Russell’s Ramblings

Those who do not hear the music might think the dancer mad

A Job Well Done – Rev. Jeff Lowrance

This article was written in 2007 and appeared in the Lake Norman Chamber newsletter.  It was about my good friend Rev. Jeff Lowrance.  He was not just a spiritual leader in our community – for many he was a teacher, activist, mentor, and friend.  While we miss his leadership, his presence is always felt in the lives he touched.

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Rev. Lowrance with Huntersville Commissioner Thompson

A few weeks ago the Lake Norman region lost one of its natural resources.  It was not a commodity, a piece of valuable real estate, or a scenic greenway.  It was however a special asset whose void will be hard to replace.  The Rev. Jeff Lowrance finally succumbed to a near three year bout with cancer. Jeff, the pastor of Hopewell Presbyterian Church in Huntersville, was an inspiration to many as he fought the disease valiantly.  Pastoring his flock, calling on the sick and bedridden, and counseling others even as the illness ravaged his body, often leaving him physically drained. 

Rev. Lowrance was an avid historian of the Revolutionary War and the early settlers of Mecklenburg County.  Like them, Jeff had the resolve and determination of the men and women who first settled our region.  He spoke and preached often of the Scotch Irish who stood up to the English and issued the first Declaration of Independence – the Meck Dec. I first met Jeff when community leaders were assembled to help preserve and restore a piece of history that was in sad disrepair –the Hugh Torrance House & Store in Huntersville.  Together, our small group lobbied local, county and state leaders for funding to preserve the historical treasure.

Rev. Lowrance with Huntersville Commissioner Thompson in 1998 at the Hugh Torance House & Store. Over the last decade, I witnessed Jeff’s passion for preservation on many occasions as he pleaded his case before town and county boards – working to preserve historical areas, protecting slave cemeteries, or honoring our past leaders.  While heritage and history was second to his primary mission of serving the Lord, Jeff understood the relationship between church and community. Last fall, we discovered issues here at the chamber of commerce that resulted in the most trying moments of my professional career.  A long time member of our staff betrayed the confidence and faith we placed in this employee.  I will confess that I had a wide ranging reaction.  I was hurt, disappointed, and angry.

I turned to Jeff for his counsel looking for answers.  Jeff and I sat down to discuss the issue in his office.  I recall telling him how my personal and professional challenge paled in comparison to the daunting health challenge he faced.  Jeff smiled and said we all have problems – let’s talk about yours.  I talked and Jeff listened.  Before I left we prayed together.  Neither he nor I had an answer why people do bad things.  But we both understand good people make it through bad times.  They get through it because of their faith and because of their friends.

I will miss Jeff.  However, each day that I drive to work I am reminded of my friend.  A man who served his Lord.  Whose mark was left on his community for generations to come.  A mark greater than historical markers or designations.  A lasting imprint left on the people, the parents, and the children of our region.  I know that the instant Jeff left this earthly realm he was welcomed home.  The doors were opened wide to his father’s house.  He was welcomed by those who arrived before him.  The Scotch Irish he preached so fondly of on Sunday mornings.  I can only imagine the Lord and Jeff looking back on his life’s work and the legacy he has left.  And perhaps the words we would all like to hear said –  “Well done my good and faithful servant.”

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March 26, 2009 - Posted by | Leadership Lessons | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] in the spring of 1997, I received a call from Rev. Jeff Lowrance of Hopewell Presbyterian Church asking if I would consider joining the Board of Directors of the […]

    Pingback by Recollections at an Old Country Store – Hugh Torance House & Store « Russell’s Ramblings | April 4, 2012 | Reply


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