Stories: Jerry Bryant

A Story About Vance Havner
By Jerry Bryant

I first met Vance Havner when I was a student at Gardner-Webb College. I grew to love his preaching and his writing. I own every book that he has written that I could lay my hands on. I started communicating with him and was surprised to find that he would answer every letter that I wrote. I have kept his letters and they are among my earthly treasures. My story is this.

My first pastorate was just a few miles from Brother Havner’s beloved “Old Corinth Church.” I had been invited to preach a week of revival meetings there by the pastor, Brother R.J Presley. Somehow, Brother Havner found out. After the meeting was over I got a note from him wanting to know how the services went. Due to some internal situations, involving one of the church staff, that was a week of tough preaching. I wrote Brother Vance back and told him what I encountered and how troubled I was about what was going on and how discouraging it was.

A few days after I wrote him, I went to the mailbox and there was a package from him. He had sent me a copy of his biography with an inscription and a note attached. I will not share the words of the note for they were very personal. But those words gave me the encouragement and understanding I needed as one who was fresh in the pastorate. And I loved him as a Christian brother more than ever after that. I listen to his tapes, read his books and quote him often. I’ve never known any one to be more faithful to our Lord and encourage more pastors than he. If I could ever be one ounce of what he was I will be a very happy man.

Used by permission of the author.

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