- Hope for those with grieving souls and wounded hearts - from one who's been there
For thirty-three years, Vance Havner's constant companion and co-worker was his beloved wife Sara. Then without warning, she was struck down by a fatal disfiguring disease. Though I Walk Through the Valley, is Vance Havner's heart-rendering chronicle of Sara's illness, her death, and the long, lonely, memory-laden days that followed. He offers no worn out cliches, no profound philosophizing, no know-it-all psychology, no lofty rhetoric; no cold, indifferent sermons; no tactless pep talks. Just the simple faith of a suffering saint, speaking as a fellow pilgrim on the rocky road through the valley of the shadow. Through his grief he reveals an unshakable faith in God and a renewed hope for the future. His moving testimony offers true sympathy, solace, and strength for the journey ahead. "It is my prayer that this account may bolster the faltering faith of some fellow traveler, who like myself, walks through the Valley - and that trip lies ahead for all of us sooner or later."
About the Author
Vance Houston Havner was born October 17, 1901, in the Western North Carolina locality of Jugtown. Though his ministry eventually took him to major cities throughout America, Dr. Havner maintained a love for the quiet and simple ways of his more rural past. His academic experience began at Hog Hill, Jugtown's schoolhouse. Later, he attended schools such as South Fork Institution, and Boiling Springs High School, which later became Garner-Webb College. He also attended Catawba College, Wake Forest University, and Moody Bible Institute.
Dr. Havner's first pastorate was at the Salem Baptist Church in Weeksville, North Carolina. While serving at Salem Baptist Church, the first of his 38 books was published, By the Still Waters. In 1934, Havner went to Charleston, SC to serve as pastor of the First Baptist Church. Later, he was called to an itinerant ministry of evangelism and conference speaking, and it was in this capacity that his greatest contributions were made.
His influence extended to a national level, but Dr. Havner's approach was always to minister where God directed, regardless of the size of the church. His appeal and influence transcended denominational lines, and he spoke to many different groups of people. In addition to preaching in many of America's most influential churches, Dr. Havner was a highly sought speaker for conferences at places such as Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. He frequently spoke at both state and national meetings of the Southern Baptist Convention.
In 1973, he was named "Preacher of the Year," by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Protestant leaders from many denominations called Havner, "The Dean of America's Revival Preachers." His unique sense of humor endeared him to many, and Havner could choose the right words to express a truth like no other communicator. He was truly gifted with an ability to phrase a thought in such a way, as to drive home a point with absolute effectiveness. Though Dr. Havner died in 1986, his influence for Christ continues.
Vance Havner is one I believe that everyone should read. I doubt that I've preached many messages where I haven't quoted him. His books are hard to find, but worth the search. Wordsearch has all of Havner's books on their computer Bible study program, so no you have no excuse.