In Lieu of an Obituary

I, Robert Harrell (Hal) Upchurch, the 4th born son of Frank and Winnie Upchurch, was born on a farm near Itasca, Texas, on May 4, 1918, where I was raised as the brother of Harry, Howard, Chester, Alice and Buddy.

*

On September 4, 1941, in the Belknap Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, I was married to Mary Geraldine (Jerry) Heath.

*

I was the father of Hal Rhea and Mary Kay Upchurch, the grandfather of five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and the step-grandfather of other dear ones.

*

In my extended ministry, which spanned more than 70 years, I pastored churches in Texas, Wyoming, and Colorado. I preached, sang, taught, held revivals, bible studies and cowboy camp meetings, and engaged in other church-related activities in 29 of our 50 United States; and in Mexico, Hawaii, Okinawa, Japan, Egypt and Israel; and in Rome, Italy, where people from 32 different nations registered as visitors in the Sunday morning service.

*

I was the fellow pilgrim of an innumerable host of inexpressibly dear friends and faithful comrades who loved, encouraged, strengthened and blessed me across the 90 years of my life; whose names I have ceaselessly whispered in the ears of our heavenly Father; which, “over there,” in our eternal “Zion” I hope to continue doing until time is no more, and all of God’s children are safely gathered across “the river that has no bridge,” and are numbered among the eternal family of faith in the land of “many mansions;” in which there shall be no more pain, hurting, sickness, suffering, sorrow, separation, loneliness nor death.

*

In this world I learned, and, for more than 70 years, proclaimed the truth that shall be divinely and repeatedly confirmed in the world that is to come: “To live on in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die.”

*

And so, my beloved family and my beloved friends: Hold me in your hearts until the Lord sends His seraphic servant to sound His summons for you to come home to Him; and, in the morning, I shall be waiting for you “over there.” Selah!

***

Hal Upchurch,  died May 1, 2008