Friday, March 09, 2007

He Was Just a Potato Chip Salesman

Core: Your legacy will be around for a while, make sure it's a good one!

This past week, a friend of mine, Gene Jennings (his blog: told me that I was mentioned in his pastor's sermon at True North Church in North Augusta, where Gene is on staff as an associate pastor. Actually, the illustration was not so much about me, as it was about Ranny Moorhead. Ranny worked for Lays Potato Chips, but Lays was not his primary employer or his passion. Ranny's passion was to share the love of Jesus Christ, and he did it with power and passion and a love for young people...young people like me.

Ranny took his vacations to take our youth group to youth camps (where he directed), and on mission trips to West Virginia (for five years in a row where we had the joy of seeing a new church planted.). During my college years, I served on about three or four lay renewal teams a year with Ranny as our leader. These teams of lay people would go to a church for a weekend to help encourage lay people to use their God-given spiritual gifts as ministers of the Gospel. I usually was the youth leader.

Ranny also, with his wife Peggy, encouraged me in my ministry, and eventually was the one who recommended me for a summer position at a little church in Denmark, SC over 26 years ago. I have no doubts that my life (and the lives of so many others) would not have been significantly different (in a lesser way), had I not known this man.

I was privileged to be a part of his funeral service over 13 years ago. The sanctuary at North Augusta First Baptist was filled with people touched by God's love through this man. One of my lines was something like..."look what God has accomplished through this one life....and he was just a potato chip salesman!" Gene shared this story with his pastor who referenced Ranny in his message. You can see it here: ( Go to the home page, and click on "video" for March 4.

Thirteen years, and people are still sharing stories about this man who gave his life to Christ and to others. Am glad I knew him, and I hope when we go, people will say the same about us, even thirteen years later!

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