A Tribute to a Friend

July 5, 2006

I first met my friend Ray Pritchard over 15 years ago when I was an associate pastor at a church in the Chicago area. Our church was looking for a Senior Pastor and I heard through the grapevine that a potential candidate was looking us over. I had heard that he was from the South, that he was tall, and several people on the search committee said, “this man can preach!” All the things I had heard about him were true “ he’s a tall southern boy who can preach!
I had the privilege of working closely with Ray for three action-packed years. I consider him to be one of my closest friends and my mentor in ministry. Much of what I know about ministry came from long discussions with Ray over fajitas in a Mexican restaurant or by just listening to him preach and teach.
He has made a lasting impact on my life and ministry. Over the years I have learned several things from Ray. Here are some things I will never forget:
– “The church needs to be purpose-based and strategy-driven.”
– “He is God and we are not.”
– “Faith is belief, coupled with some unbelief, and then acting on the belief part.”
– “The speed of the leader determines the speed of the team.”
I’m thrilled to be on the board of Keep Believing Ministries and look forward to acting on the “belief part” as we strive to spread the Word in China. Would you consider directing some of your “after-church” giving to this project?
I’m glad he’s taking a well-deserved vacation.
Brian Bill
Senior Pastor, Pontiac (IL) Bible Church

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