In Profound Respect
Mr. Denny Luker
"Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints."
To All the Saints
In the Churches of God
Re: The Passing of a Friend
It is with great sadness that we at Blow the Trumpet acknowledge the passing of Mr. Dennis “Denny” Luker. Mr. Luker faithfully served God’s people during the course of six decades (1960s to the present) and his labor touched virtually thousands of saints around the world. Although the Church knows that his spirit has returned to the Father (Eccl. 12:7, Job 34:14) and that he now rests in the hope of a better resurrection (Heb. 11:35) there is still a penetrating sorrow in the hearts of those who personally knew this extraordinary man. Tonight many tears are being shed at the news of his passing not the least of which are mine.
I first met Mr. Luker and his wife, LeeAnn in 2003 when my family moved from Southern California to Everett, Washington. At that time he was the Pastor of the Bellevue congregation as well as the Northwest Regional Pastor for the United Church of God. I can still vividly recall being struck at how genteel he was. His voice was soft while his eyes reflected an unmistakable determination. Although Denny was never one to seek out controversy he was fearless in the face of it. My son once commented to me after hearing one of his many sermons, "Dad, I really like this man. He's no wimp."
To me, Denny was a remarkable study in Christianity. He was brazen with confidence without possessing one ounce of conceit. His words conveyed a message of kindness and hope and I can honestly say I never detected one judgmental bone in his body.
Denny Luker was also a great listener. I remember many conversations with him and how he was literally locked in to what was being said. I once told my wife that "this man is so attentive he can make you feel like you're the only person in a crowded room." In messages he would affectionately refer to me as "the other Dennis" a designation I was honored to hold. He would also playfully scold me for not calling him "Denny" (I only addressed him as Mr. Luker).
My first serious conversation with him came in 2004. I had just finished writing A Vision, A Plan, and A Destiny and wanted to share it with him. I gave him one of three original manuscripts of the book. Several weeks later he gave a message in which he cited it. In another sermon he actually pointed to me and said "You wrote about this in your book." After services I approached him and said, "You really read it?" His response: "Every word." My greatest disappointment since hearing that Denny was battling cancer was not telling him that the book was dedicated to him.
Mr. Luker shared a wonderful tandem of leadership with his wife LeeAnn, an elegant lady who was such a marvelous companion. My heart truly aches for her in this great trial. I know that a part of her also passed. It is my sincerest desire that she can draw strength from the fact that her name is on the prayerful lips of thousands of God's people. My heartfelt condolences also go out to Steve, Leah, Elgie, Chad, and Kennedy as well as the entire Luker-Gibson Family not to mention the United Church of God.
I could go on forever expressing my sentiments concerning the contribution Mr. and Mrs. Luker have made to the cause of God's Kingdom, but will now pause and allow scores of others to share their stories of how this man of grace and dignity touched them. One such family wrote my wife the following:
“[Mr. Luker] was our pastor when we lived in Placentia California (The Garden Grove Congregation). Ron and I both loved him and considered him our favorite pastor when we attended the Worldwide Church of God. He definitely had an attitude of humility and service. He was kind beyond words and compassionate.”
In Closing, a few hours after receiving word of his passing I spoke to a friend and conveyed how much I would love to spend just five more minutes with Denny. He asked me, "What would you tell him?" I said that I would tell him how much I loved him and how thankful I am that God favored me with his friendship. My friend responded, "You don't need the five minutes. He already knew that."
Dennis Fischer aka "The other Dennis"
Blow the Trumpet
To the Church