I recently returned from Tri-State Calvary Chapel this evening. There I heard a great deal about their Senior Pastor Ed Gaines.
I had met Ed before, but only two or three times for two to three hours at a time at Calvary Chapel of Dayton. The meetings took place during a Monday mid-morning gathering of South-Western & Central Ohio Calvary Chapel pastors that lasted through lunch.
When Ed was there he always appeared physically frail. We would find out how he was doing physically only after he was pestered to give an update. You see he suffered from kidney failure and had lost one, and the remaining kidney was only partially functionally. He was regularly on dialysis to survive. He had also fought off cancer.
Now after Ed would give an update on his condition he always made it a point to go around the circle of pastors and ask how they were doing – physically, spiritually, family, and as pastors. And he would always find a way to encourage and be positive.
That was the glimpse of Ed I had been provided.
Tonight at his church – when Ed was not there – I got a much better look.
Ed is the hospital and he is dying. He went in to have some more cancer removed. When he was opened up what the doctors saw resulted in opening him further up. What they found was more cancer, inoperable cancer.
Ed made a decision after he was closed up and regained consciousness. The decision, “No more dialysis.” He put it all in God’s hands. Then Ed started to run to the finish line. When he would hear about a doctor, a nurse, a helper, a patient, anyone on staff or in the hospital did not know Christ, he wanted to witness to them.
That created an incredible picture in my mind. Imagine this reality if you will. You meet up with a man whom you know is on the hospital’s death row and he wants to talk to you about your eternal salvation. Clearly Ed, no matter his circumstance is going to finish strong.
If you want to know more about this man of God, check out his message on James 1 and learn how his kidney disease was from God to be part of his ministry and trials on the bottom of the page here.
If you find yourself taken with this man’s teaching and preaching as I am, you will find a number of his messages here.
Ed, I don’t know how long you will be with us, but I am grateful for the witness of your life.
Postscript: I had the pleasure of riding with my pastor, Dave Elkins, of Calvary Chapel of Dayton who shared stories of his 21 years of relationship with Pastor Ed that only increased my admiration of this man who is finishing the race strong.