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A Tribute to Elder Lonnie Mozingo, Sr. PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Montgomery   

Lonnie and Shirley Mozingo

November 25, 2005

When someone who has been a special influence to me passes this life, it is a custom of mine to write a memorial to their memory. As I consider the life of Elder Lonnie Mozingo, Sr, I feel a great desire to  thank my Lord that I knew him and can say that he was an influence in my life. As Elder Pyles said in his memorial, Brother Lonnie was a father and friend to many, and he certainly was to me.
The most outstanding characteristic of Brother Lonnie was his way of extending happiness to others. I feel that this was his great gift and what set him apart from anyone else I have ever known. Indeed, I have never met another human being that gave so much joy and happiness to those around him. 
If you ever saw him lead a song, you know what I mean. You could tell that he saw that eternal day coming, where no heartache will come, where no tear shall dim the eye and where there will be no sad partings, where all is peace forever more, on that happy golden shore. Oh how happy we were made to feel! His song leading never drew attention to himself, but it drew the attention to ourselves, the listeners and it made us think of better things. Ultimately, it brought our attention to the Lord and we were made to feel happy. What an outstanding gift for the church! It is was drove him to do the things he did, things which would eventually cost him his health and hurt him financially. But that did not move him...as the Apostle Paul, he was willing to spend and be spent for the Lord's people.
If you ever got to talk with him, you know what I mean. He always wanted to know how you were. But that was not just a question one might feel required to ask in a conversation. He really wanted to know how you were and if there was anything he could do for you. I was always made to feel better after visiting with him. There were several times when I went to his home that he would leave his sick-bed to come and visit with me. The last time I was there was especially poignant...he was not feeling well at all, but he come into the room and wanted to know how things were with me, my family and ministry. As we sat down to supper, he offered a prayer that will ever stay with me. Precious memories.
If you ever saw him preach the gospel, you know what I mean. He gave every ounce of energy into those sermons. There were times that I thought that he might need to stop the message for I feared for his health, but now I believe that that would have hurt him more. His life was devoted to the ministry. He gave up a career and a good retirement to preach the gospel. He paved the way for so many young preachers and made their lot so much better.  How could he refrain? Oftentimes, with a sick body, deprived of sleep, he would drive hundreds of mile to preach just one sermon. But that was his joy--to tell the beloved story of Jesus and Him crucified. His joy to express that joy, to impart that joy, and we all were the better for it.
As I close this testimonial, I regret that it took me so long to realize the magnitude of his great gift. It is like that even now, when I want to be sad because he is gone that he is telling me not to feel sad. It is like he is telling me that because I know this that I should go out and do as he did in his life. To follow his example as he followed the Lord and the Apostles. And he is telling me not to feel sad but to rejoice for there truly is coming that day he so sweetly sang about and that we should want to sing that song and tell that story. With this realization, I do not feel sad anymore--Brother Lonnie has done it to me again...the sadness is gone and the joy remains. Thank you Lord for giving us this man and this gift.
My prayers are with Mama Shirley and with their children and grandchildren. Some day, I'll get to go to his house and see him again, but not in Hattiesburg...no, in Paradise. What joy we shall feel on that day!
Written in love and respect for this great man.
In His service,
David Montgomery

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 October 2006 )
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