Community respect for Roy McCall was obvious in Pam’s Restaurant on the edge of Hartsville, South Carolina.
Warm greetings of “Hi, Mr. Roy” came from staff and patrons who served and consumed “countrified” cuisine.
The expansive farming land in and around his hometown had a friend in Roy as well. Unsurprisingly, he was often recruited to leadership roles.
He served as president of both the Agricultural Society and the Young Farmers Association in Darlington County, South Carolina.
Roy was a president and a director of Darlington County Farm Bureau and served as a director of a cotton farmers’ research company.
He was a founding member of the South Carolina Cotton Board and a founding director of the local historical commission.
P.L. (Roy) McCall Jr. was a kind and generous man — exemplified in his life and legacy. Roy died last year, on March 4, at age 91.
His wife Margaret and twin brother Reeves preceded his death. The close-knit brothers were both proud Clemson University graduates and faithful Christians who took on numerous church leadership roles.
They were the kind of Baptists who refused to give up the defining principles that have long marked Baptists — religious liberty, congregational autonomy, soul freedom and priesthood of the believer — when so many others considered those to be expendable.
When Reeves died in 2011, he left estate gifts to several causes, including Baptists Today, Inc. (now part of Good Faith Media).
A small part of that gift supported the publication of the commemorative book, Baptists Today at 30, by Bruce Gourley. It was dedicated to Reeves’ memory.
Likewise, Roy has now left a significant gift that will serve Good Faith Media very well. We are grateful for his kindness and generosity.
Whether sharing lunch at Pam’s, chatting over the phone or swapping hand-written notes, I could always count on an affirming word and concrete support from Roy.
He asked for nothing but continuing good work. One such note — that accompanied a check — read: “Johnny, thanks for the Nurturing Faith Journals. There are so many excellent articles in each journal. Blessings, Mr. Roy.”
Once, when his copy of the journal didn’t arrive in his Society Hill mailbox, he called to request a replacement copy. “I’m lost without that book,” he said.
For many well-rooted Baptists and others, the journal has been a connecting point with those of like mind and faith. Roy certainly conveyed that over many years.
Others, including Keithen Tucker, Ben McDade, and Drayton and Mary Etta Sanders, visited Roy to get acquainted and communicate our appreciation for his ongoing support.
Following news of this recent gift, Mary Etta told me: “We are so happy to have known that interesting man.”
Indeed, he was a person of high character, exemplary leadership and a gracious personality. Staying in touch with him was a blessing, not a chore.
While those exchanges no longer occur, it is pleasing to know that his legacy of kindness and generosity continues.
And it is a good reminder for all of us to think about how we use the slice of history we have been gifted.
It is always a fitting question to ask how we want to be remembered and what we might do to continue our influence beyond our earthly living.
How nice to be remembered as someone who was genuinely kind, generous and faithful.
Thanks, Mr. Roy!
Executive editor / publisher at Good Faith Media.