January 4, 2012

In Honor of Justin Whitmire (1991-2011)

Justin was a little fella in kids' church with our girls in Greenville, a young man we remember as always smiling, always trying to make others smile, and really close to his family.  He was killed in Afghanistan last week, after serving only 19 days there.  Thank God he was able to speak with family and friends via Skype just days before his death, and that I know they have many, many happy memories to draw on. Knowing their family, I am grateful that they won't be ones who'll have to live with regret.  They brought Justin up in church and demonstrated a life of service, joy, and love for the Lord.  Justin's parents, Donnie and Jennifer, have always seemed like those who enjoyed their children, and were thrilled to be very involved with their lives.  Lots of smiles and laughs and good times when they're around.

Justin was truly a good guy, and now he's a hero.  Our prayers are with Jennifer and Donnie, his brother Craig and sister Jessi, his girlfriend, his church family at FROC, and the many friends he left behind.  Below I am adding a post from his pastor,Terry Rogers, whom we've been privileged to work with for years.  I know that he and Angel, youth pastor Stephen, and the entire church family are pulling alongside the Whitmire family.  They're good that way.  :)  Please keep them all in your prayers as Justin's body arrives in Greenville tomorrow and his funeral proceedings begin.

A week ago today, my wife and I received the call that no pastor ever wants to get.  We were asked to come to the home of some close friends, and church members, as they begin the most difficult journey of their lives.
The Whitmire’s had to to hear the news, that their 20 year old son, was killed in action while serving our country in Afghanistan.  Our first prayer that night came from Philippians 4:7, the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  God’s Word was declared over the family, and with my own eyes, I’ve watched that Word come to life.  This family has been a constant example of grace.  They have a foundation that is built upon The Rock, Christ Jesus, and they’re still standing even during this storm.  I don’t know how anyone could go through something like this, without a relationship with God.
“Operation Enduring Freedom”, is the official name given by the U.S. Government for the war in Afghanistan.  I’m thankful for every soldier that serves, so that our great Country can continue to be free.
Justin was more than just a church member to me, he was one of my boys.  I was honored to be his youth pastor for several years, and for the last 5 years, serve as his senior pastor.  He spent a lot of time in my home, and will forever hold a special place in my heart.
I ask you to lift this family, our church, and community, up in prayer this weekend, as we give honor to Justin’s memory.
Below is the obituary from our local paper, The Greenville News.

Justin Whitmire (1991 – 2011)

Justin WhitmireSimpsonvillePFC Justin M. Whitmire, U.S. Army, 20, lost his life in Afghanistan on Tuesday, December 27, 2011, while serving our country.Justin was born November 19, 1991 in Greenville, to Donald “Donnie” Craig Whitmire and Jennifer Ann Yeargin Whitmire. He loved to fish and was an avid Clemson fan. He was a graduate of Hillcrest High School, and served on the Speech and Debate team. He helped to start the broadcast journalism program at the school and was a member of the National Forensic League. He was known as Mr. Fix-it by his family and friends and was a faithful Big Brother to Adam Rogers. He was a member of Faith Renewed Outreach Center and the Renovate Student Ministries. Justin was stationed at Fort Hood and was assigned as a medic in the 720th Military Police Company. He was awarded the Army Service Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Purple Heart.Surviving, in addition to his parents, are a brother, Craig Whitmire; a sister, Jessica “Jessi” Whitmire; paternal grandparents, Clarence and Lora Whitmire; maternal grandparents, Steve and Pat Surett; aunts and uncles, Mike and Teresa Whitmire, Tom and Rene’ Yeargin, Kristie and Jeremy Pierce, and Stephen Surett; and several cousins.Visitation will be 4:30-8 p.m. Friday at Faith Renewed Outreach Center in Mauldin.
Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Saturday at Simpsonville First Baptist Church, officiated by Pastor Terry Rogers and Pastor Stephen Morton. Burial, with Full Military Honors, will be in Cannon Memorial Park. A funeral escort will be provided by the Patriot Guard.
Memorials may be made to the Faith Renewed Outreach Center Building Fund, 505 S. Main Street, Mauldin, SC 29662.
Fletcher Funeral Service

1 comment:

  1. Your family is our thoughts and prayers... God bless..


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