In Memory of Chester McCalley
Early in the morning of May 11th, Chester went home to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As we are told by the apostle Paul, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. In this we comfort one another and rejoice.
We intend to continue the mission of Word of Truth and make Chet's Bible study materials available on a grace basis, just as he always insisted. Chet once said, "No one will listen to a dead man's tapes." It was this belief that drove him to write commentaries and booklets. By continuing to offer all of his tapes, literature, and videos, we will allow God and his children to determine if anyone will listen to his tapes.
Forty years ago, Chester McCalley started a Bible study group that would become the foundation for Beth Haven Church. After a young girl died in a sledding accident, friends and family asked Chet to teach God's Word. Meeting in private homes, they promised to provide plenty of ham, beans, and cornbread. Chester had just returned to Kansas City after a year of graduate study at Dallas Theological Seminary. Prior to that, he earned a bachelor's and master's degree from Bob Jones University. Only 24 years old, Chet was teaching at Calvary Bible College in Kansas City and was looking for the opportunity to build his own church.
From the home Bible class started in February of 1960 until his last lesson at Beth Haven on May 10, 2000, Chet taught God's Word nearly every Sunday and Wednesday. His goal was to die teaching God's Word in the pulpit. He went to be with the Lord while sleeping, just hours after his Wednesday night Bible class. As a family, we are thankful he was able to fulfill his wish of teaching God's Word until his last day here on earth.
His last few months were good ones. He enjoyed the Word of Truth cruise, was able to spend a lot of time with his family, and continued to study and teach God's Word. His final words from the pulpit on Wednesday were about the next book he planned to teach. He loved being with his friends and renewing acquaintances. We know from talking with some of you that he spent a lot of time the last two weeks calling and sharing his thoughts and feelings with you. Thank you for giving him this time.
Even though he was quite ill, he had very little pain. He never complained, except when he had to go to the doctor "again." He felt it was a waste of time. God in his mercy was so gracious. He gently folded His arms around Chester, resolved his fears, and took him home.
His family and the staff of Word of Truth appreciate your support and prayers over the years. We request your prayers for this ministry and the decisions that will be made in the months ahead, and for the members of Beth Haven Church who for the first time will be faced with selecting a pastor-teacher to feed and nurture this flock that has been cared for so well over the past forty years.
(This memorial was taken from Chet's newsletter "Window on the Word.")
Editor's Note: Chester (Chet) McCalley was both a contributor to the early issues of the Grace Family Journal, along with being a Bible Conference teacher at Duluth Bible Church. By God's grace, Chester was an extremely clear and able expositor of God's Word and proponent of the grace of God for both justification and sanctification. Though his writing and tape ministry continues via "Word of Truth," he will be truly missed.
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