My dear friend and mentor Dr. Charles C. Ryrie has gone to be with the Lord. Before his health’s decline, I was privileged to meet with him once or twice a year for lunch. I truly hold it as such an honor to have sat across the table from that dear saint and learned from him. Several years ago, when EvanTell begin work on the Evangelism Study Bible, he was the person who gave us the wisest advice having put together his own study Bible.
I will always remember one moment with him in particular. It stands out in my mind the most. When I graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1973, I was chosen by my classmates as one of the gifted preachers in the class. I was then one of the four preachers to speak at our Senior Preacher's Week in chapel. As the graduation service was dismissed, I stepped off the platform and saw Dr. Ryrie. He made it a point to walk up to me.
He complimented me on my message at Senior Preacher's Week and then he added, “I want to encourage you with the fact that I think God is really going to use you.” He then elaborated on that. Imagine my response! I was a young upstart just graduating from seminary and beginning the ministry of EvanTell. Dr. Ryrie never said something he didn’t mean. That simple comment from a man of his stature was so used of the Lord in my spirit. Whenever I have had a disheartening day, God uses that comment to encourage me to move forward.
Dr. Ryrie never knew the impact his comment would have. It taught me the importance of giving a sincere word of encouragement to those starting out in the ministry. Only God knows what those comments will mean years later.
Yes, Dr. Ryrie is no longer with us, but we will see him again in the presence of the King. What a day of rejoicing that will be. Until then, his words and influence live on.
Read Dallas Theological Seminary's tribute: Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (1925-2016)