A Tribute to Pastor Chuck Hamby
Written by: Ron Pearce | 6/23/16
This week, we lost a great man – a man of never-ending spirit, faith and character. But heaven gained an angel.
I first met Pastor Chuck twelve years ago when he was the Caring Pastor at Cornerstone Ministries. I was instantly attracted to his larger than life personality. He was charismatic and he exuded energy that was hard to match. He was famous for his vise grip handshakes and bear-like hugs. I was magnetically drawn to him and we quickly became friends. I grew to love and admire this man, not just because he had a passion for helping recovering souls with addictions through Celebrate Recovery; not just because he was a prayer warrior for the hurting through Cornerstone Television; not just because he was a compassionate servant for the ailing through Cornerstone Ministries; nor was it just because he (and Laurie) served as leadership advisor on our Board of Directors through Enduring Hope Ministries. I grew to love and admire this man mainly because he was a mighty man of God with a mighty big heart.
I can tell many stories to illustrate just how mighty he was, but I must share two of my personal Chuck Hamby testimonies with you.
I recall a time when I was having an outpatient cholecystectomy procedure, and desiring anonymity, I told no one. As I laid in pre-op with Melissa at my side, Pastor Chuck surprisingly shows up to pray with me. I was first amazed at how he knew, but I was more amazed to discovery that he came on his day off from work (and Pastors rarely get days off). The amazement didn’t stop there. It was also the day of his and Laurie’s wedding anniversary and he was taking her to Kennywood for the first time ever. But first, he had to come see me off to surgery. Unbelievable, right! This is the kind of mighty man he was.
On another occasion (and another hospital stay for me), I was having a total knee replacement procedure, and I was scheduled as the first case for 6:00 AM surgery at Jefferson Hospital. I was told to report at 5:00 AM for surgical prep. When Melissa and I arrived, the check-in center was dark and empty and only the security guard was present. He told us that the receptionist would be arriving shortly. After waiting in the empty reception area for a few minutes, the door opened and who walks in, not the receptionist, but my buddy Chuck determined to pray with me! Again, I was amazed at how he knew (I was sure that I kept it a secret this time), but I was also amazed that he was so committed to see me off the surgery. After all, it was 5:00 AM and he had to drive an hour to get there! This is the kind of mighty man he was.
Chuck was a mighty man of God with a mighty big heart, but for me, he was a mighty friend, and I will miss him.
I think that Chuck’s favorite sermon topic was ‘salt and light’, probably because he was such a shining example as well as a great encourager. When Chuck provided encouragement, he routinely ended his enlightenment with an animated fiery fist pump, a hearty smile, and a parting battle cry of, “Give ‘em heaven”. Chuck, you got heaven, and I’m sure God welcomed you and with an animated fiery fist pump, a hearty smile and a “Well done faithful servant.”