Saturday, June 30, 2007

Remember the Titans

I received a very sad email today from Bob Girard's son-in-law, informing me that Bob died recently. It was the kind of unexpected surprise that immediately brings a tear to the eye.

Bob Girard (1932-2007)
Robert C. Girard was the author of many inspiring and thought-provoking books, the most notable for me being Brethren, Hang Loose (Or What's Happening To My Church?), which I found by "accident" in the basement of a house I was boarding at after a summer of tree-planting in Northern Ontario.

The book was a great source of encouragement to Wendy and I, and we have bought countless second-hand copies and given them away to many friends over the years. A highlight for me will always be the light-hearted-but-serious phone conversation I had with Bob a few years back, when I was writing my original article about Detoxing From Church.

An except from Bob's obituary in the Arizona Republic:
"He was a graduate of Miltonvale Wesleyan College in Miltonvale, KS, and was an internationally recognized speaker and best selling author of seven published books, including "Brethren Hang Loose" (1972), the Bible Commentary Sunday school curriculum for Scripture Press/David C Cook Publishers, and his most recent A Smart Guide To The Bible- The Book Of Acts, released on June 19th, the morning he died...

"While at Our Heritage, "Pastor Bob" impacted thousands of lives through his devotion to Jesus Christ and His Word, his creative and innovative approach to ministry, and his fierce commitment to the body of Christ, his fellow believers."
Your race was well-run, Bob. Thanks for sharing your journey with so many of us. We have a lot to be grateful for.

We remember the Titans, and you were surely one.


  1. Rob,
    I heard about Robert Girard last year on your blog. I was going through a REALLY difficult time as a missionary and I bought a couple of his books on your recommendation.They were excellent.

    His description of his church and experience in the book "When the Vision Has Vanished" was like reading my own story. It was uncanny. The big difference is I just crashed and burned and didn't get famous doing it!!! ;-)

    Anyway, I kind of held the hope of meeting him somewhere someday. I guess that won't be until heaven now.

    Thanks for introducing him to me and posting this information.

  2. Hi Eric,

    I wish I could have met Bob in real life as well, although even just being able to chat on the phone a few years back was a real honour.

    I think one of Bob's endearing qualities as a writer was his willingness to list all his mistakes in ministry alongside any successes. It made him very "real", and also allowed people like me to learn from his mistakes instead of making the same ones myself.

  3. Robby,

    My name is Bobby Girard, Bob's son. Saw your blog, wanted to thank you for your words. He died a year ago, and I have been missing him. Helps to remember his gift for being real in a fake world and a Church that seems bent on following it's example. Quite the legacy.



  4. I just stumbled across your blog and time-traveled back to the 70s. Bob was my pastor and my mentor. He was the greatest example of Jesus in 20th century skin. He and Audrey "adopted" me and loved me. During the last 35 years of ministry I have always returned to the principles we all learned together in the Our Heritage adventure. I can't wait to see him run without a limp in Heaven.

    Thanks for the memory.

    Ron Rogers