|When I was appointed as pastor of Palestine United Methodist Church. one of the first persons I met was Elmer Malone. Elmer had been away from the church for many years and had joined Palestine just prior to my coming. When he embraced the Christian faith, it was with great zeal and enthusiasm. He became involved in every part of the life of the church.
Although Elmer gave himself fully as a layman in the service of his church, something was missing. He felt God calling him into the ordained ministry. Elmer answered that call to preach and accepted his first appointment as pastor of the Liberty Chapel United Methodist Church in Williana. Although he was almost 50 years old, be began to prepare himself for the ministry and in a few years, he was ordained an elder in the United Methodist Church.
For 20 years, Elmer served churches all over the state of Louisiana and carried out his calling with faithfulness and integrity. He gave to each church he served the very best he had. Elmer was a caring pastor, an able administrator, and a challenging preacher. He always tried to be there for those who needed him. His ready smile and great sense of humor brought joy to those around him. Elmer had a wonderful perspective from which he viewed the passing parade of events in life.
Elmer was a person with strong convictions and he tried to live by those convictions. He was not the least bit reluctant to speak his mind. He was honest and forthright in all his dealings. There was no pretense about Elmer Malone. He was himself in all kinds of situations with all kinds of people.
After 20 years in ministry, Elmer retired in June, 1984, and returned to his home place in Ball which he loved so much. Elmer really enjoyed those retirement years. As I observed him, I sensed that he had found the peace of God which the world cannot give and the world cannot take away.
Elmer believed in a God whose grace was sufficient for his every need. And his life was a witness to that amazing grace. He trusted in a God who is ever at work bringing joy out of sorrow, hope out of despair, and life out of death -- A God of new beginnings and endless possibilities. This faith sustained him throughout his life and enabled him to meet suffering, disappointment; and pain with courage and serenity. And when God called him home, he was ready.
The words of the Apostle Paul seem so descriptive of Elmer’s life: “1 have fought the good fight; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.” Elmer kept the faith and the faith kept him.
|Source: Journal Louisiana Conference, 1995; p. 253 By C. Richard Hoffpauir|