MEMORIAL AND TRIBUTE TO WAYNE HEIN
“ALL FLESH IS LIKE GRASS,
AND ALL ITS GLORY LIKE THE FLOWER OF GRASS.
THE GRASS WITHERS,
AND THE FLOWER FALLS OFF,
BUT THE WORD OF THE LORD ABIDES FOREVER."
Wayne Hein's Memorial
Spoken at the Fort Sam Houston Memorial Service on August 22, 2005
It is fitting that I open by quoting these words of Scripture which our Pastor, brother, and friend Wayne Hein continually quoted. Wayne’s body went the way of all flesh, because “the sun rose with a scorching wind, and withered the grass.” I have just quoted a passage from the book of James, and it is only fitting that I do this, as this was the book of the Bible which Wayne was studying and teaching to the congregation of San Antonio Bible Church at the conclusion of his earthly life and ministry.
Wayne “fought the good fight, he finished the course, he kept the faith.” I am persuaded that “there is laid up for him the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge,” will award to him; and not only to him, “but also to all who have loved His appearing.” And Wayne certainly looked forward to being with our Lord. Over these last several years of his struggle with health, he repeatedly said to me, “What’s the big deal, if I die, I’ll just go on and be with the Lord.” Of course he knew that his “pretty wife” Brenda was concerned about being left behind, but he knew that the Lord would take care of her and his daughter Abigail and grandson Jordan. He has and He will. Those of us who are close to the situation have already seen and are marveling at the Lord’s compassion for Wayne’s family.
It is only fitting that Wayne (and Brenda) adopted their daughter Abigail and their grandson Jordan; that he also provided a home for Brenda’s three children Jennifer, Jeffrey and Jeremy. Wayne had no biological children of his own, but that was because he had great compassion for orphans, who in the Bible are those without fathers. He had no biological children of his own because he wanted to provide for those who “had no place to lay their head.” Wayne often talked about how much he wanted to start an orphanage; and if the Lord hadn’t called him to be a Pastor, I have no doubt that he would have started one. But the Lord fulfilled both of these desires of his heart.
My wife Janet and I also like to think of ourselves as his spiritual children. He has trained us in the Word of the Lord for over 20 years, and we plan to imitate our spiritual father for the rest of our days. I hope to pass on to my children, both biological and spiritual, the things that my “Dad” taught to me. Sometimes we disagreed with or rebelled against “Dad,” but in the end we knew that he was right. All of our “adolescent rebellion” has departed, as has our Dad. As the Lord’s death on the Cross put away the rebellion of mankind, likewise, Wayne at his death put away much of the petty rebellion of some of those who were close to him.
At first Wayne himself rebelled against his calling to be a Pastor. But when he finally resolved to fulfill the ministry that God had called him to, he pursued it with the determination that he showed to the end; in spite of any opposition; or more significantly, any indifference. Wayne soon faced the rebellion that is ingrained in the hearts of the human race when he pastored his first flock in the Rio Grande Valley. He tried to feed them the only food that is good for the spiritual nourishment of the flock, the Word of God, but they did not like the taste of it.
Facing his first experience of rejection, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, and then was commissioned an officer. Wayne really wanted to become a pilot, but not surprisingly, his health “got in the way”—his eyesight disqualified him. And so Wayne became a Communications Officer and was stationed at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas. While Wayne was stationed at Sheppard, a devastating tornado came through and leveled much of the city. Outside communications with the city were cut off, and Wayne was the first to re-establish communications for the authorities with the outside world. If I recall it correctly, Wayne’s team re-established communications in a tent, and then Wayne quickly went inside a building where the officials had gathered in an emergency forum, and he told them that he had established communications. I remember Wayne saying that they were surprised by the fact that communications had been re-established so quickly.
More significantly to Wayne, he found a local church in Wichita Falls where the Pastor shared his love for studying and teaching the Scriptures—Rephidim Church, which was and still is pastored by Dr. Ron Killingsworth. Wayne and I were privileged to visit Rephidim together one last time in July of 2004. That summer Ron spoke privately to me of Wayne’s humility. He said that the first time he really had an opportunity to speak to Wayne to any extent was about a few months after Wayne had begun attending. Wayne was painting a room, possibly the nursery, when it came up that he had graduated from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and was an ordained pastor. Ron said to me that he marveled at the humility of the man—he had never said anything about being a pastor, and probably didn’t intend to.
Ron also related a humorous story about Wayne. He said that he would never forget the sight of Wayne riding a 30-foot extension ladder down from high in the church auditorium with paint bucket in hand! I asked Ron incredulously if he was injured in any way, and he said that Wayne was not.
Wayne attended Rephidim Church for approximately three years when he separated from the Air Force. Hearing the Word of God being taught verse by verse from the pulpit rekindled Wayne’s desire to pastor. And so Wayne was again ordained, by Rephidim Church this time, an ordination which was always more significant to Wayne than his seminary ordination, and Wayne came to San Antonio, Texas, the place of his birth, to establish a local church here. Wayne departed with the blessings of the pastor and congregation of Rephidim, and pleasant memories of his wonderful fellowship there that he often spoke about. He also departed with the significant financial support of the congregation, which enabled him to establish our local church.
