Our brother in Christ, Lester Headley, died November 10, 2007. He was a faithful Christian. He and his wife Nonie, who died September 21, 1998, faithfully served the Lord and his church at Salem from its beginning in 1954. It was far better for them to depart and to be with Christ, but their leaving has been far worse for us. Philippians 1:23, 24. We rejoice in the hope in which they lived and died.
When we moved to Salem in 1982, Lester drove the large Ryder truck. Because of my schooling and my work, this was the twelfth time Nancy and I had moved since our marriage in 1965. Along the way, Lester stopped at a large restaurant and insisted on buying a fine meal for us. He wanted to tell me that the next move he wanted me to make was my move to heaven!
As I became more acquainted with Lester, the more I learned to appreciate him. He told me a story that I will always remember. During WWII, he served in the U.S. Army Air Corp in England. One day he was not able to participate in a scheduled bombing run over the continent of Europe. That flight did not return; it was shot down and the crew was killed. Lester wondered why he was spared; he did not know. I have wondered, too, and I do not profess to know. I do know this: his family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and the Lord's church at Salem are so very thankful that he was spared!
There is nothing that I know of concerning the Lord's work at Salem that Lester's "finger prints" are not on. He served as a trustee of the property from the very beginning. He served as the treasurer of the church for many years. Lester tried to do the work of teaching Bible classes but could not do it. James 3:1. However, he was the best friend and supporter any Bible class and its teacher ever had! He loved Bible study. He always had his lessons read and prepared. He actively participated in class, and his comments were always to the point and useful. During our first years here, we conducted five or six annual door-to-door works throughout our city and into our area of Harrison and Doddridge counties. Lester was there and ready to help.
During the years of Lester's membership in the Salem congregation, a new church building was built. Someone said Lester drove the first nail! Brother Bob Gross designed the building and the men of the church did most of the work. Later, a new preacher's house was built. Lester was a highly trained and qualified service man for the Hope natural gas company. He could fix and do just about anything! He kept everything here running smoothly and in top repair.
When we began this work with West Virginia Christian in 1993, Lester was one of our first and greatest supporters. He purchased subscriptions for family and friends. One of his last concerns just before he died was whether we had gotten the November issue ready to be mailed! He was so disappointed that he could not help with it. He helped with all the rest! He had large, workman's fingers and hands, but he used those hands so faithfully and delicately in folding and sorting those papers. Every year, up until last year, we printed the annual West Virginia Christian Lectureship books. Lester was there with me hour-after-hour and day-after-day until we got them done. I was amazed how so well he could handle those hundreds and thousands of sheets of paper with his large hands.
Lester's life was spared during WWII. In 1954, he devoted his life to serving the Lord in this congregation. Is it too much to believe that God spared Lester's life so that he could do the many things he did? Is it not true that our lives have also been spared in the great sacrifice that Jesus Christ offered upon the cross for our sins so that we, too, might present our bodies as living sacrifices, devoting our new lives to serving Him faithfully? Romans 12:1, 2; Galatians 2:20. Editor.
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