At six o’clock tonight Jason McKnight called to say that Irv – his beloved father-in-law – had died peacefully, completing his final breaths five minutes before.

So this fine man, husband, father, grandfather, servant of the Lord, and my closest friend in ministry for 52 years is with the Lord he loved and served so well, waiting for the fulfillment of the final resurrection.

Thanks to all of you who have prayed for him and Marilyn and the family – and for me – these past days.

In late morning I had the painful joy, with my assistant Nick, of joining with Irv’s family in his room at the hospice where he was cared for tenderly over the past week.

We sat around his bed, talking with him a bit, and then listening quietly to some lovely Taize and Iona Scripture songs, and reading from the Psalms, from Simeon’s prayer “Lord, now let your servant depart in peace”, and from the magnificent picture at the end of Revelation where there is no night, but always the light of the Lamb. We held hands and committed Irv into God’s hands, as we also expressed to him our last wishes of love and thanks.

I have never in my life known a more sincere and honest follower of Christ. He has been my own companion on the way. I will miss him greatly.

There will be a private burial in the grounds of Calvary Church, followed by an 11 am celebration of Irv’s life, planned I believe for Monday morning.

I have been asked to speak. It will be a great privilege, and not an easy one. Please pray that Irv will be honored rightly, and his Lord magnified as Irv would wished.

The family has requested that in lieu of flowers gifts may be made in Irv’s honor to Leighton Ford Ministries, which he served as vice-president, or the Building Fund of Calvary Church, Charlotte, where he and Marilyn have been faithful members and leaders for many years.

No one could have had a better friend or co-minister than I have had in Irv for these years. My heart is deeply thankful, even as I feel the loss so deeply.

Leighton

Note: Irv served for many years as program director and vice-president of Leighton Ford Ministries. He would have had his 80th birthday in December

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