Lonny and Linsey Parson

Pastor Lonny Parson kisses his wife, Linsey, on the forehead. After battling a cascade of health issues, the Lord called Lonny home.

After more than six months in a Dallas hospital, Pastor Lonny Parson returned to his home in Direct earlier this week to say goodbye to family and friends before leaving this Earth Wednesday afternoon for his forever home in heaven.

The story of love and faith his wife, Linsey, shared daily on social media during Lonny’s long hospital stay is something most of us have never experienced. Literally hundreds of people followed along as Linsey shared not only about her husband’s condition and the ups and downs she and the couple’s three children experienced, but more importantly her posts revealed the family’s faith and how Christians should live their lives rejoicing in the Lord, no matter the circumstances. Lonny and Linsey were always a team; and their teamwork played out in marvelous fashion during those six months.

Patsy Parker of Paris said it best in a Facebook post, and I thank her for permission to use portions of it here.

“God knew He could trust our sweet Linsey… God has been watching from heaven and all the plans He had for Linsey as she ministered in that waiting room to people who will never be the same. Doctors, nurses, workers in the hospital were watching as they saw grace maybe for the first time in their lives.

“This precious Linsey has no idea how God will use her as she has been so strong for all the friends and family, and she needs our prayers along with the family as God unfolds His mighty plans ahead. God is not through. He is only started.”

An ICU nurse at Medical City Plano, also in a Facebook post, shared about how Lonny and his family impacted staff.

“Their love, faith, never ending laughter, smiles and open hearts infuse a fresh perspective into you soul that can be lost with what we as ICU staff see on a daily basis that numbs us,” the nurse wrote. “We are not heartless, just trained to detach and focus on the task at hand — saving lives...I reflect on what lessons I learned throughout my journey with this family. I am forever changed.”

Lonny will be missed by those left behind, including the many whose lives have been touched by his years in the ministry, first at Powderly Baptist Church, then Faithway Country Church in Rufe, Oklahoma, Victory Baptist Church in Paris and lastly Honey Grove Cowboy Church. He was heavily involved in youth ministry, and he was instrumental in bringing Nights of Refreshing and Go Tell crusades to Paris.

Memorial services for Lonny are scheduled for 4 p.m. Sunday at Love Civic Center with David Darby, Wade White, Ethan Nicholson and D.J. Harris officiating.

In his obituary, the family wrote:

“Lonny was a mighty man of God, and if he were here to tell you anything today he would say, 'Love the Lord, serve Him diligently, love your family and don’t waste one second of the time you have on earth.'”

And as typical of the family’s joyous spirit, they added, “He would probably also say, ‘I won, I beat all y’all to heaven, but I’ll be waiting for you there.’”

I join the many Facebook followers who grew to love this family and who learned so much from them about how God expects His followers to be witnesses no matter what situations come our way.

And just as many have posted on Facebook, I too believe Lonny was met in heaven with the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Mary Madewell is a staff writer for The Paris News. She can be reached at 903-785-6976 or at mary.madewell@theparisnews.com.

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