Sally and I received a phone call this morning, February 18, from my brother in the United States informing us that my dad passed away. We fly to the States in two days time for the funeral. I informed you last night in a previous email that he was near the end of his life, and now we have news that he died at 5 AM (U.S. time) this morning, with my brother at his side.
My dad was my hero. He was a man of prayer, a church planting pioneer many times over, and a pastor's pastor. He planted and pastored local churches for more than 45 years. When he retired the first time (three times he tried to retire!), he and mom joined Sally and me in Amsterdam to serve as pastors to our community of more than 300 staff and volunteers. Pastors all over Holland and the world considered him to be their pastor.
Many men of God sought his counsel and friendship through the years. Many young men turned to him as a mentor and spiritual coach. I cannot remember a morning growing up that I did not wake to the sound of my dad praying in his bedroom or study. He was a man of great humility and wisdom – he often cried openly as he preached the good news of God’s grace.
Dad loved to travel – he ministered many times in Africa. He always had time to listen to the stories of the “little guy”, local pastors and missionaries who sought his counsel.
As I grew older and began to travel and speak and then later, to author books, he loved to tease me that he was “the real Floyd McClung”. I am honored to carry his name and be Floyd McClung Jr.
He was faithful to my mother all his life, and raised me and my brother and sister to love and fear God. All three of us have served as missionaries and ministers of the good news all of our adult lives. We attribute our faith to his faith and perseverance, his tender spirit, and his fear of the Lord.
Dad was 89 years old. He grew up in a poor migrant workers family earning a living by picking cotton, apples, and potatoes during the Great Depression. Their family of nine children didn't know from day to day where the next meal would come from. Dad was saved at the age of 17 in a revival tent meeting in Tulare, California. He was invited to pastor his first church at the age of 23, a "store front" church in Long Beach, California, where I was born.
We will miss him greatly. He told me many times throughout my life that he prayed for me every day of my life. What greater gift could a man have than that? I will miss him dearly, but with God's help, I will carry on his legacy of discipleship and church planting.
Thank you for your prayers for Sally and me as we return to the States to celebrate his life and ministry. Dad fought the good fight, finished his race on this earth, and there is now a crown waiting for him in heaven.