By Carl Stagner
On Sunday, June 24, Dr. James Earl Massey’s life on this earth came to an end. But his incredible legacy has only just begun to affect the lives of students, pastors, and parishioners. One of the many ways his legacy lives on is through his latest book, Views from the Mountain. Published within days of his passing, the compilation of select writings from the brilliant mind of Massey was co-edited by Barry Callen and Curtiss DeYoung. As the back cover of the book states, “Rarely does one voice speak with equal wisdom on fields as diverse and demanding as Bible interpretation, Christian education, inspired preaching, seminary education, and ministries of reconciliation.” Indeed, Dr. Massey did all that and so much more, for the Church of God movement and beyond. Now the Church of God—no, all of Christendom—has the opportunity to glean wisdom from the pages of what Dr. Massey called the “last great goal” of his life.
In the last year of Massey’s life, his desire was to release one more book that would bring together several of his writings that had never before been published in book form. Close friend and colleague Barry Callen spent much time with the “prince of preachers” over the course of several months while Massey underwent treatment for cancer. It was in these moments that James Earl Massey called Barry Callen, longtime writer and editor for Aldersgate Press, and asked him about the possibilities. The project would be no easy task, but at the suggestion of Dr. Massey, Callen would utilize the experience and capacity of Curtiss DeYoung.
DeYoung, CEO of the Minnesota Council of Churches and former pastor at First Church of God in Minneapolis, was the ideal co-editor. Massey had become DeYoung’s most significant and closest mentor in the years since DeYoung first studied under Massey’s instruction at then Anderson College. Though Massey didn’t get to see the completed book, he got the chance to approve the manuscript before his passing. The day he died, DeYoung was also able to show Massey the cover of the book.
“There is so much about Dr. Massey that is memorable and made a deep impression on my life,” DeYoung reflects. “His love for God and his integrity were very influential. His passion for reconciliation and social justice were exemplary. Of course his preaching was inspiring. And those rare moments he sat at the piano were treasured.”
Callen’s expresses similar sentiment. “Dr. Massey both preached powerfully with his voice and lived consistently all his days the Christlikeness intended for all of us but rarely seen in this broken world. That superb modeling of the life of our Master I will never forget!”
Through a generous investment in the next generation of ministry leaders, hundreds of copies of the book have been made available to Leadership Focus candidates and coaches. Callen explains that “Dr. Massey was overwhelmed when he learned that the next generation of Church of God leaders would go into ministry with the wisdom of his many years in their hands!”
Visit http://holinessandunity.org/index.php/media/aldersgate-press/aldersgate-press-books to purchase a copy of Views from the Mountain today! For more information about the life and legacy of Dr. James Earl Massey, visit https://chognews.org/2018/06/25/reflections-on-the-life-and-legacy-of-james-earl-massey/.