Tuesday, December 23, 2014

In Memoriam: Vern B. Powers

Vern Powers passed away last Saturday.  In his 94 years on this earth, Vern impacted the lives of many, beginning with his own family but also touching the lives of many others as well.  I was fortunate to be one of those.

Vern pastored eight churches, served as the director of Protection Plans for Tennessee Baptists for 20 years, and then spent 14 years as denominational relations director for Baptist Hospital in Nashville for 14 years.  He was an active member of First Baptist Church, Nashville, and served there in many capacities—he was reelected as an active deacon at the age of 90!

Vern was a denominational leader in the days when that involved uniting Baptists rather than dividing them. Although a man of conviction, he showed respect and love to those who disagreed with him.  A Christian gentleman with a servant heart, Vern always sought to resolve misunderstandings and conflict with grace and love.

If you wanted a listening ear, as I often did when we were colleagues at the Executive Board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, Vern was the person to see.  He could listen, ask good questions, and encourage a person to make wise choices.

He was a man who radiated both personal warmth and deep conviction without alienating others.

Vern was one of the “good guys.”  I will miss him.

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