• August 12, 2022
  • BY Eric Morse
  • 2 responses
CATEGORIZED IN: From Pastor Philip


My first pastor passed into the arms of Jesus last week. Our family attended his church during the first four years of my life before we moved from Milwaukee to Cleveland. I don’t remember much from those impressionable years, but I do remember my pastor.


I don’t remember his sermons, although my parents tell me they were profound. I don’t remember his leadership, although the ministry he built was significant. I don’t remember his writing, although his books can still be found everywhere.


I remember his bear hugs. Each Sunday after service, I would run down the aisle and jump into his arms for an enormous squeeze. He would laugh loudly and give me the kind of rough and tumble hug that only a little boy can fully appreciate. I can still feel his scratchy British whiskers on my face. I looked forward to those bear hugs every week.


Sometimes we wonder what it takes to make a difference in someone’s life. For me, it was a bear hug. I returned every week, discovered church to be a safe place, and experienced the love of Jesus, all through a simple bear hug.


The world will miss Stuart Briscoe for his achievements and accolades. I will miss him for his bear hugs. He was the first pastor to show me the heart of Jesus.


You are loved, more than you know.

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2 thoughts on “August 14, 2022

  1. I remember when we called Stuart to be our pastor at our little church. He had
    never pastored a church and had to move his family (and dog) from England.
    I remember going to a packed full church on Sunday nights, many of whom were
    young people. Then his preaching on Wednesday nights. I remember typing
    his notes from when he preached as a teenager and putting them in notebooks.
    What a privilege to minister in that way. Best of all just recently my eldest son said
    he doesn’t know where he would be spiritually if he hadn’t been to Elmbrook
    Church starting as a teenage. Glory be to God!!

  2. What a wonderful memory! Just knowing that you will see him again one day gives you hope in tomorrow! You are loved more than you know. I love that I can still hear your messages. You are missed. Hugs to you and Krista!

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