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Sunset and Evening

By the Firm Foundation Staff

religion, articles, christianity

Joseph Gilmore Jr. passed to his eternal reward and his place in history on Sunday, October 5, 1997. His name shines brightly in the annals of the magnificent appeal to restore the ancient order. We rejoice that his name is written in the Lamb's book of life.

We join his wife, Joy, his daughter, Melinda, and his granddaughter, Lisa, in mourning his passing, though we do not sorrow as those who have no hope.

Joe Gilmore's fame is in his devotion to preaching the truth without fear or favoritism. He was above all else a man of the Word. He loved to preach and from his youth seized every opportunity to proclaim the everlasting glory of God's unfailing Word. He did not preach himself, but the crucified one. He did not preach opinion, but the unsearchable riches of Christ. Joe was never more stunning than when he stood in the pulpit with the sword of the Spirit glistening in his hand and his voice clearly proclaiming the verities that make men free and that he understood so well.

He put the kingdom first. He went, often at his own expense, where he was called. Sometimes it was to teach the lost, other times it was to instruct his fellow preachers, on occasion it was to help a troubled congregation recover from a misunderstanding or be snatched from a danger, but it was always because of the love and fear of God. He never hesitated to go where duty called. He went straight on, turning neither to the left hand nor to the right hand. His piercing, keen eyes were fixed on the goal and his heart was where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. He wore himself out striving to win a lost world for God's Almighty Son.

His devotion to his family came second only to seeking the righteousness of Jesus. His dear wife, his devoted child, and his loving granddaughter were ever helpful and supportive as Joe scattered precious seed, defended the gospel, and nurtured saints.

Joe gloried in his Indian heritage. He wore it like a nimbus. He loved to chant Indian songs and shock people with an Indian War Whoop. He gave the blood-curdling cry one evening at a restaurant in Memphis, and a Chinese cook came running out of the kitchen with a meat-cleaver in his hand. Joe and his friends often laughed as they recalled the incident. Joe Gilmore was a man of good humor. He always wore a smile.

We shall miss him, this child of God's affection, but we look forward to seeing him one day standing on an evergreen shore, wearing a star-studded crown and a translucent robe of his own righteous deeds. He will be standing there in the midst of all just men made perfect. He will bow low as he lays his trophies down at Jesus' feet-and the fellowship will never end.

"Here is the patience of the saints, they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard the voice from heaven saying, Write, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labors; for their works follow with them" (Rev. 14:12­13).

Published November 1997