We are saddened here today at the United Church of God home office. Our president, Dennis Luker, died this morning after a very short battle with cancer.
[Dennis Luker] I don’t have the attitude that “Well, look, if everything doesn’t go my way I’m out of here.” My commitment is that I’m going to be a part of making it work. We’re going to stick together and make it work. And only those who don’t want to make it work will end up doing something else, you know, that don’t want to be a part of the team effort.
[Darris McNeely] We’re saddened here today, the offices of the United Church of God. Our President Dennis Luker died this morning after a very short battle with cancer. Dennis Luker had been President of the United Church of God for three years. He was deeply loved, deeply respected by all of the staff here at the office, and though we are saddened at his death as Denny believed and taught for nearly 50 years in his ministry, we do believe and look forward to the resurrection of the dead and know that Denny’s fight has been finished, but He will be in that resurrection. And yet as we look back over a life that was well lived we are touched and we are encouraged by the time that we had to spend with him here in the office, and what he meant to the United Church of God, and what he left with us. Denny as he liked to be called had a tremendous faith in his staff here. He had tremendous confidence and love for the members of the United Church of God. And in his last address to us here at the office he had high hopes and a bright future that he could see for the United Church of God and the completion of the mission and the responsibilities that we have to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God.
[Dennis Luker] So we do that and God calls people. We want them to come into congregations where the ministers are loving shepherds and kind, where people who have been abused - and most everybody has been hurt in the world today in one way or another: broken marriages, families, drugs, alcohol, sexual abuse, homosexuality, it goes on and on - that they come into congregations where the people are nonjudgmental, accepting - not of sin, but of sinners - where they can come in to be healed and get the help they need.
[Darris McNeely] One of Denny’s legacies through the years was to teach us to certainly look to no man, but to look to Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church. And that’s perhaps one of the deepest legacies that he leaves for us. Denny Luker was a warrior priest. And by that I mean a man who feared God and defended the truth of God for many decades as a minister. He also defended spiritually the people of God that were always entrusted to his care as a minister and as a shepherd. And he fought for the Church of God and he fought certainly for the mission and the principles of the United Church of God when he became our president three years ago. And so he leaves us a very rich legacy and example for us to follow.
[Dennis Luker] Brethren you are so important to God and to God’s Church and to His work. We all love you and need you and we know you feel the same. We want to grow in the love of God and the love of Jesus Christ for one another.
[Darris McNeely] The Apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7 2 Timothy 4:7I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
American King James Version×that he had fought a good fight, and he had finished his race. And those are the words that we are encouraged by today as we think about Denny Luker. He believed those words too. He fought a good fight. He finished his race. He died in the faith, and there is for Denny Luker as for all of the dead in Christ a crown of righteousness awaiting him in the Day of Judgment at the appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So as I said, we’re saddened in our hearts and our thoughts go out to his family and certainly to his widow LeeAnn, who faithfully served with him in that calling for all of these many years. And we ask that you would join us all in saying a prayer for the family and also in just remembering a good, decent, kind, and gentle man, Dennis Luker, our friend.
[Dennis Luker] And here is the final scripture. He says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time,” what we go through in this life, this short life that God has given us, “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.” So brethren, keep the vision of the Kingdom of God. See yourself there. God is preparing you. He will prepare you for the Kingdom of God. I want to encourage all of you brethren wherever you are, wherever you’re going to church to pray about this please, that Jesus Christ will help us all to develop more humble, Christ-like attitudes, and become like Him in service and at every level of service in the Church. Wherever you are, jump in there and serve. Let God use your talents and your abilities, and ask Him to show you how you can contribute to His church and His work that we might all serve more like Jesus Christ. So God be with you all until we meet again.