|John Henry Sewell went to the home our Lord prepared for him on Tuesday, November 13. 2001, seven months after the death of his beloved wife, Louise. He was 87. Alzheimer’s had ravaged his body and mind, but his spirit, though kept hidden from the world by his debilitating disease, was encouraged by friendship with Jesus until the end. My last memory of him was singing with him “praise God,” to the tune of “Amazing Grace.” He had known no one for many months and had been rendered incapable of intelligible speech, but had not lost the ability, however limited, to make contact with his Lord. For that I am deeply grateful.
John Sewell was a faithful preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ and an able administrator, but his greatest gift was the way he gave his life up for others. He knew how to share Christ-like love. His greatest legacy to his family was his faith. His son John is also a minister of the gospel. His daughter Kaye is the organist and a faithful worker in her church. His granddaughter Wendy works with her husband in leading the music ministry of their church. His grandson Andy is an ardent follower of Christ and faithful in raising his three children to love Jesus. His granddaughter Shelley is an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church. His grandson Trey is a missionary serving through YWAM. His grandson Stephen is in college working toward becoming a professor in a seminary. His grandson Michael, though only a high school senior, loves the Lord and desires to serve Him faithfully. His eight great-grandchildren have a wonderful spiritual heritage and are already showing enthusiastic responsiveness to our wonderful Savior. What a spiritual legacy he left behind!
Devout parents on a cotton farm in west Texas raised John. He and his wife Louise attended McMurry in Abilene and then went on to the Perkins School of Theology at SMU in Dallas. He began his ministry in 1941 with a five-point charge in Jeanerette. He approached one of the churches by boat. It was there, after his fourth demitasse of coffee one morning, that this west Texas lad became allergic to coffee. He went on to serve the charges in Ferriday, Jena, Franklinton, Baker, Morgan City, Arcadia, McGuire in West Monroe, and North Highlands and Morningside in Shreveport. He was forced to retire at age 62 because of his Alzheimer’s disease, but moved to Baker where he worked as associate pastor with his son at the First United Methodist Church there. He left behind many dear friends, countless deeds of kindness, and precious memories. For his life I say, “Thanks be to God!”
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 2002|