It is only fitting that Rephidim wishes to honor the memory of Wayne Hein; and accordingly Dr. Richard Guess has come as their representative. He has given to me to present to Brenda Wayne’s ordination picture along with a poem that I must read to you: (View picture and poem to the right)
It does not surprise me that as Rephidim sent Wayne with financial support to San Antonio to begin his ministry here, that they would likewise seal his ministry with a gift of financial support for his widow. And so they have. It does not surprise me because the Scriptures tell the Church to take care of both widows and orphans. Wayne took care of the orphans, and now the congregation of Rephidim has participated in taking care of his widow.
It is fitting that Ricky Guess should be the representative from Rephidim, as he was a member of our congregation in the 1990s when he attended dental school here.
Wayne’s sisters Glynice and Dee are here with us today. They’ve had a very difficult year—with the loss of a mother, our beloved Dorothy, our “church chef,” who always served us food with the advance warning that “something just doesn’t taste right about this.” She was wrong. Then the loss of a father, and now the loss of their brother. We have to stop meeting like this! I want to assure them that what was most important to Wayne is most important to me. I have inherited what I regard as a sacred trust from Wayne—the things that he learned he entrusted to me, so that I would “be able to teach others also.” I think that Wayne trusted me. Wayne’s legacy lives on in me—“though he is dead, he still speaks.” Glynice and Dee, I want you to know that any family of Wayne’s I consider to be my family. I think you know this. We’ve seen each other from time to time throughout the years. I’m not planning on going anywhere. This is true of everyone; if you consider yourself to be family or friends of Wayne, you will always be my family or friend..
The Vase is broken the Shards are gone,
But the Honor and Loyalty of the Vessel lives on,
A ‘rusty pipe’ fed by the Spring,
Who always did his duty and never said a thing.
His ‘yes was yes,’ his ‘no was no’
And never did he give in to ‘putting on a show.’
He knew ‘right’ and when to ‘take a stand’
And the true meaning of ‘be your own man.’
A shepherd who once sat among sheep,
A Boaz who found Ruth gleaning the wheat.
A Paul who labored that he may teach the Word;
A soldier not afraid to unscabbard his sword.
And should anyone ask ‘just who was this man?
’Say he truly was the highest authority in the land.
In Texas there’s a saying of days long gone,
He was a man who died with his Boots On!
“It shall be said to him, ‘Well done, thou good and (not successful, but) faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy master…” (David Brown).
“He may get too little or too much here from men. But the due reward from God is certain, and it will be adequate however ungrateful men may be”
“Whether our service be planting or watering, whether it be much or little, it is not the amount of service that counts, but ‘of what sort it is'"
(Oliver B. Greene).
Wayne called our local church “Catharos Bible Church” at first, because catharos is the Greek word for “clean” or “pure.” And it was significant to him that the Word of God that he would teach, the spiritual nourishment that he would provide, would cleanse the heart and purify the mind. But after a few telephone inquiries as to whether we were part of the cult group “the Catharii,” Wayne decided on the simpler “San Antonio Bible Church.”
For just under 25 years Wayne labored in San Antonio as the pastor of our local church. And I do mean labored! I would guess that only one or two of those years was the church able to support him financially so that he did not have to essentially hold two jobs. He was an instructor at the now defunct CBM technical school, and then after obtaining his teaching certification, he became a math teacher at East Central High School. I would like to say thank you to those of you who have come to pay your respects to Wayne from East Central High School. And this will probably not surprise you to hear that continuously throughout Wayne’s 10+ years of service there, he never ceased to illustrate the rebellion of the human nature with the antics of some of his students. But he was always grateful for the students who were eager to learn, and who behaved well in class. There just weren’t enough of them…
Wayne was truly a prayer warrior, and it was always his custom to begin every Bible class with prayer requests and updates. We at San Antonio Bible Church have heard the names of many East Central High School teachers, administrators, and students, and their specific needs, oftentimes health-related also. Wayne was truly compassionate toward people, he demonstrated the compassion of Jesus Christ; he inquired into everyone’s well being, sympathized with their difficulties, and brought them to the Lord in prayer.
Wayne never had much success in terms of a large congregation, in terms of quantity. I witnessed the continuous rejection of his message over the years. I would like to quote from three theologians whom I think wonderfully sum up the destiny of faithful ministers who aren’t appreciated on earth: (View quotes to the left)
I could go on indefinitely about Wayne’s life, but time doesn’t permit. Speaking of prayer, it was Wayne’s prayer and greatest desire for you to know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. As the Scripture says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.” Wayne "fought the good fight, he finished his course, he kept the faith”; and now he has rest from his labors in the presence of the Lord. My hope for you is that you will share in the rest that Wayne had even while he labored here on earth. And Wayne certainly had rest for his soul. That rest is provided by the Lord Jesus Christ who said,
“Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and YOU SHALL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy, and my load is light.”
San Antonio Bible Church. Teaching the Word of God by exposition of Scriptures using isogogics, categories and exegesis. A Bible Doctrine Church.