MY TRIBUTE TO ELDER ASA AKERS
FEBRUARY 17, 1962-AUGUST 11, 2011
I was getting ready to go to bed when I received a phone call.
"Hello Pastor Boulton." It was Damien, Asa's oldest son.
"Hey Damien. What's going on?" I asked him.
"It's Daddy. He's been rushed to the hospital."
Alarmed I asked Damien, "What happened?"
"He got out of bed and collapsed. There was blood coming out of his mouth."
"Okay man I'm on my way."
I quickly got dressed and told Vantoria that Asa was sick and I was on my way to the hospital.The drive was ten minutes. I parked in the emergency parking lot and walked into the hospital to the receptionist desk.
"I'm here to see Asa Akers." I told the receptionist.
"He's in trauma room 1."
I walked to the trauma room. The hallway was crowded with people. The first person I saw and recognized was Damien, he was walking toward me crying. "How are you doing son?" I asked him as I placed my hand on his shoulder.
"I'm not doing good Pastor." I waited for him to tell more but he didn't have anything else to say. I walked into the trauma room. The first thing I noticed was there was machines near the gurney where Asa lay. I didn't hear the sound of machines beeping. To the left of the gurney was Asa's wife Lottie crying, to the right was Scott, Asa's youngest son sitting with his head bowed down. I walked toward Scott and looked at Asa and then I knew that he was gone. Death had come and taken away my friend, my spiritual son and brother in the Lord.
As I looked at what remained of Asa Akers I saw the signs that he was gone but for a brief moment I believed that maybe we were mistaken and He wasn't gone, he hadn't died. But I couldn't hold on to that thought. I had to except the truth that Asa Akers had died.
I did the best I could to comfort Lottie, but what can you say or do at that moment. She has witnessed the death of her husband. The father to her sons is gone. Her world has been shaken. I placed my hands on her shoulder and prayed that God would help her to get through.
Since that Thursday night I have thought about Asa and who he was as I knew him. I came to the New Mine Creek Church in 1994. Asa had been a member at the church for a few years. He wasn't someone that I immediately connected with. He was a quiet man but after being at the church for a few years Asa sought me out and became one of the men that I had the opportunity to disciple and mentor. He faithfully attended the midday bible study that I started on Wednesdays at 12:00. And each week he would come to church early to spend time with me. We bonded and I helped him by sharing with him what I knew and understood about how God works in our lives.
Asa had a keen interest in knowing the will of God for his life and he was wrestling with knowing his purpose. I taught him and counseled him and God took the seeds that I planted to bring forth a great harvest in Asa's life. I left New Mine Creek in 2000 but Asa continued seeking God and a few years later it was with great joy when I was told that Asa had finally recognized God's call on his life to be a preacher of the gospel. I praised God for the part I had in Asa's life in helping him to develop in his understanding of God's will.
When I returned to New Mine Creek in February 2007 Asa was very active in the ministry of the church as a minister, a Sunday school teacher and a member of the Christian Education Ministry. He was also a candidate for ordination in the Sandy Ridge Association.
Over these last four years I've watched Asa grow in confidence and in ministry. He was my right hand, taking care of duties at the church when I was out of town. Asa was faithful and a valuable member on my team.
Yesterday I kept trying to avoid looking at the chair to my right where Asa sat. But I could see him in my mind, and in my memories.
Tomorrow we gather in the New Mine Creek Church to celebrate the life of Elder Asa Akers. He has planted many seeds that will continue to bring forth many harvest in the years to come. I don't pretend to understand why Asa died so suddenly at the age of 49 but I ministered to the church yesterday that we can know that when our hearts are breaking from a death invasion in our lives we can believe God who promises us that He will comfort us when we mourn. Jesus will heal our broken hearts and weeping may endure for a night by joy comes in the morning.
Asa was an incredible husband to his wife Lottie who supported Asa faithfully in all of his ministry endeavors.
Asa leaves to continue to his legacy in the next generations his two sons, two fine men who made their father very proud, Damien and Scott.
When a man lives all the world knows him from the power of his presence.
When a man gives all the world knows him from the generosity of his grace.
When a man loves all the world knows him from the sacrifice of his substance.
When a man dies all the world cries because such a man had lived.
Asa Akers was such a man.