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This article was originally published by Presbyterians for Renewal and is republished here with permission.
Remembering Henry Greene
PFR has had several Executive Directors over the past 25 years: Betty Moore, Joe Rightmyer, Michael Walker, now Paul Detterman. But the heart, the mind, the face, and certainly the voice of evangelical witness for thousands of Presbyterians who have attended General Assemblies throughout the last quarter century has been Henry Greene.
Henry embodied the qualities that define a follower of Jesus. His faith was so strong that he could be genuinely humble. His personal integrity was as unwavering as his courage to stand for what he believed. He was a man of resilient joy and patient endurance; a loyal friend in every way. The stories of some of the lives he touched throughout the course of his ministry have been lighting up FaceBook this week.
As most who are reading these words know by now, Henry died Monday, November 18, while hiking the Glacier Point trail in Yosemite National Park. He suffered an apparent heart attack and, though CPR was administered quickly, his earthly life came to an end. There will be a memorial service for Henry at Central Presbyterian Church, Merced, CA, on Wednesday, December 4th at 2:00.
We often include the words of Revelation 14:13 in our funeral liturgy, “Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord,” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “They will rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.” Earl Palmer has written about these words:
“Blessed means to find the right path in the face of false pathways…. As Christians, we are blessed when we know we are on the right pathway. The pathway may be a joyous or a hard path, but it is the place of companionship with the Lord who made the promise.”
Henry shepherded hundreds of people – parishioners, colleagues, and commissioners to General Assemblies among them – onto the right path in the face of many false pathways. He had the rare ability to keep a calm, non-anxious presence in the midst of heated situations, and to keep his eyes, and the gaze of all who would listen, fixed on Jesus.
As a pastor, as a mentor, as a counselor, as a prayer partner, as a friend, Henry Greene was not only blessed in his personal walk with the Savior, but he was a true ambassador of that blessing, drawing others to the right path in the face of so many false pathways. The challenge that remains for those of us who remain on this journey of faithful ministry is, in every way, to do likewise.