"Whatever you do, do it with all your might as working for the Lord, not for men." - COLOSSIANS 3:23

My Tribute to David Landrith

It was my first spring basketball practice for High School ball. Still in school at the Jr. High, I was incredibly apprehensive, somewhat intimidated and totally unsure of what to expect. From the time I walked into the gym and saw the upper classmen, guys I had watched play on that hallowed court at Bradley Central, our best player David Landrith always made me feel special. His 6’6 lanky frame and closely cut hair never changed as long as I knew him. Even up to just a few months ago, 30 years later,  David always looked the same. More than that, David always acted the same. One could say, he was incredibly mature as a High School boy or that he just never really grew up as an adult. Both would be accurate, but only because David wanted it that way.

I remember that first summer practice and the first time I heard David’s famous saying, “You got to C’mon!” His last personal tweet before Jen took over his phone had that same familiar saying as he promoted his beloved Long Hollow Church with those same words, “C’mon.” (see his tweet dated 10/25/14) Speaking of Twitter, David had 8,000+ followers, so imagine how I felt when I got a notification that my very first follower upon creating an account was @davidlandrith. Again, he made me (all of us) feel special. David specialized in making people feel special.

As a Sophomore, this Senior Captain of our team took me under his wing. We poured on the sweat and worked hard each day in the gym battling with our teammates and opponents, but it is the off the court memories that I am most reflective of. We shared a passion for basketball and people, but mostly our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Even as High School “kids” we had healthy discussions, sometimes debates about the Bible and what we had learned from our devotions, studies, church’s theology and speakers that we had heard. In the end, as teenagers we came to the same conclusion we discussed the last time I saw him just a few months ago. “Let’s forget all the debates, quit wasting time discussing any minor differences that don’t really matter and go tell people about Jesus.”

We have all experienced loss. I personally have lost a younger brother at 28 and sister at 32. Loss is incredibly difficult and the pain is sometimes almost insurmountable. I often wonder how one makes it without the “comforter.” (Holy Spirit) Even as I pound these keys, my eyes blur with tears. Losing David is a heart shattering blow to all of us! We have literally prayed daily for David and for my childhood neighbor, Jennifer (Ramsey) Landrith and family since the day we heard the shocking news almost 2 years ago. The call came and the news was that David had this dreaded disease that we all fear. We have prayed for Long Hollow church and those with the daunting task of following such an anointed Leader.

My daughter wonders why I am so moved when speaking of David. After all, she knows I have experienced numerous losses. She has as well. But there was just something about David Landrith! I imagine David is walking down the streets of Gold and as he passes each mansion more people jump in and follow this infectious personality. While we are left to celebrate his life on Earth, David is overwhelmed with countless lives that are sharing their story with him of how he impacted their lives. Heaven is rejoicing and David is pain free and totally healed from all disease. He is talking with so many that he never even really knew while here on earth, but they sat in the chairs of his church, maybe they heard him preach or were somehow connected to his ministry. David had no idea of the impact he had while on earth. David Landrith’s impact was massive.

As I write these last words, if I look up to the heavens………………………………… and listen really close……………………………….. I can almost hear David……………………… “Rich, this is the place we used to talk about and it’s ALL that! This place will put you where you oughta be!………………………….. YOU GOT TO C’MON!”

I’ll be there soon my friend. There will NEVER be another David Landrith.

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13 Comments

  1. Susan Tindal
    Posted November 18, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Richie, what an awesome tribute to David! I know Jennifer and her family appreciate your friendship. God bless you and your family.

  2. Pat Lay
    Posted November 18, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    Man what a tribute and spot on. There will NEVER be another David Landrith. Those of us who believe will see him again one day!

  3. Brenda Hughes
    Posted November 18, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    What a soul-stirring tribute. Written with emotion and love and respect from the heart. I was brought to tears to read the thoughts of someone who has already experienced such loss again loses such a wonderful friend. David was a true man of God who was loved by all (young and old) who knew him .

  4. Gary L. Carrier
    Posted November 18, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    Awesome!

  5. Monica Riess
    Posted November 18, 2014 at 8:02 pm

    When my husband Randy died seven years ago in Hendersonville, TN with a sudden traffic drowning, we were members of his church. He came to my house the next day & had that big smile on his face, he said, “monica aren’t you ecstatic!! Randy is in paradise right now. Yesterday was not his death, it was his birthday! Praise God! He is singing at the top of his lungs. That message is what I thought today as I looked back on my memory of this faithful servant. Praise God, it is his birthday

  6. Gwen Preveau
    Posted November 19, 2014 at 1:09 am

    A beautiful tribute. My heart and soul weep for Pastor David’s family for the loss they feel. My husband and I only lived in Hendersonville for two years where we called Long Hollow Baptist Church & Pastor David our church home. We never met David personally but he, his messages, and his church had a profound impact on our lives. As he rejoices in heaven we mourn our loss but also look forward to seeing him again on the streets of gold.

  7. Merilyn & Glenn Head
    Posted November 19, 2014 at 3:32 am

    You have described David to a T- Always the same, always loving God, family, his church and anyone who met him. Thank you for this very moving tribute to a true man of God. He was loved by all and he touched so many lives.

  8. Paul and Tannis Duncan
    Posted November 19, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    Indeed a moving tribute that helps us to know David and be blessed by his life. It’s definitely an admonition and invitation for us all to “c’mon”.

  9. Diana Dinkins
    Posted November 19, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Your words and David Landrith’s have touched me immensely. I was only a guest of my family, not a member as I do not live in Tennessee, but his words always impacted my life. He was a blessing to my family.

  10. Angie Graham-Campbell
    Posted November 20, 2014 at 1:06 am

    Beautifully said….

  11. Judy Dickens
    Posted November 21, 2014 at 11:54 am

    David was unique, best pastor I’ve ever heard, Godly, funny, loving to his family, friends and church. He will be greatly missed and I have been blessed by being a member at Long Hollow Baptist Church.

  12. Ronnie Johnson
    Posted November 22, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    thankyou Richie for these words you have written about our friend. All of us that grew up with David have funny stories to share about him. All of us who knew him from Jr. High until now will stand up for David and his character. This man was always Christ like. He was such a great example for us even as teenagers. David was able to show us the love of God in both words and deeds. David also showed us the humor of God. He will surely be missed. I took look forward to seeing him again

  13. Bill Holt
    Posted November 30, 2015 at 4:37 am

    What a fitting tribute to a man that touched so many people Rich!!! If you ever met him, you will never forget him. The kindest man, he is to this day still the funniest man I ever met. He was always the same guy, he truly loved the Lord. You will be missed David.

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