October 2020 Viewpoint
The testimonies of Nick Segres Jr., and his wife, Sharron, remind me that my brother Gary and Brother Nick’s father were very good friends. You will read that Nick Sr. died in 1995 at just forty-nine years of age. Gary also died relatively young. It is most striking that before each passed, they instilled a faith in their children that has lasted beyond their own lives. We see the outcome of their family investment these many years later.
Though Nick Sr. grew up on the East Coast and Gary on the West Coast, there were some similarities in their backgrounds. Each came from strong families. Brother Nick was the son of a preacher and grew up in a home of faith. Though Gary’s parents were not Christians, he grew up in a stable home. Each of them joined the military after high school and sowed seeds of sin for a few years. Brother Nick prayed through to salvation in our Kingstree, South Carolina, church, and Gary in our Murphysboro, Illinois, tabernacle. In fact, that is where the two met and became fast friends.
At that time, the Segres family was living in Winfield, Kansas, where we had a church. My brother moved his family to Arkansas after his discharge and attended our Fort Smith church. Each dad was very involved in the lives of his children. They made it a point to bring their families to our annual camp meetings and branch church special meetings whenever they could, and the two families would see each other at those events. They also took trips to visit one another’s homes, each making the four-hour drive on different occasions. As a result, their children, who were close in age, also became acquainted. Gary’s kids speak fondly of their time spent riding bikes with the Segreses all over Winfield, hiking the open spaces of Fort Smith together, football games among the boys, and their dads talking about God’s Word and laughing late into the night. Today, the children of Brother Nick and Gary live on the East Coast and West Coast respectively. When Nick Jr. and Sharron attended Portland 2019 camp meeting, it was a pleasure to observe them reminiscing with my niece and nephew. Nick Jr. still describes his dad with great admiration, and Gary’s kids esteem their father with the same high regard.
They all learned from their parents and instilled in their own children that the most important aspect of life is to be devoted to God.
In their testimonies, Brother Nick Jr. and Sister Sharron describe their marriage, bringing up four children, and doing so during a time of a major health crisis. Through it all, they learned to impart to their children the same faith they had been taught. Gary’s kids have also faced challenges while rearing families, but have used them as stepping-stones to higher spiritual ground. They all learned from their parents and instilled in their own children that the most important aspect of life is to be devoted to God.
If they were still alive, Brother Nick Sr. and Gary would have every right to be very proud of their descendants. Those two set a high standard, and their children and grandchildren are not only meeting it, but are determined to pass it along to the next generation as well. They illustrate the value of investing spiritually in the ones who are closest to us. We hear that “home is where the heart is,” but home is also where faith often first springs forth and grows. As with the Nick Segres Sr. and Gary Lee homes, may we also be inspired to invest in our families in a way that will be evidenced long after we have gone to our rewards.