Eric McQuitty, 79, was called home to glory on October 26, 2009. He pastored Presbyterian churches in North Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, Texas, Kentucky, and Louisiana. Of his three sons, two are ministers: Eric Andrew (Andy) McQuitty is pastor of IrvingBibleChurch in Texas, and Timothy James McQuitty is pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Cleveland, Tenn.. His son Andy wrote this tribute to his father and posted it on Facebook.
October 26, 2009
My Dear Friends,
This morning at 6:50 a.m. father made the grand journey from this veil of tears through the Heavenly Gates into the Land of No Tears and the presence of Jesus. It was a final trip he was longing to make, and though I grieve his loss, I am so very happy for him finally to be at home. This afternoon, I am writing Dad’s obituary, and I wanted to share it with you.
Eric McQuitty was born on August 17, 1930, in Carrickfergus, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. He passed over into eternity on October 26, 2009. Eric was the youngest of four children born to Andrew and Susan McAtamney McQuitty. He is survived by Dorothy Dreher McQuitty, his wife of 56 years; by his three sons Andrew, Timothy, and Philip and their families; by his elder brother James and his wife Pearl and by numerous nieces and nephews and their families in Ulster; and by 12 grandchildren and one great-grandson in America.
Eric grew to young manhood in Ireland and was apprenticed as a machinist’s mate in a large foundry in Belfast when his father decided to emigrate with his family to the United States of America. With his parents and three siblings, Eric set sail to this country on the Queen Mary, arriving on December 22, 1948. The ensuing eighteen months were difficult for these six, so much so that Andrew and Susan decided to return with their family to Ireland as soon as possible. But while these preparations for the voyage home were being made, Eric was invited to a Methodist Youth for Christ rally in Rochester, N.Y. where for the first time he was presented with the claims of Jesus Christ through the testimony of the late R.G. LeTourneau. Eric embraced Jesus as His Savior and Lord by faith on that momentous evening. Sensing that Christ had a deeper purpose for him in America, Eric then declined to return to Ireland with his family, choosing instead to wave good-bye to them on a train platform in New York state and stay here alone to seek God’s direction for his future. He was eighteen years of age.
Over the next few years, Eric felt called by the Lord into the gospel ministry. Realizing that this vocation required extensive education, he set about acquiring the needed credentials. For Eric, this meant completing his high school diploma at the age of 22, then completing his college degree, then completing his Master’s degree in seminary. He was the first of his family’s generation to attend college, never mind graduate school. Eric was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1960, and served the Lord faithfully in that capacity for 49 years until his recent home going. Through his faithful ministry for Christ and to the Church, countless souls were added to Heaven’s roster, countless Christ-followers taught and encouraged, and countless workers raised up for the spiritual harvest in America and around the world. We are so happy for Eric that now at last he is in a position to see the full extent of what God did for Heaven’s sake through his life on planet Earth.
It was during his college years that Eric was smitten with love for the beautiful and godly young Dorothy Dreher of Baltimore, Maryland. They married May 31, 1953 and embarked on a lifetime of adventure together as they raised their three sons and served Christ in the ministry. His family affirms that one of Eric’s greatest legacies is that of a man who loved one woman well for a lifetime and inculcated with her into his sons a love for Christ and His word. Though he was surely an authentically cantankerous Irishman at times, his love for his Lord and his wife and family and friends and his enthusiasm for life and hope for Heaven was always winsome, always effective, and always contagious. And so with full hearts we raise to Eric the blessing that he bestowed upon us on earth, and which is most certainly being fulfilled for him now in Heaven:
May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.”
Thanks you all for bearing with me as I write these thoughts about my Father. I’m grateful to and for him and his life, and to the God who put him in my life and Who has now ushered him into eternal life. May you be blessed too my friends.
As the Road Rises Up to Meet You,