In Memory of My Preacher

On Wednesday afternoon, Oct 23rd, 2013 about 5:15pm Reed and I went for a run. It was cold outside and the wind was harsh. We laughed and talked as we ran. Reed had brought a back pack with 10 extra pounds that kept jiggling around in his bag that made him run funny. He wanted me to try it so I did. I ran even funnier with it. With my shoulders and arms being stiff so the bag wouldn't jiggle. I handed Reed back the bag. After a little bit we turned around and headed back home. My cheeks felt very wind torn. We were almost home. I stopped to get the mail as we both caught our breathe. We walked down the driveway toward the house to get ready for church. As I entered the house I saw Mom had called several times and left a message. Mary called me several times also. We both knew something was wrong. I listened to Mom's voice mail and I could feel the tears in her voice. She told me to call her back as soon as I could. Which is exactly what I did - as fast as I could. My mind was racing, "Who is it? What happened? Are the kids ok? Did someone get in an accident?" were my thoughts. She answered the phone when I immediately blurted "what happened"??! "Pastor passed away" she said with tears swelling her voice (I was in shock. My mind couldn't believe it. He can't really be gone I thought.). I busted into tears. "What! No! What happened?". She didn't know much other then that he was passed on to be with the Lord. He had had surgery the previous day that was suppose to help him heal up quickly not make it worse I thought. He wasn't suppose to die! Reed was sitting next to me when I called Mom. He gently put his arms around me and hugged me as my face was in my hands - he is always there when I need him and always tough even though he lost Pastor too.
Mary called me a minute later and asked if I had talked to Mom yet. She wanted to go up to the hospital to see the Sugi and the rest of the family who was really our family too. Reed and I rushed to get dressed. We drove to Mary's house to pick her up and then went straight to the hospital. I was confused why God would take a man we needed so much here on earth. My mind was going through memory after memory of him. I couldn't control the tears that rolled down my face as we drove. We arrived at the hospital and we all tried to contain ourselves as we walked through the hospital. We finally reached the ICU. We tried to get into where he was but the nurse who opens the door wasn't there, finally someone came out and we got in as quick as possible. As we walked up to his room we saw Sugi first and then the rest. Sugi's eyes were swollen from tears. She hugged us tightly and I could feel the strength and courage she had already displayed. We walked into the room where Pastor was laying (right before they took him out). It didn't look like him. The pastor I knew was health and handsome with a ornery smile. Katie was clinging to Eric and I could feel the hurt in her eyes. The other girls too were devastated and crushed by this. CJ had been crying too. Which I hadn't seen before in all the 20 years I've known him even when we were little kids he was tough and didn't ever let his emotions show. Him and Pastor were best friends.
Mostly silence filled the room, along with tears. "Can this really be happening I thought?" Mary asked how it happened, they said his organs, one by one, started to shut down. They had given him pints of blood because he had lost so much. His heart stopped beating and they did chest compressions but his body was too weak they said. God wanted him home with Him.
We may not ever understand why God took him from us so soon but we will one day. We know he is in a perfect body now probably making laps around the Lords throne with his Dad and Mom, Bro.Danny Hall, Marvin Clanton, and Earl Hughes.

After a little while we headed to church because we were still having church because that's what Pastor would've wanted. Instead of a normal service Dad had people come up and say things about Pastor or give a memory of some kind about him. It's really amazing the love and compassion he's given to so many people. He started Liberty Baptist church in 1988 and has been faithful through thick and thin. My Dad has been the associate Pastor for a long time now and Mom as Pastor's right hand man so to speak. He was been our God-father and spiritual leader for my entire life. Words can't express the hurt and emptiness felt without him here with us. BUT We will still press on for the Lord. We will still fight the good fight of faith. The fight will be a little more lonely, a little more sad without him, but we will "Keep on Keeping on" as Pastor would say.

I can remember previous months before he went into the hospital he had preached on "Passing on the Torch", "Standing even when he was Gone", messages about having your own personal walk with God. Looking back it's almost like God was preparing us all for his passing. Even though it's hard to go on without Pastor, we must. I know he is watching us from Heaven and he's been waiting to see the Lord face to face for many many years now. Though it seems unfair to us he is the Lord's son and it is his turn to have Pastor Craig Lovell with him. We had him here with us for 63 years and the Lord wants him now. Heaven is a happy, brighter place now that he is there.

I would always tell Pastor that he was the best preacher ever and I truly meant that. You couldn't beat the love he had for his people. You were truly blessed to have met him if you did. Pastor was in SO many of my memories growing up. He would always show up on Christmas morning with bundles of gifts for us kids. He baptized me in 1999 shortly after I had got saved. He would always give us hugs and tell us how special we were to him. Not to mention all the camping meetings and church activities that were some of my fondest memories. As we got older he would take us teens out for Pizza and Kings Island etc,. He made everyone feel special and important to him regardless of your age. He did marriage counselling with Reed and I also and married us. I'm so honored and privileged to know Pastor like I did. So thankful for all the years we had him here with us.

Pastor, I love and miss you very much and I hope my life will be one to make you proud and honoured to have me as "Your Body Guard" (inside joke lol) and adopted daughter. Say hi to my Grandpa up there.

"Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice." -Philippines 4:4 

(one of Pastor's favorite verses).
Church Sweetheart Banquet-59
Pastor's favorite place to be.

015 Sweetheart Banquet
014 Goofy Preacher

Church Sweetheart Banquet-59

Preacher's favorite truck (lol)
july 142
july 163
july 183