I was out of town when I received a phone call from a friend that said they hated to be the bearer of bad news while I was on vacation, but they knew I would want to know. The news? That Dr. Bradley Bethel had taken a bad fall at his home and had died.
I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Bethel at Hospice for the last couple of years, and he has become one of my friends. Dr. Bethel was a man who was concerned with people and spent a great deal of time with Hospice, Morgan Center and others to help those who were in need. We had just short conversations, but he was always friendly and willing to encourage or offer suggestions. I last spoke with Dr. Bethel at the Scottish Pines Open House on Sunday. He was going to be helping with them, and as usual when our paths crossed he extended his hand and stopped to speak with me. I will miss this at Hospice and Scotland Memorial Hospital.
The one thing that brings me comfort on his untimely death is that not too long ago I found that he had received Jesus Christ as his Savior. He became interested in the Bible and Bible Study. Because of this, even though we are all sad and have a vacant spot in our lives because this gracious man has gone, we can celebrate that he is in a place that is far better than here. When he closed his eyes here, I am confident that he opened his eyes to see the face of his Savior smiling at him. Well done, Dr. Bethel. You leave a legacy here, and begin an eternity there. I am a better person for knowing him, and I will continue to reflect upon him and our too short relationship. I know that one day I will once again see him, he will extend his hand and speak with me – and this gives me and everyone who knew him (and our Lord) a New Hope for Today.
Dr. Thomas Marshall
Pastor, New Hope Baptist Church