A Friend and Example to Many –-Shane Hall
This week we are grieving the passing of a friend to our ministry, Shane Hall. We are grieving the hole that will be left behind in his house, in his church and in the lives he has touched--including ours. The "Called to be a Keeper" Bible study brought Shane's wife, Misty, and I together when I spoke at the Oklahoma Pastor Wives Conference in 2005. Misty was one of those women who heard the message of Keepers and began sharing and teaching the study in the church Shane pastored. And then when they were called to another church, she took it to that one, and then the next one.
I met Shane, her husband, when I went to speak at their church a few years after I met Misty. Imagine how thrilled I was when God moved them to a church locally and Misty joined our Keepers Ministry Team! Misty came on our team to plan the 2015 Keepers Conference, but Shane was diagnosed that year with stomach cancer, so we delayed the conference another year.
Misty had always told me how much Shane loved and believed in this study. In fact, she would say it was Shane that wanted her to teach it at each church he pastored. We sometimes get to hear from women about how much their husbands love the study, and once in a while, we hear directly from the husbands. However, with Shane it was different. He didn't stop with just sharing how important it was to him. He began to offer to help the ministry by asking questions like, "How can we support you?" "What do you need?" "We want to do what we can to help spread this message."
I can honestly say, that apart from my husband, there has never been a man who supported this ministry more than Shane Hall. Even last year, while his health continued to deteriorate, he asked Steve and I to coffee so he could offer his help, support and encouragement for this Bible study and ministry to continue.
This gesture, of course, encouraged me, but it also challenged me. Even while ill, Shane continued to strive in life living with an eternal focus. He was still doing what God called him to do until the very end: to teach God's Word. He wasn't able to stand in front of the church to teach the last few weeks, but his life "taught" all of us while he was dying.
Even his last Sunday on earth he was teaching as he baptized his young daughter, Mallory (read article). It was his prayer to live long enough to be able to do this.
That day in the coffee shop I shared my hope for Keepers...that I would see eternal fruit and see it multiplied. Shane shared that this too, was his desire...to live long enough to see the fruit of what God was doing in his church right then. I don't know if Shane was able to see the "fruit" of his ministry as he had hoped while here on earth. But, this I do know; Shane Hall is getting to see more than he could have ever witnessed here on earth with us. And Shane, we that grieve, are part of the "fruit" you left behind.
Please join us in praying for Misty, Maci and Mallory Hall. Also, for his family members and friends along with First Southern Baptist Church of Oklahoma City.
In His Love, Lori
* Read the article and see a picture of Shane baptizing his daughter
** Photo by Mike Mazzo Photography