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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A True Man of God...

The Rev. Gerald J. Marvel, the motorcycle-riding retired pastor of the First Church of God in Vancouver, died of heart failure Friday in a Vancouver hospital. He was 71.

What a blessing it was to have The Rev. Gerald J. Marvel pastor our church on an interim basis in 2006!
Gerald was 70 years old when he filled in after our pastor of twenty years retired. I was amazed the first time I saw him shuffle his way up onto our stage. I was truly worried he might actually fall down as he navigated the two or three steps.
But OH MY! When he began to preach it was as if John the Baptist was re incarnated in this frail human body.
It was a pure joy to get to meet this fine "young" man of seventy!
He was described to me as "the Billy Graham of the Church of God family."
He truly was. An amazing man, he was a car buff and motorcycle enthusiast who rode in the sidecar of his father's motorcycle, Marvel worked his way from less impressive cycles, like his first Honda Rebel 450, to what he called his 'real hawg,' his beloved Harley Sportster 883." Sometimes, such as during the church's Singing Christmas Tree program, Marvel also brought his Harley, revving it up as part of the show's finale!
I did a magic show on Memorial Day weekend, May. 28th 2006. Pastor Marvel wanted to attend, he was at the picnic, but by the time I came back from the store with some needed props, his wife Lorena had drug him kicking and screaming back to their temporary home for some needed rest.
I had the privilege and honor of hosting Gerald and Lorena, his wife of 50 years,in my home a week later and enjoyed giving them a private magic show of their own.Gerald was one of those rare individuals who always remained a child at heart. His eyes would light up and his face would glow when I did magic for him, or when he talked of the things he loved, like his Harley or God!
He could get fired up too, he didn't pull no punches when it came to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. No milquetoast he. There was none of this beating around the bush or political correct speech in Gerald. I loved him for who he was.
I have been eternally blessed by these people.
God took home one of his best last Friday.
Gerald is now at home!


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