AKRON, Oh. (BNc) by David R. Kenney — Lorenzo Collins was born in Akron, Oh., Feb. 2, 1937. He was baptized into Christ by P. E. Butler, who also served as a preaching mentor to brother Collins. He was married to Freddie Faye Cunningham Collins. They reared six children: Tabitha, Abigail, Gabrielle, Michael, Jonathan and Matthias. Brother Collins passed away June 26, 2013 in Akron. He was buried at the Ohio Western Reserve National Cemetery in Rittman, Oh., with David R. Kenney officiating. Lorenzo Collins was a gospel preacher.
Brother Collins obtained his A. A. degree at Southwestern Christian College where he was presented the Kenneth Orrvid Mason Award in 1959 by the President of the school, A. V. Isbell. Being the recipient of this award, brother Collins was to deliver the sermon before the student body. In attendance on this occasion was the highly esteemed Marshall Keeble. Since brother Collins and I were friends, he did not mind telling me that Keeble’s response to Collins’ preaching was, “This is the cream of the crop!”
Brother Collins also obtained a B.A. degree from Abilene Christian University. He began his first full-time preaching work in Elyria, Ohio. He also preached in Texas, New York and Connecticut.
He would often work in addition to his preaching at places such as B. F. Goodrich, Chrysler Corporation, and the U. S. Army, where he served in the Medical Corp and helped establish a congregation in Straubin, Germany.
He taught Spanish for the Hartford, Conn., Akron, Oh., and Copley-Fairlawn, Oh., school systems.
Brother Collins often had to supplement his preacher training and preaching efforts with secular work — a testament to his dedication.
The first time I heard brother Collins preach was in Streetsboro, Ohio. His style was to slowly approach the pulpit, begin opening his Bible, speaking with low tones of greeting. As he expressed his appreciation to be afforded the opportunity to preach, he would take out his outline and make sure he was prepared to begin the lesson. He would slowly lay down preliminary points he wanted to make, building slowly with intensity and volume. Then all of a sudden, he would climax with increasing volume, pounding points and a call to obey the gospel! He was a Preacher with Crescendo!
In our society, we seem to be divided and dividing on just about any kind of denominator out there; e.g., we even divide ourselves by zip code—remember 90210? Brother Lorenzo was not a divider but sought to unite all under the “Banner of the Cross”. Now, his body sleeps waiting for the ultimate dividing to come—the final day of dividing the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares, the saints from the sinners, and the godly from the ungodly. This division will not be done by man, commission or any other such earthly organization. This division will be completed by the Lord and His angels, and there will be no mistakes in this matter. There is a Day, an Hour, and a Call to come—
“Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29, NKJV.)
Brother Collins would implore us all to be ready for that call, to become a Christian and do all within our power to worship and serve the Lord all the days of our lives.
The greatest gift that Lorenzo gave his family was being a Christian. He would want me to tell you today that if you are not a Christian, not a follower of Jesus the Christ, then you need to obey the gospel! He would want me to make sure that you know that if you have wandered off, then you need to wander right back to Christ! He would want you to provide, for those you love, this blessing—
“But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, NKJV.)
Christians sorrow, but we sorrow with hope! Because Lorenzo was a Christian, we have the hope of seeing him again! The greatest blessing you can provide those you love is this same hope! But it is only found in Christ!
Among brother Lorenzo’s favorite passages in the Bible were these words uttered by Jesus:
“Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:12, NKJV).
I look forward to that reward too including spending time once again with my friend and brother.