When we started attending Eagle’s Nest Worship Center in Omaha a little over four years ago, there was a Greeter who was always so friendly and he and I became good friends. His name was Samuel Lee, but most people referred to him as Brother Lee. Everyone could always count on a warm handshake or hug and a great smile and a goofy joke, but his concern and love was genuine for everyone who came in to the church. I was told he served on the Greeter Ministry for nearly 15 years and it was a great fit for him because he “never knew any strangers.”
At his request, Brother Lee and I began to meet on certain afternoons to share and talk about the Bible. Even though he was almost 30 years older than me, he had a hunger to know more about God. One time I challenged him to look beyond greeting people and to actually offer to pray for someone who might look a little down or discouraged. He came in the next week so excited because he had actually put that into practice that previous week and wanted to share how he had prayed for someone and how thankful they were that he took that initiative. He was very real with his prayers when he prayed with me during this discipleship times.
On several occasions he came over to our house to fellowship and join with our family in special holiday gatherings. I remember that he liked to take home other people’s leftovers that we had at our parties or gatherings. He had a few quirky fun sides to him that I can’t reveal on this blog only because I don’t know if I have all of the facts correct, and want to be truthful, but this much I know, he was a great friend and will miss him and always remember his smile, his handshake, the way he greeted me each time with the words, “Hello Pastor, where have you been traveling?”
I was so blessed and honored to know him for these four years before he passed away on April 12, of 2013. While driving to Kearney Nebraska on April 12th, to minister at the Nebraska State Aglow Conference, I was wondering who I should dedicate my next book to which is called “Willing to Yield” and will be published this coming summer. After arriving in Kearney, and shortly after hearing of Brother Lee’s passing, I knew in my heart that I would be dedicating the book to him, because he embodied yielding to God and to others to bless, encourage, bring cheer and joy to all he met.
He was a native Omaha resident and served in the Navy before becoming an Omaha Police Officer and actually was the first black motorcycle officer in the city of Omaha. His lovely wife Pat is also a joy to know and just as friendly as he was and a wonderful friend as well.
At the conclusion of the Funeral Service, our Praise Team sang a song that so depicts Brother Lee’s life and service to the Lord and I have copied the words for all to read below
“The Keeper of the Door”
I’d rather be a keeper of the door
And know the power of Your presence Lord
To be able to gain entrance
Right into Your holy presence
I’d rather be a keeper of the door
One thing I ask
And I will seek
To drink the water from Your living well
My heart inflamed
Cry out oh God
To know You in the place Your glory dwell
I would let the door swing by
Inviting everyone to enter in
Shine the light
Show the way
~~~Good Bye Brother Lee~~~
Thanks for wonderful memories and thoughtful greetings!
Now who took those leftovers?
This was an awesome tribute to Brother Lee! He was such a wonderful and caring person. I will miss his smile, hugs and humor!
Thank you for sharing!
Love and blessings!
A wonderful tribute!! Thanks for sharing!!
Thank you Brother Jay for sharing your thoughts and beautiful words. It reminded me that we all have greeters in our lives, at our churches and in our communities who we see each day but may not take the time to appreciate. I am going to take the time to thank and pray with the greeters at my church this morning and encourage others to do the same. Share Christ with your greeter before they move on without you!
very inspirational: Steve
That was a beautiful tribute to Bro Lee. He was an awesome man of God. He will be missed immensly. Larry
I a so sorry to hear about your friends Passing. I enjoyed hearing about Lee and his life. He seems like a really nice man. That is awesome that you are writing that book in honor of him! My prayers are with you and his family. Lori Lentz
A heart warming story and for those who know Bro Lee, well, I have to agree with Pastor Jay. Brother Lee always had a smile on his face NO MATTER WHAT, even when he was so very sick. To say that it was a special blessing to have this man in my life for the past 10+ years, well, words cant explain how he has touched my life….and the life of my daughter Tiere & all my grandchildren. Thanks for the awesome memories & this post Pastor Jay ❤ continued blessings to you, Sis Diane, & Jason!
My next book coming out in August will have two dedications in it including Brother Lee – thanks for the nice comments too – I appreciate hearing from others when they read the blog