In Remembrance: Two Lives That Exemplified God’s Grace
- By Alan Sears
- Posted Jan 18, 2011
- 2 Comments »
Although this New Year has already been blessed with some significant legal victories for this ministry, I want to diverge from our usual weekly analysis of these wins to honor two remarkable individuals whose lives have given a special inspiration to the work we are doing and the goals ADF is striving, by God’s powerful grace, to accomplish.
If you’ve visited our website or looked at any of our written materials, you know that ADF defines itself as “a legal alliance defending the right to hear and speak the Truth through strategy, training, funding, and direct litigation.” It would be hard to overstate the third element on that list, for it’s the funding that makes possible the crucial resources that are supporting our legal work across the country and around the world.
Seventeen years ago, the very idea that ADF could be making the kind of national and even global impact we’ve been blessed of God to achieve was beyond the fondest hopes of even the six noble souls who first envisioned this work: Dr. Bill Bright, Larry Burkett, Dr. James Dobson, Dr. D. James Kennedy, Marlin Maddoux, and William (Bill) Pew. But together, they dreamed of launching an organization that could successfully defend religious liberty and retake the crucial legal ground lost over the previous decades to an increasingly aggressive secular culture.
While each of those men contributed immeasurably to the creation of what became ADF, it fell in large part to Bill Pew and his wonderful wife, Margie, to supply the crucial funds that laid the financial foundation for this ministry. Until now, I couldn’t tell you how they graciously covered the costs for research, initial events, and start-up. They were particularly instrumental in helping avert some of the severest financial challenges of our early years, and solely funded the first two gatherings of what’s become the signature event for many Ministry Friends: the Liberty Summit.
Bill served on our ADF Governing Board until his death 13 years ago. When he went to be with the Lord, Margie continued on in faithful prayers and other support of our good work. Last week, she went on to join Bill … and like him, leaves behind a legacy of three sons, 15 grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, quiet faith, dependable friendship, and legendary generosity.
John Roll – the federal judge killed in the January 8 shooting in Tucson – leaves a different, but no less vital legacy. His professional accomplishments and personal character are an example to every Christian lawyer of how to combine profound faith in God with exemplary service in the legal arena. A man “of unusual personal graciousness,” in the words of Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, Judge Roll enjoyed unusual – and universal – respect throughout the legal community for his absolute fairness and consummate judicial skill.
His life is a reminder that many in public service are genuinely seeking to follow our Savior and to live out their faith in ways that transcend and transform their environment. Please join me in giving thanks for his humble, godly life, and for that of Margie Pew. And let us pray for those who, like them, continue to stand faithful, helping all of us keep a door open for the spread of the Gospel.
Author: Alan Sears