J. R. Faulkner in Heaven

Discussion in 'Fundamental Baptist Forum' started by John of Japan, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    J. R. Faulkner


    1914-2009


    Dr. J. R. Faulkner, longtime assistant pastor to Dr. Lee Roberson at the great Highland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tennessee, has gone to Heaven. According to the TTU Alumni website (http://alumni.tntemple.edu/), the funeral will be held on Monday the 15th at 12:00 to 2:00 at HPBC. Thus passes one of the most humble, gracious servants of God it has been my privilege to know. And servant is the word that describes him best.

    I took Pastoral Leadership under him at Tennessee Temple in about 1975. His whole philosophy of pastoring might be summed up as servant leadership. I remember him delighting in his office of assistant pastor and never wanting the job of pastor. He was content just to serve his Savior and his pastor in any way possible.

    I still have the notes from his class. In one of his most memorable lectures, he taught us that the way to advance in God's work is to push up the person above you and make them successful for the Lord! Thus, the assistant pastor should do everything he can to serve the pastor, and in so doing serve the Lord. He told of being the one who cleaned the toilets when he first started working with Dr. Roberson, and that was okay with him. In my notes from that lecture it says, “One of the fastest ways to move up the ladder is to help the superior move up.” So now you know partly what Lee Roberson was so used of God!

    So J. R. Faulkner was happy to serve! And he served with happiness! He directed the singing for that great church and school for almost 40 years, and his joy was infectuous. He could get the whole student body of thousands or the whole church of thousands to sing from their hearts with their lungs. I particularly remember the little chorus we would sing, with the bass starting and going through all four parts: "Behold He comes, behold He comes, behold He comes, behold He comes! And every eye will see Him. Friend, will you be ready when Jesus comes?!"

    The last time we saw Dr. Faulkner was in 2005, I believe. As always he was a very gracious gentleman, and spoke to my wife and me for awhile. Then he gave us an autographed copy of his new book of poems, First Verse, inscribed with his favorite verse, John 15:16--"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you."

    In his forward to Dr. Faulkner's poetry book, Dr. Roberson wrote: "I am writing an introduction to a collection of beautiful poems written by Dr. J. R. Faulkner--one of the greatest Christians I have ever met in my ninety years of life. We have worked together, worshiped together and prayed together. In our ministry together, we have seen the salvation of thousands of souls. I trust that you will read his poems carefully. Your love for Christ and the souls of men will be increased.

    Lest you think Dr. Roberson overdid it, think about Dr. Faulkner's family. He and his sweet wife had five boys, and four of them turned out to be preachers! The fifth is an artist, and lovingly designed the above-mentioned poetry book for his father. About how to raise children, Dr. Faulkner said, “Children will respond favorably to discipline if it is applied discreetly, consistently, fairly and with love” (“Pastoral Leadership” course notes).

    I'll close with one of J. R. Faulkner's poems:


    Shine Wherever You Are


    The darker the night, the brighter the light;
    So shine wherever you are.
    Send forth the light into the night;
    Shine for the Lord where you are.

    The world lies in darkness, no light can they see,
    So shine wherever you are;
    They are dependent on you and on me,
    To shine wherever we are.

    Millions are waiting the truth to be told,
    So shine wherever you are;
    In speaking for Jesus be ever so bold;
    Shine for the Lord where you are.

    Shine wherever you are,
    Shine wherever you are;
    Send forth the light into the night,
    Shine for the Lord where you are.

    (First Verse, p. 40)
     
  2. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    I took the Pastoral leadership course from him in 1980. He was a servant leader. In my first pastorate, I kept going over the notes he gave.

    I remember him telling how he hated to see a preacher boy carrying his big Bible while his wife had the diaper bag, her pocketbook and 3 children. No wonder his children turned out well.

    His kind are rare. Thanks for letting us know.
     
  3. Salty

    Salty
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    I read where Dr Faulkner believed God will was for him to be the "second man". I understand he never sought to be # 1. I think, we need more men like that.

    I never had the opportunity to meet Dr. Faulkner, but I have had several pastors who attended Tenn Temple. I know that one, Rev Bob Fuller; must have had a season of blessing as he greeted Dr. Faulkner at the pearly gates.
     
  4. Bob Alkire

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    Dr. Faulkner was a blessing to many folks over the years.
     
    #4 Bob Alkire, Jun 13, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2009
  5. Dale-c

    Dale-c
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    Both of my parents were at TTU when he was there.
     
  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    My sister tells me the funeral will be streamed live at www.wdyn.com, Monday at 2:00 PM Chattanooga time.
     
  7. swaimj

    swaimj
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    I attended a Sword of the Lord conference in the summer at Highland Park Baptist back in my college days. I think it was the summer of '86, but I'm not certain. That was a pretty significant conference because Jennings had become president of TTU and pastor of HPBC, and Curtis Hudson included him as a speaker, as well as the regular SOTL speakers, and, of all people, Bob Jones III. This brought together disparate factions of fundamentalism and it looked as though fundamentalism was about to get unified!

    Prior to BJIII speaking, J.R. Faulkner led the congregation in a song. At some point during the procedings, he stopped and did a little personal reminiscing. He recalled his days as a student at Bob Jones College while it was in Tennessee, Cleveland, I think, and recalled one of his classmates fondly, Bob Jones, Jr. And he said, as he looked at BJIII, "I wish our paths had crossed more often over the years". It was a heartfelt statement and you could hear an audible expression of agreement and genuine regret from the audience. When Bob III came up to speak, I regret to say that his response to Dr. Faulkner was not as gracious and was a little terse. And the audience expressed a quiet gasp at what he said.

    Little permanent unity came about in fundamentalism as a result of that conference, but I've always felt that if more of the leadership in fundamentalism had the grace of Dr Faulkner there might have been more unity over the years.
     
  8. John of Japan

    John of Japan
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    Truly a missed opportunity--that's a shame.
     
  9. Mexdeaf

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    My son went to the funeral. Said it was long and good. All Dr. Faulkner's sons spoke and the grandkids had a choir. What a blessed testimony for this man of God.
     

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