Leonard G. Wymore passed from this life recently at the age of 95. That was what took Bud and Kathy Downs back to Tennessee last week. His Memorial Service was held in Johnson City, Tennessee on Saturday, February 18. I don’t normally do obituaries on this page, and I don’t include this one because Leonard happened to be Kathy’s father. I include it here because thousands of Christians who have been raised in “Christian Churches” and “Churches of Christ” across the nation knew him and worked along side him during his many ministries across the nation, including Phoenix, Arizona.
It wasn’t his four ministries at churches in Kansas and Indiana that made him so well-known. Nor was it just the result of his positions as Editor of the Lookout Magazine and Director of the Sunday School Convention while employed by Standard Publishing Company (the company whose Christian publications are used by most of the aforementioned churches).
It was his work as Director of the North American Christian Convention from 1963 to 1986 that made his face so familiar among the brotherhood of churches mentioned above. He traveled extensively among these churches from coast to coast during those years, promoting this yearly convention that brought whole families together each summer in cities large enough to accommodate the thousands who attended. Most church conventions are business affairs that bring together mostly religious leaders. The NACC, on the other hand, brought together families with programs for adults, teens and children—all designed to inspire, teach and equip attendees for their various positions in local churches. At one time it was the largest such convention in the United States. In fact, on one occasion (in Indianapolis, Indiana) the convention had perhaps the largest Communion Service in the world under one roof—41,000 Christians partook of the Lord’s Supper in the old Hoosier Dome.
Many of you may not know that it was Leonard Wymore who brought your Pastor and Cactus Christian Fellowship together when CCF was a church without a Pastor and Bud was a Pastor without a church (building). But that was one of the things Leonard did best—bring people together in Christ.
So last week the family said “goodbye….until later.”
Senior Pastor of Cactus Christian Fellowship