When the phone rings late at night, you know it’s not usually a good thing. We got one of those calls tonight. When you lose someone that you have respected, admired, and loved as a friend, it’s very difficult to get past the shock and feeling of numbness.
Harold Turner—whether he ever realized it or not—was like a mentor to me. After I would preach, he would pull me aside and point out the things I said that could have been phrased better, or—in some cases—were just plain wrong. When I taught classes, he would give me suggestions on how to improve.
Once, I decided to preach from the ESV, and afterwards he again pulled me aside and said, “what version are you preaching from?” After I told him, he said something that has stuck with me ever since, “You know I don’t like newer versions, but that’s beside the point. The point is, when 95% of the congregation is using the King James Version, you’d be wise to do the same so they can follow along.”
He was always happy to talk as long as you wanted about the Bible. It is a trait that unfortunately has become quite rare in people. Whenever our family would go visit him, he was always happy to see us, and when we had to leave, he tried to convince us to stay and talk longer. I always left happy to have been there, but disappointed that the two-hour visits were so short.
Harold opened my eyes to different ways of looking at different passages in the Bible. He showed me how to present questions in a logical progression to lead the students in the right direction.
And I also had the privilege of sitting in his living room, playing guitar with him.
I’ll never be able to measure up to him as a guitar player. I hope one day to be one-half of the preacher, mentor, and Christian that he was.
We’ll miss you, Harold.