This was written for the Bellevue Church of Christ “Daily Update” email that was distributed on April 17, 2020
Most of you are probably aware that Dr. Marlin Connelly passed away on April 10th, just shy of his 85th birthday. However, we have a number of members who have joined us over the past several years who likely have no idea who Dr. Connelly was or what impact he had on our congregation.
Dr. Marlin Connelly was the first full-time pulpit minister of the Bellevue Church of Christ. He and his wife Nancy began working here in 1967 (the same year he began teaching at Lipscomb College / University), and were instrumental in helping to get our congregation off the ground. He faithfully served in this capacity for the next 26 1/2 years from 1967 to 1993, and another five years as associate minister from 2007 to 2012. During his time as pulpit minister our church grew from under 100 members in 1967 to well over 700 by 1993.
His impact however was much more than could be measured in simple membership statistics. He was a man of God, a Bible scholar, a Holy Lands guide, an incredible communicator, and a true minister. He taught the truth of God’s Word in a uniquely effective way as both a preacher and a teacher. He reached the lost for Jesus through his teaching and personal ministry. He trained, mentored, and encouraged preachers who now fill pulpits across the globe. His impact for the gospel of Jesus Christ cannot be measured.
On a personal note, Dr. Connelly was my mentor, my friend, and quite simply the finest preacher and teacher I have ever known. I doubt I would have ever spent any of my life preaching and teaching had it not been for him. Again, I would never be able to adequately express the true impact he had on my life, and I’m confident there are MANY at our church who would echo this sentiment.
Our hearts grieve for his family and this great loss, but we rejoice that a true servant of God has now gone home to be with his Lord.