Each person we know in this tiny but significant denomination has a journey which crossed paths with Arthur Slye. My first meeting was at a Youth camp in Weatherford, Texas when I was 12 or so. I got to know Larry and Jerry fairly well from camp, but seldom bumped into Arthur at EMC Conferences we attended. I was at the Western EMC Conference as a quiz-team member, but don't recall anything of Arthur's ordination at Azuza Pacific College that year.
In July of 1973, our paths crossed again as "The Good Life" sang at the Irving EMC. Again in 1975, I was with the Duncanville EMC when Irving dedicated their new sanctuary.
In the spring of 1978, Brenda and I moved from Little Rock to Irving to begin my radio career in Dallas. From that time to this, we have never been a part of any other church.
The most amazing experience was the turbulent District Conference in Sweetwater shortly after our church had withdrawn, then returned to the denomination. Arthur was nominated for DS along with five other candidates. From receiving only a handful of votes on the first ballot, he was overwhelmingly elected on the fifth ballot, which was nothing short of a miracle for a man so out-of-favor with church leadership. Events soon snowballed within a year when Arthur chose to preach some of his deepest-held truths to the District Conference at Irving. The firestorm of his corrupt heresy trial was followed by the withdrawal of Port Neches, Robinson and Irving EMC. I belive Cross Plains EMC might have withdrawn, too, but can't be sure.
The work of forming a new denomination from three churches was hard work, but exciting. I would not trade that experience for anything. Working with Arthur to develop founding principles, a new government structure, a new discipline and the first brochure was a high privilege for those of us who were able to help.
Fast forward to yesterday's meeting in Bryan:
Arthur and Chris both looked great. We had a wonderfully sincere Interchurch Council Meeting with a great turnout. We were looking forward to a similar experience at the North Texas church during Conference weekend in May. Finally, Arthur and Chris would see our new facility and experience the traditional organ and piano hymn music they so appreciated.
They spent lunch with their families, Jerry, Cindy, Nate, Jennifer, Eric, Kendall and Allie. Not a bad last day on earth for our Founder in Faith. Now, he's experiencing all the wonder and excitement he has looked forward to nearly 54 years. May God bless and keep Arthur and all his relatives and christian family he has left behind.