Larry Sherman

May 13, 2013

Larry Sherman passed away suddenly last week.  He was a mentor, encourager, cheerleader, and friend.  When I felt God’s call to plant a church in Mt. Juliet, Larry was introduced to me as someone who could help.  “Someone who could help” was an understatement.

Larry Lee ShermanBesides helping us gain funding, Larry believed in me.  He actually said that I was an answer to his prayer about starting a church here in Middle Tennessee.  Talking to him always made me better than I was before the conversation.

I could always be honest with Larry.  He would come into town 5-6 times a year and we would have lunch and talk.  We would also talk on the phone between visits.  I remember one visit a couple of years ago.  Larry asked me as we sat for dinner, “So how are you today?”  I told him, “I ready to quit, Larry.  I didn’t feel that way yesterday and I don’t think I’ll feel that way tomorrow, but today I’m ready to quit!”

It didn’t matter if things were going great or if things weren’t going so well, Larry was the same person.  That person was always encouraging.

I was with Larry in Orlando a few weeks ago and Larry mentioned retiring.  I told him he couldn’t because we needed him.  (I told him then that he was not replaceable.)  Larry explained that he was anxious to move to Dallas and begin spending time with his kids and grandkids.  I hate that he wasn’t able to do that.  I know that he loved his family dearly and they loved him too.

Larry called a few weeks ago and asked me if I was free on May 6 for dinner.  He told me to bring some of my leaders.  Eight of us got together at Cheddars and had a great night laughing together.  We talked about the church through the laughter and As Larry ate his fish tacos, he suggested that we go around and tell one thing that no one else knew about each other.

The next morning, I received an email from Larry telling me he enjoyed the evening and bragging on my leaders.  A few hours later, he got on a plane and went to his REAL home.  He went to see Jesus.  Larry passed away on the plane headed to Detroit.

There are countless church planters around the country that feel the same as I do about Larry.  He will be irreplaceable in his work, friendship, and leadership.  I will miss him dearly.  His legacy is HUGE.

What I don’t understand is why I was chosen…. Blessed…. by God to share his last evening with him.  Out of all the church planters across the country, his wife Debbie, his kids and grandkids, I received that blessing.  I don’t understand and I don’t deserve that honor.

I am humbled and thankful for the gift of spending the last evening with Larry and I will treasure the time for the rest of my life.  I miss my friend.