Mike Cope's blog

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Surrounded by Joyce, Kellie and Jim, Trellis and Chris, Corey and Sally, and Ryan and Amber, Gwynneth Curtis took his last breath yesterday at 3:15 p.m. Anyone who knew Gwynneth knew how much he loved singing, so we can only imagine his delight at having Kellie sing over him during his last hours. That's an angelic voice! (As I write that, I recall when our praise team at Highland was Kellie, Wendy [Wray] Ogren, Brandon Scott Thomas, and David Chrane. Now THAT is a praise team!) As a shepherd of the Highland Church, Gwynneth taught me so much: about devotion to scripture, about love of family, and about the mission of Christ. Not only were he and Joyce former missionaries in Europe, but he remained a trainer and equipper of missionaries there--as a missionary-in-residence at ACU and then (the last two years) as a minister with Eastern European Mission. A few Wednesday nights we've had prayers for missions around the world, with various people leading the prayer time by continent. If Gwynneth was around, I'd always ask him to lead the session for Europe. Usually I'd sneak around from room to room, making sure it was going well--which, of course, it always does with people like the Brooms (Africa), the Hendersons (Asia), and the Gibbs (South America) involved. What I noticed in Gwynneth's room was that there was usually not much time left for prayer, because he kept naming families whom he wanted everyone to pray for! Was there a missionary from Churches of Christ in Europe that Gywnneth didn't know, love, and pray for? I doubt it. I'll miss this good man.

4 Comments:

  • I have known Gwynneth since I was about 3 or 4 when he was "youth minister" in Amarillo and that was 40+ years ago. I can remember then that he was always encouraging people to know his GOD and what God could do for you. I remember stories of how he would go to almost any gathering and the talk always turned to what and who was happening in Europe. Even after he got sick he would talk to the young missionaries and not only give them encouragement about their work but would also sit down and talk to them about how that life can be. I also know how he raised his kids to know their GOD and how he care for the grandkids. Yeah we are going to miss him but he is home and I am getting homesick.

    By Blogger Critter, at 9/02/2004 05:01:00 AM  

  • Gwynneth Curtis was a household word when we lived in Europe and even after we left. If I remember correctly, he was in Vienna, Austria.

    Being American and military, my parents were always aware of what could happen and they tried to prepare me at a very young age what my brother and I should do if we ever became separated because of some circumstance. Since most of our family was not nearby, their best advice to me was to find a missionary. So they made sure that we knew a fair number of them.

    After we began to attend Highland, I had the pleasure of sitting in front of the Curtises and got to hear Gwynneth's rich baratone voice. I don't think I will ever forget it.

    By Blogger Serena Voss, at 9/02/2004 06:47:00 AM  

  • Wow--we've been just trying to take in the thought that Gwy (pronounced "Gwee") is not with us anymore. Year and years of friendship with his family. Singing with Kellie, going out some with Trellis, being in club with Corey. Man--hard to believe. I remember when Gwynnetrh was in charge of the singing groups at ACU my freshman year and made us all wear matching outfits. We looked like the Vontraps 80's style. I remember the twinkle in his eye as he talke dabout things that excited him. I remember what an amazing golfer he was. I remember how he loved to laugh. I remember how much he LOVED hearing Kellie sing (who doesn't??). I know he will be missed. I am so thankful that he didn't have to exist in the condition he was in last week. He was a great man and will really be missed.

    By Blogger Brandon Scott, at 9/02/2004 08:12:00 AM  

  • My dear, long term friends here in Abilene were close friends with the Curtis' - having met them while on duty in Turkey, over 40 years ago. Gwynneth was responsible for their decisions to train in the Russian language, for requesting duty to the Moscow Embassy during the Cold War to polish their Russian, for encouraging them, when they retired from the Army, to come to Abilene and prepare their missionary team for Rostov-on-the-Don, Russia. He, Gwynneth, was the one that spent several summers in Rostov with this couple, encouraging, teaching hymns and praise songs to the baby Christians there. The wife of this couple said to me last night that Gwynneth was the most influential person in her life, without exception, and her husband was in deeper grief at the physical loss of his treasured best friend. I grieve with them.

    My great loss is that I only had a few short months to begin to get acquainted with Gwynneth last year, before it became impossible for him to come to church. My last time to speak with him is a memory that is permanently imbeded in my mind, of a Gwynneth smilingly shrugging off the bother of a serious illness, opening the door for his lovely Joyce - with that smile, assuring her that he was still there to honor her. I never heard him express concern for himself, only for Joyce, those few times afforded me to talk with Gwynneth.
    I will always feel deprived that time didn't give me the chance to get better acquainted with Gwynneth, but I'll always tresure those few moments at Highland and the phone conversations we had.

    By Blogger Kathy, at 9/02/2004 09:51:00 AM  

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