I am sad to announce the passing of our friend, Ed Greenbank, last Monday, June 3. Some of you have never known about Ed because he never entered the Computer Age and therefore never participated in our Glorious Church Network. But he was nevertheless instrumental in bringing many of you together.
I first met Ed in 1990 at a home group conference in Ohio. A few years later, as I was preparing to move to Pennsylvania to plant a new assembly, I received a letter from Ed. He told me in this letter of the disillusionment he had experienced at some of the churches to which he had belonged, but went on to say that he believed the underlying problem was in the leadership structure; which is to say, in the single pastor model. He then explained that he had come from a Mennonite background and that even though he knew the Mennonites were in doctrinal error, he believed that many of their assemblies were better led than some of the Apostolic churches. He attributed this to the concept of shared pastoral leadership.
This was not the first time I had heard of shared leadership, but the timing of Ed’s letter prompted me to look into it in more detail. I became convinced it was the biblical way. When I moved to Pennsylvania, my plan from the beginning was to eventually establish an elder-led assembly in accord with the biblical model. In many ways I owe our current leadership structure to the timely influence of Ed Greenbank.
Over the years, Ed has been a loyal friend and supporter. He has purchased and given away many copies of my books. He has visited us several times in Pennsylvania, and on one of those visits I had the privilege of baptizing his daughter Connie in the name of Jesus Christ. Two years ago my wife and I visited Ed and his wife Leslie at their home in Republic, MO. They were wonderful hosts and our visit flew by far too quickly. That was the last time I saw Ed, although I have talked to him on the phone several times since them.
Ed was a steady but quiet behind-the-scenes worker for the restoration of the Apostolic church.
I can’t tell you how much he will be missed. For those of you who never met Ed, believe me when I say that his loss will be felt deeply. For those of you who did know him, at least we do not have to grieve as those who have no hope. For the day will soon come when we will be caught up together with those in the grave to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
Please remember Leslie and the family in your prayers.
Your brother in the Lord Jesus,