MCMINNVILLE, Tenn. (BNC) by John Henson — Everyone wishes for the kind of friend who is a spiritual brother. My life has been blessed — it was my great pleasure to have found a spiritual brother in William Alexander Craig.

Alex passed from this life on Sept. 11. He was 91. To me, and to everyone that knows him, he is timeless.

William Alex Craig

William Alex Craig

Alex and I met when Judy and I moved to Grand Blanc, Mich., to work with the church there. Anyone who has ever left their lifelong home and moved 700 miles understands what it is like. Alex understood, even though he lived in the Grand Blanc area all his life except for service in the U.S. Army in World War II.

When we met we knew we had a friend indeed. Alex’s warm greeting each Sunday and Wednesday night always included a two-handed handshake, a hug and a smile. Even after he was told he was seriously ill with cancer, I don’t believe I ever saw him at worship without that greeting or that smile.

Alex knew what preachers like. He knew preachers liked to read godly material and made sure he provided me with the best on a regular basis. One of his favorite materials he gave me was from the Florida School of Preaching and his friend, Brian Kenyon.

Alex was an influence for good to everyone he knew. In my almost six years at Grand Blanc, I never met a person who didn’t know and love him. He was the epitome of kindness. Indeed, he wore it like a jewel. It was not a pretentious kind of jewel hanging around his neck. Instead, it was one that was seen from his honest care and love for others.

There was never an ounce of hypocrisy about Alex. He was always the almost exact copy of the Lord every day.

Judy and I didn’t learn of his death until the day after. Both of us were moved to tears, not because of what had happened to him; we knew he was with his beloved Savior. We were in tears because we felt alone without him, and because we would have to wait to see him again.

Alex was laid to rest with military honors in Yale, Mich., where he was born.

John is a gospel preacher working with the Dibrell congregation, near McMinnville, and a columnist for Forthright Magazine.