A Celebration of the Life of Christopher David Carnes, 26, who died October 17, 2010

Melvine, Greg, and I were privileged to attend the funeral service which turned out to be a celebration of Christopher David Carnes' life last Friday, October 22, 2010. The service was conducted at Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Sandy Springs, GA (actually a part of Atlanta). It is a large church and people really responded by their attendance.

There were more than 700 people in attendance in this large Baptist church. An adult choir composed of singers from Mount Vernon and other Baptist church sang. There was about 135 to 150 choir members. They were awesome. They had a small orchestra and they were exceptionally good.

Christopher's father is one of two associate pastors at Mount Vernon Baptist Church, and he is the minister of corporate worship. He is a gifted pianist and played with great ability, talent and anointing. I was deeply moved by his words and his music.

The message was presented by the Rev. Mr. James P. Wood, a former pastor of Mount Vernon Baptist Church. He gave the best presentation of what the Gospel is that I have ever heard. He reminded me of the Rev. Dr. Charles Fuller who used to preach on the Old Fashioned Bible Hour radio broadcast from Pasadena, California. He had that gift of persuading people to come to Jesus, Who is the only Savior of the world. There were no dry eyes at that service. James Wood was genuine and it shown through in his ministry from the pulpit.

We got to visit with Lonnie and Betty Rex, LaDonna and Norman Scott, and their daughter Kimberly whose husband is an Air Force lieutenant colonel in Afghanistan working for a general. Unfortunately, we never got to see or talk with Royce Rex who had driven Lonnie and Betty to Atlanta. We talked with Tricia Rex Carnes, the mother of Christopher, as well as her husband David, and a younger son, Patrick. We were there not only to support our dear friends, after so many years of close friendship, Lonnie and Betty Rex and LaDonna and Norman Scott, but we were there to represent the IPHC family that would have liked to have been present.

In the bulletin for the celebration service there was additional information about the cause of Christopher's death that I had not seen. Let me share it with you just now:

"In past months Christopher began withdrawing a bit as his condition was severely complicated by injuries sustained in a car accident last March, which after his spleen was removed, left him treating a painful open wound the length of his abdomen. Because of a staph infection the wound didn't close completely for 6 months.

"We praise God that He did spare Christopher's life yet again through that accident. Since that time Chris gave many evidences of his relationship with Jesus being revitalized. Alas, even finally overcoming the effects of the accident . . . left him back where he was physically and there were, as I said before, no fixes, no relief, no resolution to his continued health issues.

"During these past few weeks, we watched lots of baseball and football, and I know I will treasure those times forever as the memories and images of many happy times when he was young and healthier.

"Though from the depths of my soul and body I feel the pain of knowing we won't hug or talk to him again on this earth, we know that we would not wish upon him one more hour of suffering in that body he left behind. This was God's way in His Providence of healing Chris, and we will learn to feel grateful and heal over time. Thank you for your prayers. "In Christ alone our hope is found."

[Editor's Note: I was privileged to meet David Carnes, husband of Tricia Rex Carnes, and the father of Christopher, who wrote these words. He was a grieving father and all during the service would raise his hands in worship to Almighty God as he sat in the pew with Tricia, his wife, and son, Patrick. He is experiencing grief in his writing and I am glad he was able to write about it, and play the piano for Mark Miller to sing "I Will Rise" and "Amazing Grace/My Chains Are Gone." David played "I Will See You Again" at the close of the service. The service was filled with songs of adoration and praise to Almighty God with glorious worship.

Melvine and I, along with Greg, were privileged to talk with Tricia and her younger son, Patrick. Patrick looks like his mother.

I will always love the Rex family and thank God for their many contributions to the IPHC and the body of Christ worldwide.]

A Celebration of the Life of Christopher David Carnes, 26, who died October 17, 2010