Today, we interrupt our regularly scheduled weekly breather to honor one who has paved the way for many to be saved, many to be healed, and many to be discipled. In light of Sunday being All Saints’ Day, we would like to take a moment and tell you about one of those saints. With this post, we begin our Legacy of Faith series.
We talk so much about those who have come before us and transmitted the Christian faith to us. We honor them regularly. But, we don’t often talk about how these people are living, breathing, clay vessels just like we are. We don’t often talk about how to become a pillar of faith or how to impact a community. Recently, we did some video interviews with some of the pillars of faith in our team’s lives. We have posted some clips of the videos, but this series includes those video interviews for the first time in their entirety.
Dr. Donald Demaray
Dr. Don Demaray has been a light in the lives of several people on our Soul Care Collective Steering Committee. Indeed, he has been a bulwark of our entire community, though to hear him speak of himself, you would never know. He has spent countless hours pouring into the lives of people from all over the world. Being invited to tea at his home was a special honor that was bestowed on most anyone, quite liberally.
When you came to have tea with Dr. Don, most often, he would first take you to his extensive library. While you look around at the titles, he would prayerfully scour the shelves until he found just the right one. Then, he would take it down, inscribe it, and give it to you. There was just something about that gift that you knew was precious. He wasn’t just giving you a book off his shelf. He was passing down to you a piece of his life—something that had formed his faith and had become a thread in the tapestry of his life.
This is the way he has poured into people’s lives—by generously sharing pieces of himself and making space for people to meet with Jesus and be forever changed.
I will forever miss his constant smile and his gracious words of greeting. For over 35 years he never failed to demonstrate remarkable gifts into my life. Two things stand out, his ability to remember and his warm words of encouragement that came from his heart. He was filled to overflowing with faith.
I had Dr. Don for expository preaching my senior year. Ilearned more about preaching from him in that one class than I have in several other classes. As I was about to graduate Dr. Don encouraged me to pursue my D.Min. in the future. Thanks to his encouragement not 22 years later I am in the middle of my D. Min degree. I will always remember his warm and caring way.
“First of all, are all the lines of communication open between you and God? Is there any sin standing in the way? Or anything else which we need to take care of?” I remember him asking another student in his class – *Communication* class but so much more – with that gentle spirit of his. He was addressing this student who had raised a question but didn’t know he was speaking to me too on the sidelines. Or maybe he did.
I will never forget going to see Dr Demaray for my middler preaching critique. He smiled and said: “Mark, let’s go for a walk!” We walked around campus and to “downtown” Wilmore. Once in a while he slipped in a thought or two about my sermon. I was encourage to keep on preaching. I was also encouraged to be a positive, encouraging leader like Don Demaray.
I will never forget going to see Dr. Don to get my middler preaching critique. He gave me one of his big smiles and said: “Mark, let’s go for a walk! We walked across campus to “downtown” Wilmore. Occasionally he would slip in a comment or two on my sermon. I was encouraged in my preaching. And I was encouraged to be an encouraging person, like Don Demaray
I worked with Dr. Don during college in bis college SS class. I was responsible for setting up a music program for it. He wanted to involve lots of people. He was so caring and upbuilding.