for me. If He heals me, I am ready. If not, I am ready for that, too. It's OK." His grip was as strong as his faith and I left encouraged by the obvious display of God's grace in his life. I grieve over our loss.
I remember Brian as a big, tall (he stood 6' 6''), handsome, articulate, intelligent, warm, and able young man. He loved the Lord, He loved his family. He loved the local church. I don't know all the circumstances of his death. Just a few weeks ago he was in the pulpit. He had some intestinal surgery. He developed sepsis. And now he has gone to be with the Lord. His death is a reminder that no man knows his time. It also brought to mind the last verse of "Soldiers of Christ, in Truth Arrayed":
We meet to part, but part to meet
When earthly labors are complete,
To join in yet more blest employ,
In an eternal world of joy.
A funeral service will be held at 11 am on Wednesday, April 29, 2009 at FBC-Clewiston, Florida. A memorial serivice will also be held on at 2 pm on Friday, May 1, 2009 at Huguenot Road Baptist Church in Richmond, Virginia.