Forman, Douglas Ray


Appearing in his “Confirmation Bible” are these words written in his moment of clear calling: “Dear Lord, grant me assurance, and with this assurance give me strength to follow Thy will for my life. In Christ Jesus name I pray. Amen.” Thus we read of Douglas Ray Foreman’s second birth, a great man in the making--a mere youth drinking of God’s sparkling waters. Doug saw with his typical, clear vision how his startled youth would rise to the challenge: ... God would open the doors...and make changes possible.
This gentle and compassionate pastor was ordained to become a pastor’s pastor. He and Jean Elizabeth grew up together in Jennings, Louisiana, nurtured by and encouraged within a local United Methodist Church. He was born to the sacred union of Deb Foreman and Delia Baker on May 18, 1952, in Jennings. Louisiana, always active in church life and daily discovering who he was to become. As Doug had said, so it was: God was opening doors to make things happen. Through one door came his mothering church at Jennings, through another the formative years as a young student, and still another the lovely lady who would ever be by his side, Jean Elizabeth Mack. They were married on May 27, 1972--a door ajar.
To Doug and Jean were born five handsome boys: Wesley Paul, Joshua Charles, Matthew Douglas, Micah Joel, and Timothy Scott. Devoted to abundant life and always nurturing others, Doug and Jean raised a model family of love and closeness: five boys and fun days. His gentleness and quiet ways, profound love of his boys, and devotion to and love of Jean were other doors which God opened and through which were to stream many a person crying for help. They found Doug’s heart always larger than their hurts.
The largeness of Doug’s heart and the attractiveness of his lovely family are highly praised in his pastorates. He said of himself, Jean, and his boys: “Our hearts have been in the local church, and I have sought to preach God’s word and shepherd God’s people.” He was ordained a full member of the Louisiana Conference in 1980 and pastored through 1995. How well the Doug Foreman family was loved is given high tribute in the very long years he spent at each pastorate: Hodge-Dodson-New Hope from 1978-1982, Rayne Centenary from 1982-1986, DeRidder Wesley from 1986-1989, and Winnsboro First from 1989-1995. His entire career was among only four pastorates! Truly, he was a man well liked.
You would always find Doug at the church genuinely busy among important tasks: sitting at the computer, reading in his study, or planning or cooking something for his church family. His daily round was colorful and attractive wherever he lived. Doug was much at home on the sidewalk, rubbing shoulders, at home in the intricate complications of ancient biblical grammar, classical literature (he was a scholar), and in homes sharing joy and lending a kind shoulder. Knowing Doug’s lovely family, however, one is never surprised at his gentle and compassionate ways. Jean’s faithful love and presence and the mischievous fun and laughter of Wesley, Joshua, Matthew, Micah, and Timothy were a trove of grace and goodness, and he drew from this high prize his constant energy.
Doug was right: through the formative years as a student pastor at Tech, his years in seminamy, and the days of a growing family, God was opening doors. And now we all see through one of those doors and catch just a glimpse of distant spires and parapets: a place of saints and great people, heaven and hope. Doug, you preached to us about this celestial city, and upon a sunlit day at Easter time you slipped away as quietly as you lived to grace heaven’s peace and left a door open for us all. Somehow, just as you said, “God will continue to make things happen because you left for us a vision of eternity’s peace through an open door.” Wait on us, Doug, we’re all coming.
Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1975; p. 252 By L. R. Bevill

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