An Update from Mark Edwards

I took a short day trip today northward to Bowling Green, KY, to have lunch with our long-time friend, Gomer. Gomer and his family were members of FBC Nashville from 1959 until several years ago when they thought it wise to live nearer to their oldest daughter, Connie. Younger daughter Nancy was in her first year at Belmont University when we came to Nashville in 1977, so we've known them nearly forty years. Honey and I went to visit Gomer almost two years ago at his still-developing retirement community, and he lives in the same comfortable, attractive villa. He and I have at least two things in common - we both lost our wives too soon, and we both miss them every day. This Sunday would have been Honey's and my 46th wedding anniversary, and today, Gomer reminded me that he and Marie were married just shy of 70 years. 

Gomer is amazing. He'll soon be 94, he lives alone, drives a perky Honda Fit, and meets Connie at FBC Bowling Green every Sunday. He walks slower than in days gone by and only occasionally uses a cane - not today. He keeps his mind sharp by working two crossword puzzles every day and reads one or two books on his Kindle every week... and it's working because he is still one sharp dude, I'm tellin' ya. He pulls out his iPhone and swipes, punches, and pecks the thing like a teenager. 

Gomer was always a good churchman in Nashville and certainly stays up-to-date with goings on at his current steeple. He told me about the new Pastor, and we talked about the interim Minister of Music and the search for the permanent person. 

 As we drove out of his community en route to lunch, he pointed out some of the new construction in his village, specifically the clubhouse. 

"Are they including a racquetball court, Gomer?"

"No, and I'm glad they're not because I would be tempted, and I don't need that."

I think I remember that Gomer was a noonday regular at the Y only a couple blocks from "the Board" (now Lifeway) where he worked almost a whole career. He was a reputed racquetball player. 

I drove, and he navigated us several miles to downtown and narrated various points of interest while looking ahead and directing me into correct lanes of traffic in plenty of time to make necessary turns en route to the restaurant. I was impressed. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Steamers, an almost new seafood spot. We talked mostly about his coming to and working at "the Board," but only because I kept asking.

Back in his living room, I noticed a digital keyboard in his second bedroom, and before I left, he wanted me to play it a bit.

"Gomer, I had NO idea you play the piano."

"Yeah, I got this thing some time back. We had another one, but I wanted one with weighted keys."

I sat down and played, "God Leads Us Along," which was already on the music rack. He sat in the computer desk chair and sang along. 

"That was Marie's favorite, and it was sung at her service."

Many times, Honey and I remarked to one another and celebrated together the host of good, good people we were blessed to know, love, and learn from during the forty years of ministry in three loving, supportive, and nurturing churches. Gomer and Marie Lesch were in that crowd, and he's still blazing the trail for some of us. 

Thanks, Gomer... and thank you, God. 


In shady, green pastures so rich and so sweet, 
God leads His dear children along;
where the water's cool flow bathes the weary one's feet, 
God leads His dear children along.

Sometimes on the mount where the sun shines so bright,
God leads His dear children along; 
sometimes in the valley, in darkest of night, 
God leads His dear children along.

Though sorrows befall us and evils oppose, 
God leads His dear children along; 
through grace we can conquer, defeat all our foes, 
God leads His dear children along.

Okay, sing the refrain with me --

Some through the waters, some through the flood, 
some through fire, but all through the blood;
some through the great sorrow, but God gives a song
in the night season and all the day long.

God Leads Us Along - Words: G.A. Young