Wayne Reed (1931-2011)

“…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

Of the approximately 500,000 plus words in the English language, perhaps no three could better describe Wayne Reed than the following: “quiet”, “gentle” and “godly”. He was one of those special people that many, unfortunately, did not know as well as others of us because of his quiet demeanor; however, his gentle, godly nature permeated this congregation. For those of us who were blessed to have known him through the years, he truly was a quiet, gentle, godly man.

Wayne was, indeed, an esteemed Christian gentleman who loved his God with all of his heart; who loved and adored his beloved Jo and his family with all of his heart; and who loved all of his friends with all of his heart as well. For those of us who were privileged to know him and worship with him and Jo over many years, there is truly an understanding of what a loss to the Lord’s Kingdom it is in Wayne Reed’s passing. For those who did not know him quite as long or as well, his loss is, and will continue to be, very poignant as well. His generosity, kindness, unending love of gospel songs, and musically talented voice will be missed among us all. At his funeral there were many remarks alluding to his love of gospel music and his leading singing where he worshipped for many years; those fortunate enough to sit directly in front of him in worship services appreciated that wonderful, God-given musical talent.

As this congregation continues to reflect on the memory of this fine Christian, we are made so much more aware of the truth of the words of the great apostle John in Revelations, written at the beginning of this article. How marvelous it is for us to look at Wayne and others like him who have “run the course” and know that that “crown of life” awaits not only him but all of us who strive to serve the Creator with the same kind of spirit as Wayne Reed. So many of us will miss him greatly, but we are all so genuinely blessed to have known him and to have called him our friend. His manner of living is an inspiration for all generations. Mount Juliet’s loss is truly Heaven’s gain. Because of the death of Jesus and the saving grace of our God we believe that we will see him again and sing with him around the Throne of God forever. We, as a congregation, offer our deepest sympathies to his cherished, Christ-like Jo, his children, and all of his family as they face life without him in the days ahead.

As an English literature teacher for many years, I cannot but help to think of Wayne when I reflect upon some of my favorite Shakespeare words; this greatest of mortal secular writers had his character Marc Antony speak upon the death of Brutus the following that just as well sum up the life of this quiet, gentle, godly man we knew as Wayne Reed:

“His life was gentle, and the elements So mix’d in him that Nature might stand up And say to all the world, ‘This was a man!'”

Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, V, v

…Written by Ben Dennis…