Pat Henry (1929-2008)

by David Shannon

Pat Henry was ready to die. The greatest of men have approached their final days with this kind of faith and courage. Paul stated, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand” ( 2 Timothy 4:6). Phil Barnes, the minister of the Madison congregation, led a beautiful service giving honor to Pat, comfort to the Henry family, and reminded all of us of the purpose of life. Phil described a discussion that brings eternal comfort. As Pat was approaching death Phil asked if he knew what was coming. His answer affirmed his understanding. Phil then asked if he was ready. With full confidence he said that he was. A few days before this several of us on the staff visited with him. He too confirmed his preparedness to face His Lord, but wanted us to take care of his lovely wife, Martha.

Pat and Martha shared 61 years of marriage together. They raised four children and blessed the lives of twelve grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. Those closest to him described him as the nicest man. They also said he encouraged them to work on their relationships and live godly. His family depended on him to carry them as their patriarch and respected his leadership. He loved it when the family was together. He always believed in their

potential. He was a true friend and a successful businessman. Opinionated, successful, patriotic, and faithful are a few more descriptions of him. In the final visit with him, he urged me to continue teaching God’s design of the home. Pat was greatly concerned with the lack of respect that is often shown for God’s plan. In the past he had served as an elder at the Woodbine congregation. The Henry’s also had worshiped at Hermitage and since the fall of ’06 they have worshiped at MJ. His grandson said it best when he said, “Granddaddy was our quarterback, and without him I don’t see how we can win.”

Pat offered a firm handshake and a unique grin which we are going to miss. Our prayers are for his good family and our hope is in the great God above who said, â€ŔThen I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.'” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them” ( Revelation 14:13).

May his soul rest and his works live.