"...When He [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matt 9:36

"Do not rob the poor, because he is poor... for the Lord will take up their case and plunder those who plunder them." Proverbs 22:22-23

Friday, November 13, 2009

Freda Crawford

My wife and I were extremely saddened to hear the news yesterday of the death of Freda Crawford, wife of Pastor Gary Crawford of Westside Baptist Church in Gainesville, Florida. Freda had been battling cancer for 9 years. She and her husband Gary have been serving at Westside Baptist Church for 28 years.

As reported by the Florida Baptist Witness:

"While undergoing a cancer treatment regimen that included two bone marrow transplants and on-going chemotherapy, Crawford continued to teach Sunday School and to sing in the choir, completed a Ph.D. in education at University of Florida, and assisted Gary Crawford in writing and editing a book he dedicated to her: Celebration of Love, Marriage and Sex: A Journey Through Song of Solomon."

How wonderful that Mrs. Crawford was voted "Pastor's Wife of the Year" at the Florida State Baptist Convention annual meeting in Pensacola November 9th just a few days before her death. She was the model pastor's wife, teaching Sunday School, playing the piano, committed to serving people through involvement in world missions, and an inspiration to all of the people at her church and in the state of Florida.

My wife and I have fond memories of Westside Baptist and Gary and Freda - we met at Westside Baptist Church and were active in their excellent college ministry, and were married by Gary back in 1986 and were members there until we moved to Jacksonville in 1988. We still have friends who attend Westside who have always told us what a wonderful example of faith and perseverence Freda has been to them through her long battle with cancer.

Our condolences go out to Gary and his family, and all of the people at Westside Baptist Church in Gainesville.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Freda Crawford was an inspiration to all who knew her.Her courage and faithfulness during her illness was remarkable.She is in the presence of the Lord now, which reminds me of the song she sang at our wedding, "Surely the Presence of the Lord is in this place". She was one of my favorite soloists at Westside Baptist in Gainesville.My prayers go to especially Gary and their two grown children, Christa and Jon.May the peace of God which surpasses all understanding be with them.

Anonymous said...

I did not know the Pastor and his wife. But, I offer my prayers and condolences to him and his family members, their friends, and church family. It is so very difficult to lose one's life partner, especially when their is real love in the marriage. He, like we, have the comfort of knowing that Jesus is with us and his wife is with Jesus. God bless this Pastor and may he find peace and comfort.

Jim said...

I pray God's grace and comfort, along with the love and support of family and friends, will uplift Pastor Crawford and the children as they face life without Freda. May our Precious Lord also stand beside the members of Westside Baptist Church in Gainesville. In some real sense, Freda's death is like the death of a surrogate "Mom" and Sister to many there. Thank God for the peace that will come to them and the joyful rest into which she has already gone.