Journey Of Grace

He had served the Lord as worship leader at Marcus Point Baptist Church in Pensacola, Florida for about 18 years. He was a loving husband and father who always had a heart to see people come to salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ, and to lead the congregation in meaningful worship. The people of Marcus Point loved this man who showed them his faithful heart every day.

But…something was wrong with Pastor Brent French.
Symptoms he was experiencing made it clear that medical help was needed and tests were started. Then this beloved servant of the Lord heard these fateful words from his doctor: stage four, B-cell Lymphoma. This dreaded diagnosis certainly got everyone’s attention, as multitudes of people began to pray.

Brent started his personal journey of grace when at five years old he asked Jesus to forgive him and be his Lord and Savior. Although he had made a decision at a young age to follow Christ, he felt like he didn’t get it settled until he was fifteen. At a revival he was able to overcome the idea that “he was a pastor’s kid and was supposed to have been saved already”. When he walked the aisle and prayed that night he turned to see two of his friends also accept Christ as their Savior.
He had a great gift and love for music and began learning to play the piano at a young age. Music would be a major part of his life from that time on.

It was apparent that his life was moving toward great things when he felt his heart touched in a strange way. Mom and Dad had lived their lives in the ministry of the Gospel and loved serving the Lord with everything they had. They had prayed that God would show His presence in the lives of their boys in a special way. Brent knew that God was calling him to give his life to serve and as the Holy Spirit moved in his heart, he said “yes”, and never wavered from that commitment.

When Brent was a senior in high school he heard a group of singers from Trinity Baptist College give a presentation. As he watched the program his attention became focused on one of the young ladies in the choir. He told his best friend that he was going ask that girl for a date. She was a freshman at the college and since he had already applied to attend Trinity to study music, he knew that the Lord had spoken to his heart about this young lady.

He got to college the next fall and met Julie, and their first official date was in October of 1986. He was so confident that God had spoken to his heart about her, that as they walked down the Bayfront of St. Augustine, Florida, and saw an elderly couple walking hand in hand, he told her “that will be us in fifty years”. He was successful in winning her heart and together they prepared to serve the Lord.
God provided them with a wonderful life of ministry together for many years. His hand guided and provided for them in the adoption of their three beautiful children, who Brent loved dearly. According to Julie, “he adored me and I adored him”. Everything seemed to be going great, until it wasn’t.
After the dreadful diagnosis, the struggle with this disease began. All medical efforts were used to stop the progress of this enemy that had invaded his body. Battle after battle after battle, even including a stem cell transplant from his brother Dwayne.  Support and prayer poured in from across the country and around the world. Christians asked for God to turn the tide, and then one day he was declared cancer free. This wonderful news only lasted for only a few months, when his health failed again.  Julie said that “he never gave up…he just gave out”. He passed away while Julie held his hand, just two days after his fiftieth birthday. Through the tears, we know that God has a plan for each of us, and that He has numbered our days, and we especially know that He does all things well.

This Journey of Grace that was his life ended on August 22, 2018, or so some would think. NOT TRUE! His Journey of Grace that started so many years earlier just changed venues. It is a journey that will continue forever in the presence of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Are you on a journey of Grace with Jesus? You can be! God guarantees that you will enjoy the ride for all of eternity.

The Journey of Grace – It’s a forever thing!

Roger Allen Cook

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