The Hebrew writer says of Abel, “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.” (Heb. 11:4) Examples of righteousness live forever. Of even greater example is that of our Lord Jesus Christ of whom Peter writes, “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps.” (1 Pet. 2:21) Occasionally, one finds a soul whose examples are so wonderful, you can’t help but admire them and be a bit “jealous with godly jealousy.” (cf. 2 Cor. 11:2) CHARLES STICKELS seems to be one of those exceptional examples!
My acquaintance with Chuck Stickels and his family began when I was a child and dad and mom would return to Indiana to visit friends they’d gained in the early years of their marriage. When dad was asked to preach gospel meetings in this area, I was blessed to come with him and enrich those acquaintances into friendships. In 1997, the church in Bloomington asked me to begin working with them. This labor continued for many years. Thus, Chuck and his family became our family in the Lord.
His example was very keen. He had served the Lord’s church as a deacon and later as an elder. Yet, at least in my opinion, his greatest example exists in his children, most of his grandchildren, and I am persuaded eventually in his great-grandchildren. Every one of his three children is a faithful member of the Lord’s church! His son Steven is an elder. His daughters Pam and Teresa have been known to be tremendous teachers of children’s bible studies. Most of his grandchildren are Christians. Their involvement in the work of simply caring for the brethren is known far and wide! Chuck’s example of “Let brotherly love continue.” (Heb. 13:1) proves righteous and continues to live by example through his family’s righteous obedience!
Chuck departed this life on Wednesday, December 4, 2019. His illness had kept him from faithful service for at least the past year. Yet I muse on the reality of his example: it continues to influence souls toward obedience! No greater legacy can be acquired than to note the continuation of a righteous example! What a blessing it has been to have known Chuck all these years, and a greater blessing to muse on his righteous example that led his children and grandchildren to faithful obedience, by which they also can join in the continued example of righteousness that truly lives forever!