A Brief Tribute to a Great Man

Jim Chesser died this morning.

Some of you who read this blog won’t know him.  He was an elder at Poinciana Christian Church where I have been the preacher for over 23 years.  He was one of my bosses, but that doesn’t tell the tale.  He was a friend, an encourager, a co-worker, a leader, a counselor, a teacher, a missionary, and a constant inspiration.

Here’s my favorite Jim Chesser story:

A few years ago, Jim was nominated to serve as an elder at PCC.  He’d already served 35 years in the preaching ministry and several as a Bible college professor.  Before he agreed to have his name placed on the ballot, he took me to lunch and told me that he had known some former preachers who, in their retirement, became difficult elders because of a “know-it-all” attitude.  He wanted to know if I’d seen similar situations (I had) and if I was leery of him becoming an elder for that reason.

It was extraordinarily kind of him to consider my feelings and to offer not to serve as an elder if it would make me feel uncomfortable.

In response to his question, I told him that the very fact that he was concerned about my feelings was proof enough for me that he would never make me feel uncomfortable.

He never did.

It was an honor and privilege to serve with Jim.  I can’t count the times he offered just the right words–a story, a Scripture, an insight–that was just what our leadership team needed.  As for me, I never received anything but compliments and encouragement from him.

I will miss him, as will everyone who knew him.

Thank you, God, for Jim Chesser.


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10 Responses to A Brief Tribute to a Great Man

  1. Joanna Bernardi says:

    Despite all that he was going through I am in shock. Jim overcame the odds and I really thought he would overcome this set back also. He seemed invincible. It has been an honor and a privilege having him in my life. I will miss him something awful. To quote Mark, “Thank you, God, for Jim Chesser.”

  2. Rolando Casado says:

    Jim was champion of the faith. He always had a warm and friendly smile. He was an encouragement to me and certainly will be missed.

  3. Lisa Peto says:

    Just found out, I am so sorry for the pain and loss that everyone he touched has to go through, but I am blessed to know I will see him again. Please give Sandy my love and condolences. Jim was an awesome guy and he meant so much to so many people. I am glad his suffering is over and he is in paradise with our Lord now.

  4. Barb Paton says:

    What a beautiful tribute. My prayers are with Jim’s family, you and Marilyn and all his friends and co-laborers.

  5. Olivia Weinhold says:

    I will never forget Him! He was the best Professor I have ever had! He was my Mentor and he was my teacher! There were days we laughed so hard, there were days we cried together! I will never forget when we met about a month ago at FCC. I wasn’t shocked, I didn’t shed a tear… I was just so honored to stand right next to the most wonderful people I have ever met! He really showed the love of Christ in the classroom! While many set on the back rows of the classroom I always set in front waiting to hear him talk! I was just like a child eagerly wanting more of the food and water of Christ!

    One of the most memorable things that I have done with him was the Mexico trip! We had so much fun, hard work and so much assurance of the everlasting God!

    Now that he is in heaven He is still deeply missed and always will be. But Im not that terribly lonly anymore! Because I know that I can talk to him when I am in my lonliest moment and by the way I bet he is playing footbal with my grandfather right now!

    So happy and yet I am praying over the family and I love them all very much!

    Thanks Jim my kids will know the lasting legacy that you have left behind!
    Love you!

  6. Joan Page says:

    We are sad to hear of Jim’s passing, he always had a smile on his face and made you feel welcome. We did not know him personally, but his smile brightened our Sunday mornings. He seemed like a true gentleman. He is now HOME! Our prayers are with his wife Sandy and family!

  7. Marg says:

    I had first heard Jim do a sermon during one of Mark’s absence for a class and thought he really did an admirable job. I stopped after the service and told him how much I had enjoyed it. I wish now I could remember what it had been about. That was a few years ago. Jim was always there to say hi and how are you doing. He gave so much to so many. I am a reader and had asked him to read a couple of books I had found extremely interesting. He was kind enough to take them, read them and bring them back to me. He let me know what he had thought about them and I only wish we had taken the time to talk about them. I always looked for Jim on Sunday mornings and probably still will. God Bless his family during this difficult tie. I ask for a blessing for all the staff at the PCC for their loss is great also.

  8. PCC Family Member says:

    Jim always made me feel welcomed at PCC. His strength and faithfulness in the Lord is admirable. Durning Sunday service I was thinking how he will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Jim ran a good race. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with Sandy and family.

  9. Jenny Golden says:

    He is in a better place than all of us. He does not hurt. He does not need. The only thing he could want, is for anyone here not to feel pain. Amen.

  10. Bob and Chris Malkemes says:

    We have been gone from Poinciana Christian Church for one year now, but we haven’t forgotten Jim. He was one of the first people to welcome us on our first day there. We had spent some time with him at a few events. he never complained about the pain he was most likely in…his eyes lit up when he talked about mission work and Mexico. You could tell he cared not only about the people who attended on Sunday mornings, but about all those who were lost out in the real world. His work was done… his reward is something we can’t even begin to imagine.. he is at peace. He will be missed in so many ways. Thanks for the words in your blog Mark…always sensitive and thought provoking. We are only down the road, but we miss your sharing God’s word on Sundays.

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