Family Notes 4/10/2016

THE FOURTH DAY OF OCTOBER IN THE YEAR OF GRACE TWO THOUSAND AND SIXTEEN.


EDDIE SNYDER (1957-2016)

I attended the Chattanooga seminar on the gospel in the late 1970s, excited to meet its sponsor-speaker, Australian Robert Brinsmead, who had helped me understand the gospel through his “Verdict” magazine (earlier “Present Truth”). Also at the conference were Eddie and Leah Snyder, who were to become my lifelong friends. Later they drove from Tennessee to join us at the church in the barn in Athens, Ala. Years later I visited them on a speaking trip in Pennsylvania, and again during a business trip to Minnesota. Eventually our families rejoined close ties at Bering Drive Church of Christ in Houston until the present.

Early Sunday morning, October 2, Eddie died at age 58 after two decades of a painful degenerative disease. He left a legacy as a first-class Christian gentleman, scholar, and friend. Leah has given us all an example of faithful selfless service, grace under pressure, and even humor in the face of pain. Despite his suffering, Eddie continued to encourage others (including me) until the end. He was a wise man of broad learning and deep theological thought. I was never surprised to see an email from him with an attached treatise, legal discussion, or spiritual reflection which he read and wanted to share. He loved old hymns as well as contemporary worship but cherished the historic liturgies from the Book of Common Prayer, a love we shared. At the same time, he and Leah could lead little children on a palm Sunday parade down the church aisles, bringing the story alive to those little ones.

His legacy also includes three devout sons who love the Lord and reflect the tender heart and outreach to the hurting and marginalized ones, a compassion that Eddie and Leah have modeled. It is sad to lose his companionship here, but we are richer by his friendship and blessed by his memory. A memorial service will be this Saturday at 11:00 at Bering Drive Church of Christ. Please lift up this sweet family in your prayers this week.