William Hull, noted Baptist pastor, author and scholar, died at 83 in December 2013 after battling Lou Gehrig’s disease since 2008.
A posthumous book by Hull, who wrote or contributed to dozens of books, awaits publication by Samford University Press.
Titled “The Quest for a Good Death,” it chronicles Hull’s experience with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and reflects his thinking on death and dying.
Hull’s son, David Hull, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Huntsville, Alabama, talks in a new Skype interview with EthicsDaily.com about his father’s journey.
Hull says one of the first things the family did, upon getting the ALS diagnosis, was move the elder Hull’s desk from his third-floor study to the family room.
“Dad was always a hard worker,” Hull says. “He assumed he could keep on working, and sure enough he did for about five years after that.”
“He worked it the way he had worked his whole life,” Hull says. “He was an extremely disciplined person. So that didn’t stop when he was ill. He still got up real early, went to his desk and began to organize his dying even as he had organized his life.”
The elder Hull prepared his estate, expressed his wishes for his memorial, attended to personal matters. He also communicated his journey to others.
“He showed us how to talk about dying,” Hull says. The elder Hull did not avoid the topic, as often happens in churches. (See part two of the interview for more on the topic of death and dying.)
“Even when he could no longer speak, he was at church just about every Sunday,” Hull says.
“And he had always been such an eloquent proclaimer of God’s Word, but now, speechless, he was still an eloquent proclaimer of God’s Word,” Hull says, adding that his father became an inspiration at his church, Mountain Brook Baptist Church in Birmingham.
“The strength that Dad got moving through his illness from his church family … that was so important to be a part of that community of faith,” Hull says. “And in return, it was important for the church to see and experience him that way.”
Hull, in the interview, also talks more about his father’s best friend, John Claypool, and how ALS changed the elder Hull’s proclamation of faith.
Watch the interview with Hull at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily/skype-hullpart1
Watch the second interview with Hull at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily/skype-hullpart2
Learn more about David Hull at www.fbchsv.org/796678
Watch other EthicsDaily.com Skype interviews at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily