Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Tribute to David Pinckley

My life was profoundly affected from the moment I met David Pinckley. When I was 29, I came to Lawrenceburg, Tennessee to try out for the Pulaski St. church of Christ. On the evening before the tryout, we met some people for dinner at a steakhouse there in town. David and Frances Pinckley were among them. It was day one of our relationship.

After moving to Lawrenceburg, I saw David nearly every day of my life for almost eight years. We spent a lot of time at the Parkes House together (our office at the church). David lived at the Parkes house more than his own at times, and I can say the same. I even saw him and Frances on Saturday afternoons on a regular basis.

Everyone in Lawrenceburg knows David Pinckley. He and Frances were so well connected to the community. David and Frances are Lawrenceburg. David and Frances ARE Pulaski St. They made beautiful music together with their voices. They made beautiful music in their home and in their community. They made beautiful music in the church. They made beauiful music in our lives.

Nobody will ever know how much money David gave away to strangers when they would come asking for help. David used to say whenever we had a good Sunday offering, "Somebody opened their pocketbook and their heart fell out." If that is true, David's heart fell out every day. I bet he gave away 500 twenty dollar bills just in the time I was at Pulaski St. It didn't matter their story. If a needy person came, David was too full of compassion to say no.

"Ha! Ha! Ha!" - This booming laugh - it was David's and it was special. An infectious and wonderous laugh that filled the building and it belonged only to David. This laugh will never be duplicated or improved upon. I would hear this laugh from my upstairs office and I would have to stop what I was doing, go downstairs and find out what it was about. Trust me, this laugh changed my life. We laughed for 8 years together, and I needed his joy. David's laugh filled me heart and my mind with the wonder of what it means to be a Christian and live in happiness. I will be able to listen to this laugh in the windows of my mind as long as I live. I can't wait to hear it again in heaven.

David was talented. He was diligent. He cared immensely about the church. We could talk about anything and we agreed on about 99% in every subject. He was my sounding board, my county roadmap, my spiritual father and one of the reasons I wanted to go to work every day. He wrote amazing and powerful articles every week in the church bulletin. It never hurt my feelings when I would be told all the time by people how much they enjoyed David's articles (I had articles in the same bulletin). David's articles were sound, mature, loving, disciplinary, frank, and truthful. They took people back to a generation past and made them feel like they were there again for a moment.

David taught me how to adore my wife. Some men are slow on this but David was truly devoted to his wife and family. Frances Pinckley was loved by David Pinckley. They were true companions in every way. David would not ever let anybody say anything negative about the people he loved. He defended and protected them and made no excuses. He was loyal and no person could fault him for it.

DAVID PINCKLEY KNEW HOW TO FORGIVE PEOPLE...(this sentence deserves its own space)

David loved my wife and kids. He was so good to them all of the time. Many times I told him, before my dad moved to Lawrenceburg, that he was my in-town father. Being so separated from my parents was softened by his presence.

David changed peoples lives over the phone. He called people all the time and was their only link to the outside world sometimes. The shut-ins and older folks who were depressed...he made their days special by being an ear. Hours and hours of selfless phone time with people who needed someone to love them. David will have so many stars in his crown.

You don't share your innermost thoughts with just anybody. But David and I shared. We talked about anything and everything. We talked confidentially to each other. We fought and made up again right away and apologized to each other. We laughed and cried and told each other that we loved each other.

Since moving from Lawrenceburg I have greatly missed David. When I told him I was leaving I broke down and cried in his office about how wonderful he was and how much I was going to miss him. That was a special moment and I still can feel the emotions of that news. The last few times we have talked on the phone, we have expressed our feelings and I will never regret our open communication.

I don't know how to end this short tribute. I could write a book. I could talk about "the house on the hill", his love for animals, his special glow over his nieces or 100 other things that you get to know about somebody you spend every day with. I think I am writing this because I know just how big the void that "Hoss" has made by leaving us for a little while. I know that Pulaski St. will never be the same minus David Pinckley. I know that I lost something very special in my life today.

A few years ago we started "Coming Home Sunday" at P. St. - a tradition they have continued and I have also carried on at Willow Ave. Both churches had their "Coming Home Sunday" today. It is no small coincidence that after David worshiped the Lord this morning, that he laid his burden down and went home to his reward. I am happy for him, but I will miss him more than I can ever express in words.

I feel so blessed. David Pinckley's laugh fills my soul. And nothing can ever take that feeling away.


  1. I did not know David had passed away until I read this. What a fitting tribute to a wonderful, godly man! Well said!

  2. Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute to David. You have me in tears. I wasn't around David and Frances that much, but they were always the ones I looked for when visiting Pulaski St. My heart aches for our loss here but joyful knowing we will meet again!

  3. This is a great tribute to David.He was a great and wondeful man and it will be hard not seeing his smiling face at church.Loosing him so quickly makes me realize just how fast our lives can change.Sometimes we all need a awake up call and for me David's sudden death has definely been one.How wonderful it has been to read all the heart felt words that have been written about David.We can truly know that David was one on God's servants and what a joy to know that God was waiting to welcome him home.

  4. very well said i cryed as i was reading this. such an amazing man that i have looked up to for my whole life! it wont ever e the same going back to my home chruch and not being able to walk up to that front row and shake his hand and give him a hug! what a great man

  5. Awesome tribute to a wonderful man! Chills ran through my body as I read this knowing that these words are so true. My first time meeting Mr. Pinkley, and Mrs Frances he told me he enjoyed singing with me. It was I, that enjoyed singing with him. Between Mrs Frances, Mr David, and my sister, and my brother the front of the church was where I sat. I look forward to singing with him again one day. Glad I was able to be at Pulaski street to see him at Easter. Love to you Mr. Pinkley and Mrs Frances. Pulaski street will never be the same.

    Mark Hendrix