Monday, May 28

Eulogy for a Guayaquil Church Planter

Gerald (Red) Wayne Doyle
June 26, 1929 - May 25, 2007
by Manuel Sosa P.

Heaven’s gates have flung open for one who sent many to and through that celestial passageway! The angelic choirs are singing and for once, his voice is allowed to accompany others while praising the Lord through song. There is rejoicing that this Texas cowboy turned into missionary Church Planter has arrived in the place prepared for him by his Savior.

He always played the part of a good old boy from Chillicothe, Texas but he was as sharp as any big city statesman. He knew what his calling was and never made any excuses for it or did he ever try to be politically correct about it. He was zealous towards his calling and loved the country and people he worked with. To him people needed the Lord, needed to be saved and a church was one way of getting to them.

He was criticized, mocked and ignored for his conservative views of church planting and would have certainly been out of step with New Directions or Strategic Directions, etc. As far as I knew he never drew up a Master Plan, planned any Critical Paths or following any Obedience Based Discipleship program in his desire to reach lost people. Make no mistake he always had a plan and it was simple, maybe too simple for many who like to see everything written up logically. His plan was, where there are lost people there needs to be a church for them close by to attend.

Yes he did things the old fashion way. First buy property and then build a building. Personally, I often thought he followed the philosophy of the movie “Field of Dreams,” if you build them they will come. He would present his dream to his Area Director (RL for the new missionaries), or any big wig that happen to cross his path on the field or stateside. He was not embarrassed to ask, beg or even use some of his own money to build a church where he knew there was a need.

He was not afraid to go to areas that nationals would not dare go, to scout for a possible new church plant and find a way to see a new work started. He was not only worried about the physical plant but more than that he would make sure that sound doctrine was part of the new work. Again, many felt he was too conservative in his doctrine but time has proved his concerns justified as many churches now days worry more about numbers than doctrine.

Much could be said about his methods and strategies but the nationals themselves best voiced it when it was said at one of his “despedidas” (good-bye services), “He started or was involved in the starts of 34 new works in his 33 years of missionary service.”

Gerald Wayne (Red), Doyle, passed away May 25th, 2007. Due to his unconventional methods of church planting, many saved through those churches have welcomed him into paradise today. I always felt that what started happening in Guayaquil as we started multiple church plants and continues today was largely due to Red and others who laid down the foundations for those of us who followed. They worked hard and for the most part unrecognized but God has given him his just reward today.

Under his rugged exterior, there laid a tender spot that exhibited God’s love for all. I learned that Red had one purpose in his ministry, to start yet another new work. I will always appreciate the example he set for me as a mentor and more than that as a friend.
--eulogy written by Manuel Sosa Palacios 5/25/07


Erin Thomas said...

My name is Erin Thomas, and I work for the International Mission Board. I am writing a memorial for Mr. Doyle and would like to use excerpts from Mr. Sosa's eulogy here. Please let me know if this is ok. My email is Thanks a lot!

GuyMuse said...

Manuel Sosa is the author, please write him directly, his email is mpsosa[at]hotmail[dot]com.