|Laying Down Trophies
A Tribute to D. James Kennedy
Tony Bartolucci, Preaching Pastor
September 7, 2007
In 1913 George Bennard penned the words,
This song came to mind yesterday when I learned that a dear warrior for the truth, Dr. D. James Kennedy, had laid aside his trophies as God called him to that home far away.
The closest I came to meeting Dr. Kennedy was in 2003 when I participated in the North American Consultation on Theology at Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I was with a small group of men when he was given an award for being the "Reformer of the Year." I so wanted to meet him, but I shied away. Now I wish I hadn't been so timid.
He has always been on my list of living heroes. My admiration goes back to my early Christian years. I will always picture him preaching from behind that gigantic pulpit in true reformation fashion! He remained, in fact, one of the few television preachers that I would take the time to watch.
In an age when pastors bounce from pulpit to pulpit like tennis balls, Dennis James Kennedy remained steadfast in his commitment to Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. They were his only congregation; he was their only preacher. Through sunshine and rain he remained until stricken with a major heart attack last December. His resignation was announced in August. Forty eight years in the same church. In the meantime, the small group of forty-some people that started the church in 1959 would grow to some ten thousand.
Some time ago Dr. Kennedy declared to his congregation:
That day came on September 5.
As the preacher in Ecclesiastes reminds us, there is a time for everything. Even for laying down trophies.
Soli Deo Gloria.