i knew this guy when we were both little.
i was a bit older, not much. He didn’t seem interested in the things that interested me. Football, baseball, basketball, and finally girls occupied my mind. School, church, and other activities were just requirements i had to work around.
Really, the only thing i knew about this other guy was he was really a nice guy.
We are older now.
I have wandered from home. He stayed and made home a better place.
He has continued to make it a better place, and even though he’s retiring as the Associate Minister of the Lebanon First United Methodist Church Sunday today, i’m pretty sure he’ll keep making home, and everywhere else he happens to land, a better place.
For those who may not know, my roots include the Methodist Church. My great grandfather, Joseph Webster was a Circuit Rider in Middle Tennessee and became a bishop in the church. He was the minister for my mother and father’s wedding. My brother Joe is a retired minister of the Methodist Church. He served his Lord in New England where he still resides today. He was the minister for my marriage to Maureen. My sister Martha and her husband, Todd Duff, are mainstays in the Signal Crest Methodist Church on Signal Mountain, Tennessee. She is in the choir and plays in the bell choir.
Every corner of my life until i left home for the Navy in 1967 had some association with the Lebanon United Methodist Church. We attended Sunday School, the Sunday Service back when there was only one at 11:00, the Sunday evening Methodist Youth Fellowship, and the Sunday Night Service where the Men’s Choir sang gospels, and the Wednesday night service until it went away sometime when i was in elementary school.
Throughout my association with Lebanon FUMC, there has been a rock who was always there. We grew up together there. He has helped me and my family through many difficult and sometimes sad times. i relied on him in many matters, not just those that were church related. When back home for a visit, i went by to see him and while waiting, noticed the plaque with brass name tags for the deceased members of that men’s choir (Unfortunately, the men’s choir went away with the changing times). There were several members who had passed away not included on that plaque. This guy fixed it.
That’s the way he is. He never took charge to put his name on an accomplishment. He wanted to help me (and others) in getting to the right place, do the right thing.
i am a bit sad i will not be there for Bucky Hesson’s retirement. I’m pretty sure i won’t be missed because i know there are a passel of folks who will be who feel the same as i do about Bucky.
Bucky, i don’t think i could ever adequately describe how blessed i feel to have had you at our church. Back when my mother passed away nine months after my father passed away (both times, you were a rock for my family and me), i wrote a column about how the fabric of back home, Lebanon, was a little more frayed. Well, the fabric will be stressed a bit more after your retirement. It is a beautiful cloth with many colors, many stitches holding it together. i’m sure the frabic will remain beautiful, perhaps even a bit more beautiful because of the aging, changing process. You have added to that beauty.
Thank you for your service to the Lord, our family, the church, and the community back home. You will be missed.