Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 17, 1966

"For He Was A Good Man, And Full Of The Holy Spirit And Of Faith"

Henry A. Kirkland

The above words were written by the pen of inspiration concerning Barnabas whom the Jerusalem church sent to Antioch when they heard that a great number had believed the gospel and turned to the Lord.

When this good man came to Antioch and saw the grace of God there, he "was glad, and exhorted them all, that with-purpose of heart they would cleave to the Lord" (Acts 11:23).

There are no greater words that could be written of any man than these used to describe the character of Barnabas. All of us should strive so that such words might be said of us when we have passed into eternity.

Someone has said that you can tell the character of a person by what makes them happy. This saying is true, and will be true in every generation. Barnabas was a man who was made happy when the cause of the Lord prospered, and when he could do good as his Lord had done while on this earth. This can be seen by the first mention of this good man in the book of Acts for he first comes to our attention when he sold his land and gave the proceeds to the cause of Christ (Acts 4:36,37).

On Thursday night, September 22, 1966, such a good man passed away. Few of those in the Dillard congregation knew this man personally but he has in more ways than one touched the lives of everyone of us. I speak of one of the Elders of the Napa, California, church of Christ, brother Earl Bassett.

Over four years ago brother Bassett was one of the men who influenced my wife and me in our decision to come to Oregon for the sake of the cause of Christ. He was also constantly concerned about our material well-being during the early days, as we did our best to fight for the truth in those pressing and trying times. He was to me personally a tower of strength, a fountain of wisdom and good judgment, and the source of encouragement in times filled with discouragement. Many times I counseled with him and found that I came away with renewed energy and determination to continue when the flesh was weak and ready to give in. The sound judgment and gems of wisdom he imparted helped me when I needed them most. Thus you may be able to see why his passing affects me as it does, and why I believe he will be sorely missed in the continuing battle against digressive tendencies prevalent today.

Brother Earl Bassett was often made happy when he received the word of the grace of God that had been accompanied in Dillard. I am persuaded this character of his was one of the determining influences on his two sons, Don and Jerry, who are faithful Christians and gospel preachers. Our hearts must go out to them and sister Bassett in their great loss.

Those who have been members of the Dillard church for sometime have often felt his influence through the preaching of one of his sons, brother Jerry Bassett whom we all love dearly. It was fitting that his passing occurred during the time when Jerry was doing that which his father placed above all else, proclaiming the gospel of the risen Son of God to a lost and dying world. One of the final contributing factors to his untimely death was his love of the gospel and the sons who proclaimed it so much that he defied medical advice and attended the last meeting faithfully which Jerry held in Napa.

Knowing brother Bassett intimately, I feel certain that it was the hope and faith he had which helped him endure the last agonizing weeks until he was mercifully released from this earthly tabernacle. The last time I held his hand in mine neither of us spoke more than a word. His condition kept him from speaking and my heart was too full. I was afraid even then that we might never meet again this side of the river of death. As I reflect upon that event I feel certain that such was also in his heart.

Perhaps this article will impart to the members of this congregation a small amount of that which is in my heart as I pay final respects to his earthly tabernacle. My heart is heavy and my eyes are dim but within I feel the blessing and comfort of the words of John when he wrote, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them" (Rev. 14:13).

It is my earnest desire that all of us by the example of this good man will be made stronger in the faith so that we too might have it said of us at our passing, "He was a good man (or woman), and full of the Holy Spirit and of faith." Brethren pray for all those who shall have empty hearts in these times of human trial, that we all may find strength and comfort in the words of the Lord, and that we may be strong and faithful unto death so that we may receive the crown of life that awaits all such. (Rev. 2:10).

-Box 993 Roseburg, Oregon