Grandpa died with two son-in-laws and a grandson with him and two daughters and a grand daughter nearby. He was 83 and died of heart trouble. Which is ironic, since, to his family, his heart was the strongest.
Grandpa spent his life loving his family and reading the Bible. He taught us how to read the Bible by the way he lived his life. He was married to Elsie, whom he called "honeybunch" for over 57 years. She went home four years ago. He is survived by three daughters- Clara Joan, Carol and Pam- seven grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren.
One of his greatest loves was preaching. He used to travel to different churches every weekend to preach at Churches that could not afford to pay a minister. Despite difficulties with his throat and sometimes pain, he would still love to preach. He was willing to work hard at any job so that he had time to read, be with his family, and share from the Word of God.
I believe it was my Grandfather who always taught me to love all people with the love of Christ, regardless of who they were or where they came from. I am certain I cannot yet love like he loves. Perhaps in time God will make use of our lives too.
During the last few months he used to say, "I will walk right up to death and punch him in the nose!...Besides I know more people over there than I know here."
His most prized joy was that his family was still part of the Church. I pray that God give us, his family, the grace to live up to his legacy.
I can say in my life, I have known a saint...but we just called him "Grandpa."
"I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable as an act of worship. And do not be conformed to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to know and to do His good will."
" Clarence and Elsie (Miss. Honeybunch) would drive around their church neighborhood and when they happened upon groups of children they would invite them to church. If they agreed to come they would pick them up on Sunday morning and take them to church. Grandpa also remembers that more often than not, Grandma would need to take the children into the restroom and wash the dirt from their hand and faces, and comb their hair. One of the most precious memories Clarence had was that one of these little children gave his heart to God and went on to become a powerful man of God winning souls to Christ as a Free Will [Baptist] Minister.
Clarence Hicks would start churches from scratch, build them up to the point where they could financially support a Pastor then he would tell the church to fill his position with a younger man that had a family. Clarence always held an outside job while working for the Lord. He worked as a Pastor for nearly 50 years and never took money from the church. If the church did pay him he would sign the check and put it in the offering plate. He supported his family with the money he made from his secular job."
When I give myself to the habit of time
Down to the river, and cross that line Lay me down and say of my life, I've only the promise, You gave me. --From "the promise" dedicated to Rev. Hicks.