Home, where there is no night
Home, where the Son is the light
The place I’ve been dreaming of so long
Loved ones there to welcome me
But His sweet face will be the first I see
When my journey’s over
I am going Home
(c)1983 Charles Aaron Wilburn | Rusty Goodman | Tanya Goodman Sykes
Lonnie Myrick went Home to be with Jesus on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. He was 80 yrs of age and had lived a long and full life. We are so grateful to the Riemann Family and to the precious caregivers who walked with us through Dad’s end of life here. Please share and comment on his Obituary page as you feel led.
Dad’s life here was filled with lots of love from his high school sweetheart and their family together, with all sorts of small town boy adventures, with world travels, with a bit of music and ministry success, and with his own very personal turmoils and strife.
Everyone who knew my Dad realized that he was a restless heart, eager to race towards his calling as a Gospel preacher. Raised on a south Mississippi farm, Dad knew the value of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears. He knew the hardships of the common man. He knew from childhood that this life was filled with heartaches and sorrows, but that there was more to this life than just living and dying. And, he was going to find his path somehow.
Dad answered the Call to Gospel ministry at the tender age of 19 yrs old. He fell in love with Rosemary, his high school sweetheart, a country girl with amazing musical talents. They married young, completed “some college”, started ministering the Gospel in rural churches, and soon after started their little family.
Fast foward ten years, and The Rosetones would be fully engaged in touring across South Mississippi and the Gulf Coast, recording Gospel music albums, and singing on stages with Southern Gospel Music’s most famous talents.
Lonnie would proceed to lead some of south Mississippi’s most dynamic evangelical churches, leading hundreds of souls to faith in Christ with his sometimes fiery salvation messages, calling lost souls to the altar for repentance and forgiveness. He rallied young preachers alongside him in ministry, and built some of the Gulf Coast’s most evangelistic Baptist churches, reaching record numbers of converts in the 1970s and 80s.
But, with all that “hellfire-and-brimstone” conviction … there was also a tender mercy that spilled from Lonnie’s spirit, a Christ-like gentleness that caused the most weary of wanderers to know … maybe God loves even me.
Lonnie and Rose, and their boys, along with several renditions of The Rosetones, would eventually produce seven full-length vinyl records laced with top 40 Gospel favorites. Their most stellar production was the 1983 Gloryland Gold album which featured Danny Myrick‘s top hits — the title track, along with I Know He’s Coming Back and the #1 hit song Jesus Is The Light, made famous by the award-winning Dixie Melody Boys Quartet, also known as DMB Band.
With great music and ministry sucess also came intense anxiety, leadership demands, and the neverending needs of growing churches, not to mention a touring family band. Lonnie, by his own admission, was unable to cope with the demands without the relief of pain medications and therapy. Eventually, Lonnie would succumb to narcotics abuse and addictions, which would end his public ministry and result in more than a decade of very difficult family struggles.
But, God had a greater plan.
Lonnie would find redemption, recovery, and restoration through dozens of addiction recovery programs and ministries, not the least of which was his successful graduation from Home of Grace in Vancleave, MS. His dear friend and co-laborer in pastoral ministry, Bro. Bill Barton, would extend mercy and help Lonnie through the darkest years of his life.
For more than a decade, my Dad fought through addiction recovery, re-entry into ‘normal’ life, and was eventually able to find refuge and fellowship in the very churches where he had ministered as a much younger and healthier pastor. God brought another prodigal son home!
As Dad and I tried to recover the ‘lost’ years, we discovered just how grueling the path of recovery can be for the addict. And, for the family of the addict. Somehow, God used Dad’s story, his testimony, and his witness of God’s amazing Grace, to help others who struggled with same or similar addictions. Pastors who loved Dad back into the fold were invaluable to his recovery. Church folks who showed overwhelming love, mercy, and compassion gave Dad the motivaiton he needed to simply … belong.
I was with Daddy that Tuesday evening before he went to be with Jesus forever. His frail body was letting go of this life, and racing towards the glory of Heaven … which I’m certain he could see with his spiritual eyes. I sang his favorite songs to him, cooled his brow, stroked his thick wavy grey hair, and told him how much I love him. I told him he was a good Dad. I told him what an amazing preacher he was. I reminded him of the thousands of faces I see when I think of our travels and revival services. I recalled our tours with all the great singing groups of the 70s and 80s who loved our family and supported our little band.
And, I told him once again … You are forgiven. You are loved. And you are valued. God loves you. We love you. And, you can go HOME! So, he did. Tuesday night around 10:30pm … Daddy ran to jesus and the Father in Heaven. The prodigal came HOME!
I’ll miss my Dad. I’ll miss our talks about the good ole days. I’ll miss our Waffle House meetings. I’ll miss having him ride along with me to a revival meeting, and sitting proudly in the congregation to support my music ministry. And, yes … he always requested his favorite, I Know A Man Who Can. Kirk Talley sang it so much better than me, but Daddy loved to hear me give it my best shot!
Daddy, I love you. And, I’ll keep telling the Story, as long as folks will listen.
Jesus, thank you for loving my Daddy. Thank you for Salvation. Thank you for Grace. Thank you for your Holy Spirit. Thank you for paying the price for our sin. Thank you for being our Friend.
I’ll tell everyone, everywhere, just like Daddy did … I know a Man who can.