“The just man walketh in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.” (Proverbs 20:7)
Recently, I had the privilege of participating in the funeral service for Pastor Richard Brady. What a life! By God’s grace he both lived well and died well. It doesn’t get any better!
Saved at nineteen and soon headed to BJU, Richard Brady became an accomplished pianist. However, he walked away from a promising musical career after surrendering to preach. He served for a few years as an assistant pastor, moved on to teach both Bible and piano at Pillsbury Baptist Bible College, and then in 1967, he and his lovely wife, Janice, started Grace Baptist Church in Springfield, Illinois. He faithfully pastored there until 2012.
There is something about death that brings a person’s life into clearer view. Richard Brady had a passion for full salvation. His love for winning souls to Christ was manifested by the folk he led to the Savior, people who continued in the faith and grew spiritually under his care. He also thrilled to teach the truth of Romans 6—that through death with Christ unto indwelling sin, we possess the very life of Christ to be in our experience the animating dynamic of our lives. Richard Brady loved the truth of the deeper life, the Christ life, the Spirit-filled life. Not only did he love this truth, he lived it, and there was a dynamic on his life that was supernatural. That his children love the Lord and that many have been touched by his life attest to this reality.
His life also touched mine. In the 1990s, I had been awakened to the power of the Holy Spirit. In 1999, I was awakened to the person of the Spirit and His vital role in nurturing a personal relationship with Jesus. It was Pastor Brady who gave me a little book, Charles Trumbull’s Victory in Christ, which God used to help me along in that stage of my journey. I am forever grateful.
May we let the passing of this saint encourage us to live well and die well by the same abundant grace!
John Van Gelderen