He built a lovely residence primarily as a sanctuary for his beloved wife and children so they could escape the public scrutiny given families of prominent individuals. That environment with his family was his haven of happiness. Few couples have enjoyed their children more or done a better job of rearing them. Though sharing common values they are delightfully distinct.
The family was the embodiment of social grace and Southern charm. The matriarch of the family is the template for comity and civility. The patriarch was a paragon of a positive parent.
The household enjoyed an uncommon bond. This nexus was never more evident than during the two-year vigil faithfully kept during his lingering illness. His love for them more than anything else drove him in his effort to extend his days. Their love for him was never more apparent than their release of him to join heaven’s host.
He foresaw his end coming and devoted himself to seeing to it they would be as well-prepared as possible. Often resisting discomfort and pain caused by his illness, he worked to ensure their well being.
His work ethic was legendary. He sought and surrounded himself with highly motivated people with whom to work. The fact he desired the maximum from them revealed the demands he made on himself. He never expected more of them than he gave of himself.
One appreciative former employee who has gone on to become head of the advertising department at one of Atlanta’s largest TV stations visited with his former employer a few weeks ago. Having benefitted from the mentoring he received while at the “Journal” he had printed T-shirts acclaiming: “Proud Graduate of Otis University.” His name is “Legion” for there are many who could wear such a shirt.
He rarely injected his personal faith in the public debate, but uncompromisingly maintained it in his personal life. He was always close to his pastors. He was usually one of the first to greet a new pastor, often providing a fellowship forum for him to meet community leaders. Undemonstrably he sought their welfare and frequently personally provided personal pleasure not common for ministers. There have been few greeters as gracious at the church house door as he. When the time of greeting was over he took great joy in sitting in worship with his family.
With pride he bore the name “Brumby.” He inherited a commendable legacy and has bequeathed to his beloved family an even more laudable one. He has in progress a family history being written noting the family’s admirable achievements over the years prior to his generation. Noting those of his is now worthy.
To those who grieve his death and all those who have their own sorrow I share these comforting insights.
Who would remove the psalm of victory out of the hand that will never again know pain?
Who would remove the diadem of blessing from the brow of their beloved?
May you be blessed in reasoning out the awkward emptiness of longing love here with that enjoyed in the presence of heaven’s Host.
Think not that he is gone. Thank God he has arrived.
The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church.