|Ed took as his guide: I can do everything through him who gives me strength. (Ph. 4:13, RSV) indeed he lived a true witness to his faith in Jesus Christ.
Born in Kentwood, November 21, 1926, Claude Edward Henkel served in the US Navy in 1944 and 1945. In 1950, he was graduated from LSU and in March, 1953, Candler School of Theology. He began 37 years of service in Buras, ministering through the years in Mangham, Grayson, Athens, Stonewall, Hico, Montgomery, St. Joseph, Kinder, Springfield, West Monroe, Lottie, Fitzgerald, Logansport and LeCompte. He took early retirement at the 1989 Annual Conference because Parkinson's disease was interfering with his ability to minister fully.
At retirement, Ed chose to live in Amite, near a brother, sister, cousins, and in-laws. He served and witnessed almost 16 years longer as his health declined. On February 8, 2005 he woke up "at home."
He faced his most difficult time as he considered whether to reenroll his children in the newly-integrated public schools. He reflected later:
I am not a person or minister who actively engages in controversial matters, and my ministry has been characterized by my ability to get along with people. But the experience of the past conference year placed me in a peculiar position regarding my convictions and this effort to get along with church people. Looking back on the experience of the past year, I feel that I learned a great deal about Christian tolerance and Christ's way of love. I Corinthians 13:5 took on a new meaning, "Love does not insist on its own way." (R.S.V.) In spite of the normal problems any school would face, both the high school and the elementary school managed fairly well. I made new friends and gained a greater respect and understanding of the problems faced by both races. I hope my small effort helped to ease the transition pains.
|Source: 2005 Journal|