Brad Slocum’s In Heaven!

Last night on December 6, 2009 at 11:24 PM the inn’s builder, Brad Slocum, left behind his weary body and took to the skies. He joined the ranks of the angels and his Savior whom he loved and served faithfully.

Brad Slocum building George Washington Inn

Personally, I do not know of a man who I could trust more than Brad. We were classmates together in university, employed at the same place as married students, went to the same church and our wives worked together as leaders in the Student Wives’ Fellowship. After varied careers we both ended up back at the same place. How often does that happen in life?

Brad always sought out summer work as a faculty member serving at Bob Jones University. He tried to devote some time towards a mission trip, usually at a Christian camp, during the summers where he could show his students how to serve others. In the summer of 2004, I asked Brad if he could help build a small house which we later deemed as the “Carriage House”. In mid June, he came back with his crew of students from a mission trip to a camp in northern Saskatchewan and turned right around and drove all the way out to Washington with his family (my truck with his tool trailer) and three students, spending  6 weeks roughing in the Carriage House. That winter, during the Christmas break, he returned with his entire family and trimmed it out. Brad’s craftsmanship is a hallmark of that building. The staircase involved detailed calculations and cuttings that he enjoyed seeing to fruition.

Two years later, Brad came to me after several preliminary discussions about building a B&B inn on our Washington property. He told me that he had found the perfect crew, and it was his dream to build the inn. I hadn’t planned to build it until the following year, but decided that we could go ahead and make the commitment. He was excited about the challenge and we spent time together, working out the details on this complex project, a replica of George Washington’s home – Mount Vernon.

Brad once again took Cheryl, his wife, and their youngest son and drove completely across the country with truck and trailer in tow. He spent 12 incredible weeks with his crew of 6 students and transformed an oceanfront hayfield into the “talk” of the neighborhood. From a dusty field, a magnificent building was carefully constructed which today attracts people from all over the world. Cheryl cooked for the entire crew during that time. They worked together as a knit group, accomplishing even more than anticipated. Our early morning updates and planning sessions over the cell phone were always a time of excitement, at least on my part…the 3 hour time difference made it early out there! I don’t recall any issue of miscommunication or dispute. Brad was a man of his word. One nearby resident stated that he had never seen a crew work so well together. This neighbor would sometimes come by just to watch them all work. Two of Brad’s students stayed on to finish the inn.

Brad and Cheryl were invited back to be a part of the inn’s Grand Opening during President’s Day weekend in February, 2008. They were like family and kept a real sense of humor in the midst of an overwhelming grand opening experience. After the crowds subsided that evening we sat around the table and Brad’s hearty laughter filled the room as we recalled the experiences of that special day and over the years that we had built our friendship.

Over this past year Brad Slocum, with his faithful wife and true help-meet Cheryl at his side, suffered through the ravages of his fatal illness that took him across the valley of death. He is no longer a prisoner in his earthly body, but is singing in a heavenly choir with his signature bass voice and hearty barrel laugh…and I can only imagine he’s looking for a hammer! I’m sure he’s found his former student, Peter Smith, who worked with him that summer and completed the inn. I can imagine both of them looking down from the ramparts of Heaven on the inn, a part of their legacy that continues on.

Above the sarcophagus holding the mortal remains of George Washington at Mount Vernon, you will find the following scriptural passage on the wall: “I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” (John 11:25,26). Brad Slocum knows the reality of that promise now.

Links:

Discover the secret of Brad’s faith and how it applies to your life today.

Brad’s struggle

Obituary

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8 thoughts on “Brad Slocum’s In Heaven!

  1. Your friend sounds like he was a wonderful person. Sorry for you loss. He is now singing with the angels. :o)

  2. My wife Judy and I, along with her father Ola, and her uncle
    Jeppa were at the grand opening where we met the Slocums and the Smiths. Oh how two days can impact one’s life for years to come…sure did enjoy the time at the Inn!! Was so
    fun to laugh ’til we almost cried the evening we sat around
    the dining table sharing funny moments of our lives and jokes we told. No one could laugh quite like Brad or Cheryl !
    The prayer time for Peter was so special too!
    We left the Inn after two days but a little piece our hearts
    remained … Oh what an Inn must be waiting for Brad!!

    Our prayers have been, and will be with you Cheryl.

    Blessings!!

    Brian (for Judy, too)

  3. Dan,
    I was so sad to hear of his illness and I know the Lord has his perfect will but I will be praying for his family!

  4. I was on his first mission team with BJU, and I’ll never forget his kindness and genuine spirit. His enthusiasm for work, for friends, and most of all for Christ will last as his testimony.

  5. One rarely meets such a positive person as Brad. Working with him during the construction of the Inn was a pleasure. My heartfelt prayers go out to his family and friends.
    Kevin

  6. Thank you for the tribute to Brad and Cheryl. They have been used by God to invest in the spiritual lives of our three sons. Brad taught each of them in 7-8th grade Bible Study, as well as being their boss on a janitorial and maintenance team at South Sheridan Baptist Church. Our two oldest sons (Justin and Nic) had the opportunity to travel on Men for Missions trips with Brad. Justin went to Tijuana Mexico to help on projects for a pastor there. Nic went to Kenai, Alaska to help build a pastor’s house and the school administrator’s house. Brad not only helped them learn building skills, but he always had interesting historial stories and spiritual applications that he shared with the boys. Nic and Matt Slocum were close friends throughout junior and senior high school. They found their love of Apple computers during that time. Our youngest son was able to observe the building of the Carriage House and the Inn and we were able to have the Slocum’s as guests in our home several times during the process. Through our friendship with the Slocum’s, we are now friends with the Abbott family. It is our joy to be able to share in the heritage that Brad has had in this life with our friends, the Abbotts.

  7. I met Brad through his sister, Karen, a fellow Rockfordian, at Illinois State University in 1974, where she miraculously sat with me on my first birthday away from home, when I was incredibly lonely and in need of someone with her easy laugh and gentle ways– an angel sent to me when I sorely needed one.

    If you knew Karen back then, you knew Brad, too. He was in college at Illinois Wesleyan University across town from Illinois State. He was fun, caring, energetic and creative. I can see from the blogs that his spirit grew and blossomed through his faith, marriage and family. He had that hallmark laugh, a magnetic personality and was “a talker”. I am not surprised that he had a wonderful impact on many lives.

    I am sorry for your loss and know that you will all deeply miss Brad, one of God’s vibrant spirits.

  8. Since my husband, Jim, isn’t one to write down his feelings, I will speak for him this time. While Jim knew that Brad had many wonderful friends, Jim considered Brad to be his dearest friend. He was greatly burdened to hear of the terrible illness that was taking Brad’s life slowly, and was very grieved when he lost his friend in death. While we don’t grieve like people who have no hope in Heaven and eternity, we still lost a very dear friend and can’t imagine him being gone from this earth for good.

    Brad and Jim went on mission’s trips together, did construction jobs together and worked on vehicles together. They both had a lot to teach each other about construction and vehicles and truly enjoyed each other’s company.

    Brad brought out the best in Jim because Brad accepted Jim and enjoyed Jim for who he is. Brad would do all the talking and Jim would do all the listening because Jim is the quiet one. Brad saw in Jim qualities that most people have never taken the time to learn and enjoy about Jim and he was a true and loyal friend to Jim.

    We miss Brad terribly, and cannot wait to see him again someday in Glory.

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