"And the king said unto his servants, 'Know ye not that there is a prince and a great man fallen this day in Israel?' " (II Samuel 3:38).
My Father, Roy Thomas Floyd was the best friend I will ever have and one of the most moral men that I ever knew. He was a "great man" to his family that he loved dearly and served all his days. He was a devoted husband and father and labouredtirelessly for the good of his wife and children. In his younger days, sixteen hour work days and more were normal for him. Daddy worked a fulltime job in the oilfield and farmed as much as some people who farmed fulltime. He worked fulltime until he was 73 when he had a stroke that began to disable him, but even after he was forced by poor health and a weakened body to quit working fulltime, he continued to garden and care for his yard and the church yard and the cemetery until more strokes finally disabled him. He loved his church family and neighboursand delighted in sharing fresh vegetables from his garden and patches with them.
Daddy left his family a great legacy and spiritual inheritance. He experienced a saving change and was granted faith to trust in Christ for salvation and publicly professed his faith before men.
He was baptised in Strong River and became a member of New Home Baptist Church in 1960 or '61. The church records will give the exact date. The pastor at that time, Brother Otis Swearingen had broken his leg and could not baptise at that time, so the Church agreed to let Uncle Quentin Floyd administer the ordinance. Daddy took his Christian duties seriously. He despised antinomianism and believed that saved people would live like saved people. He had no confidence in the flesh, and never professed to be anything more than a poor sinner trusting for salvation in the active and passive obedience of Christ freely imputed to all who believe in Him. Daddy believed that the Bible is the inspired word of God and that it is infallible and authoritative. He trusted in the once Crucified but now Risen Lord for his salvation, and his faith was in the imputed righteousness of Christ Alone, but he despised the idea that being saved by grace allowed a man to continue in sin. He believed in justification and sanctification. He took his family to church, Sunday Mornings, Sunday Nights, and Wednesday nights and all the extra meetings. He maintained family worship and was a cheerful giver to the Cause of Christ's kingdom. He was vocal in witnessing and calling his friends and family to repentance and faith. After he was converted, he became concerned about the conflict of his work in the oilfield with his duties to remember the Sabbath day. I remember him talking to Brother Swearingen about it and Brother Swearingen explaining scripturally that he was not breaking the Sabbath since his work was a work of necessity. That satisfied Daddy, but when he was able to get a work schedule that allowed him not to have to work on the Lord's Day, he jumped at the opportunity. Daddy loved the Lord Jesus Christ, and it was evident by his life.
My Daddy's life after he became a Christian could be illustrated by John Bunyan's character "Valiant for the Truth." That was my Daddy. He believed the Bible was the absolute Truth of God and that its truth is sufficient for all doctrine and practice and that it should be applied to every area of life. He believed that the principles of scripture should be applied not just in the Church, but in the Home and the State. His understanding of Biblical Truth caused him to despise Big Government and he was an old time Paleo -Conservative in his politics. He and my Mother came to see the evil of the government school system long before many others. When the federal government took over the local schools in the 1960's they pulled their children out and sent them to the newly formed academies. My Father rightly understood that education is a duty of the home not the state and that the "public" schools are being used to brainwash the citizenry. He was sometimes called a "right wing extremist" and delighted that it was true. He believed that "extremism in defence of liberty is no vice."
Daddy feared God, but no man. He taught us to fear God and he demanded that his children respect him and our Mother. Daddy taught us to obey all lawful authority, but he despised tyranny and considered it a man's sacred duty to oppose all tyrants whether great or petty. Two of his heroes were Patrick Henry and Captain John Birch, the Baptist missionary to China who was murdered by the Communists and for whom the great patriotic organisation was named. Daddy spent much time, energy and resources resisting tyranny and associated with like-minded citizens in groups like the John Birch Society, the Citizens Council and the League of the South. We children cut our teeth on fundamental preaching and right wing politics.
My Daddy was a man of great common sense and was unusually gifted with discernment. He was able to look at a matter and get right to the root of the thing. He was able to see where things led. He was able to see that a little leaven will leaven the whole lump. Therefore, he was completely uncompromising as to truth and principles. In matters indifferent, he would let you have your way, but in principles he would not budge. Whatever he believed, he held to it tenaciously. He did not believe that "might makes right" and he never accepted the unholy practice of "going along to get along."
My Father taught us a strong work ethic, and he considered it a disgrace to willfully live off someone else's labour. He worked hard to try keep himself and his family from being beholden to man. He believed that it was thoroughly Biblical for a man to try to prosper materially, and to have something to pass on to the next generation, yet he held loosely to the things of this world, realising they are only very temporary. He looked for that city whose builder and maker is God, that city made without hands. Our Lord's prayer for him has been answered (John 17:24)and Daddy is now with Christ beholding the full glory that he saw here dimly by faith. It was Daddy's desire that his children, grandchildren and neighbours and "whosoever will" go with him to the promised land on the other side of Jordan. May the same Holy Spirit that worked in Daddy, work in all of us to draw us savingly to Christ, and sanctify us wholly in body, soul, and spirit that we might see Daddy again, but more importantly that we might see Daddy's Saviour.