Today I attended the memorial service for my former minister Wendell Manuel at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Starkville, MS. The service was wonderful and captured the essence of that wonderful man
Personally, it was a little tough for me. I returned to a church I left a few years ago, the church where my daughter was baptized, and the church where I served on and/or chaired most every committee there, including three terms as an Elder. It was also the church where I got know and love Wendell.
Wendell was the first minister I had the privilege of knowing as person. I have known other ministers but they were always seemingly maintaining their minister image. Wendell was different. I was able to see him angry and hurt. I was able to talk to him about theology, religion, parenting, marriage, politics, the community, and most any other subject. He had a gift for being able to see people for who they were and accepting them as just that.
He preached some of the most wonderful sermons I’ve heard and his children’s sermons was especially good. I loved his adult sermons for children such as his Sesame Street sermon. I had the opportunity to preach a time or two at Trinity and when I asked Wendell for advice, he said to work on he children’s sermon. He told me if I could take the sermon I wanted to preach and condense it down to one or two minutes for the children, then I knew what I was going to say. He also said that often the children’s sermon was really meant for the adults. He had to follow it up with the adult sermon using bigger words so they would feel intelligent but he really thought they often first understood things from what he told the children.
I have attached his obituary below.
Wendell is now in Heaven watching out for us all.
Thanks be to God.