Summary: The remembrance service for a pastor that passed away after a fight with cancer.
Reginald Bailey Funeral
1. Prelude – Anointed Gates Praise Band
a. Family members march into the sanctuary
3. Welcome – Larry A. Pozza
a. I would like to welcome you this morning to the memorial service of Reginald Dwayne Bailey affectionately known as Pastor Reggie.
b. The goal last night was to praise God for our beloved brother Reggie. I have found in the course of my lifetime that there are three things that we need in a time of grief – we need to keep praising the Lord, we need perspective and we need people.
i. It is my goal to help bring some perspective on the life and work of Reggie, on our own mortality and the hope that enables us to carry on.
c. Pastor Reggie was a dear friend and colleague. I was supposedly his pastor and mentor. In many ways, he was mine. He opened a whole new world to me.
i. It started in a class that his dear wife Renee took that I was teaching. In September 1998 there began a friendship that merged within my spirit with the Baileys. It developed into the souls of two congregations co-mingling in the work of Christ.
ii. I will be forever grateful that the Lord brought Reggie and Renee into my life. There is a collective sorrow among us in the loss that we bear yet we rejoice that the Lord has brought Reggie into his presence.
iii. This is a sacred moment. It is sacred because we honor the life of a wonderful man of God. It is also sacred because we come face to face with the temporary nature of life here on earth. All of us need to recognize this sacredness and honor his memory by reflecting on his life and the existence of eternal life after his departure.
iv. No service could ever possibly do justice to the entire life of love and service of Pastor Reggie. Every person who interacted with him carries with him or her memories, or an imprint of what he was like. For me Reggie was always smiling, full of energy and often seemed like a circus performer trying to keep all the balls in the air.
v. He did too many things and too many acts of loving service to encapsulate all of it in one memorial service. We will try to hit some of the highlights.
vi. We have gathered to say farewell but also to draw comfort from the word of God. As the Psalmist says in 116:15 – “precious in the sight of the Lord are the death of his saints”. We also want to hear from God in this hour.
vii. One of Reggie’s favorite Scripture passages was the 91st Psalm.
We are gathered here this morning to find shelter in the shadow of the Almighty.
Over the last several weeks as we sensed that Reggie’s body was shutting down in his battle with cancer, a phrase kept running though my mind: I am now ready”. (2 Timothy 4:6). The words of the Apostle Paul, recorded from his prison cell, could have been spoken by Reggie:
“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing”.
In these words, spoken at the doorstep of eternity, the apostle Paul says “I am now ready”. He wasn’t always ready and wasn’t born ready. He became ready”. So did Reggie. Only God can help us get past our fear of death to embrace the assurance of eternal life.
As we watched Reggie’s battle with the horrendous illness, we are glad that while illness can claim our body, it cannot touch the soul.
We gather in the hope of Jesus this morning knowing that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” The Lord brings his own to his breast and it is there that the Christian is blest with no more pain, no more sorrow and no more sin.
Reggie has been set free this morning from those things that we will still battle in our remaining time on earth.
4. Opening Prayer
a. Reginald D. Bailey, senior pastor of Anointed Gates Church in Cleveland passed away on Saturday May 12, 2007 after a lengthy battle with cancer.
b. He was born to Frances Bailey on October 30, 1958 in Chattanooga, Tennessee where he spent his early years. His love for the church began at the age of 8 with a tamborine in his hand. He moved to New York in 1968.