Memory of Disaster Relief worker honored
SARCOXIE—Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Volunteer Roger “Glen” Loyd was killed Feb. 3 in a one-vehicle accident near Ravenden, Ark., while returning home from aiding in disaster relief efforts in Sarcoxie. The two other men traveling with Loyd have been released from the hospital with minor injuries.
This was Loyd’s second trip to Sarcoxie on a chainsaw crew from the Mississippi County Baptist Association in Arkansas. Loyd was a Disaster Relief coordinator and a chaplain for the Association. Loyd’s team had been working in Sarcoxie to provide assistance for those residents that had tree damage on power lines, roofs and driveways. Loyd dragged the newly cut limbs away from homes after chainsaw operators cut the downed limbs.
Sam Wilson, pastor of First Baptist Church of Sarcoxie, became acquainted with Loyd while the church worked alongside the chainsaw crew. Wilson recalls the conversation he had with Loyd the night before the crew returned to Arkansas. Wilson said, “I reminded him that he had given up a lot of time (to aid in the relief efforts) and he told me if this is the last thing God allowed him to do, he would count it all joy.”
Loyd’s life reflected his love for people and his passion for spreading the Gospel of Christ. Wilson recalls that Loyd and the other two men traveling with him, Richard Roberts, pastor of Yarbro Baptist Church in Blytheville, Ark., and Scottie Pardue, a member of Yarbro Baptist, left a message for the congregation of First Sarcoxie.
“The men wrote on a dry-erase board in a Sunday School classroom, ‘Thanks First Baptist Sarcoxie,’ then they signed their names and wrote ‘love them like Jesus,’” Wilson said. “He encouraged us to look past people’s shortcomings and failures and to look at them as Jesus did.”
Loyd was an outgoing and energetic man who never met a stranger. He was an active member of Calvary Baptist Church in Osceola, Ark. Danny Decker, men’s mission and ministry specialist for the Missouri Baptist Convention and coordinator of the MBC’s disaster relief efforts, recalled Loyd’s devotion to the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Team.
“He worked energetically for the Disaster Relief team,” Decker said. “He believed in giving a cold cup of water in Jesus’ name and he would help people know the love of Christ. He believed in promoting it as a ministry…as a vital tool of reaching the lost world.”
Loyd’s funeral was held at his home church Feb. 6. Members of area Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams attended the funeral, filling one side of the church with a sea of yellow shirts to show their support. Terry Henderson, national disaster relief director for the North American Mission Board, Decker and Wilson were also in attendance. Besides the overwhelming support, a disaster relief crew from Alabama that was passing through Arkansas stopped and attended the visitation on Monday night. The team chose to spend the night in Osceola and attend the funeral on Tuesday morning.
Wilson recalled some of the remarks made at Loyd’s funeral. The pastor officiating said “the reason God took him home was because he did enough,” Wilson said. Survivors include his wife, Karen; two daughters, Jessica Loyd of Wilson, Ark. and Michele Isbell of Conway, Ark.; his parents, Barbara and J.C. Loyd of Wilson, Ark.; two sisters, Robin Loyd of Osceola and Donna Hilton of Arkadelphia, Ark.; and one granddaughter, Kauri Rose.
“I think Glen would be very happy that his death is honoring Jesus Christ,” Wilson said. “He laid his life down so others can see Jesus Christ…Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13).”