Tribute: John Slabaugh

It is a privilege to write a few words in tribute for John Slabaugh, better known as “Dad” to those in his family.

Dad was saved at the age of 13, and, while still a teenager, he was brought to a place of decision in regard to gathering to the Lord’s Name alone. He “bought the truth” in those early years and it became his mission to teach others the same truth for which he had paid. In those early years, David Roy said of him, “He had an orderly mind for the Scriptures.”

While his mind was applied to the study of Scripture, his heart began to yearn for the souls of the lost. In February, 1966, he was commended full-time to the work of the Lord.

The apostle John’s words, “I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth” (2 John 4), express one of the motivating factors of dad’s life. Both with his immediate and extended family, he carried a burden for their salvation and continuation in the truth. It was not unusual for dad to drive 2,500 miles – straight through – with an “I must needs go through Samaria” attitude for one soul. Many of his grandchildren can attest to this.

One of his favorite series in ministry was “Things Most Surely Believed Among Us” in which he laid out fundamentals of the faith in a clear and orderly way.

Dad was a humble man, not one to talk about results. It was truly encouraging for the family to learn from others at his funeral of the lasting blessings resulting from his ministry. As children of a full-time servant of the Lord, we appreciate firsthand the temporal sacrifice involved, but now, more than ever, the eternal blessing accrued.

“The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him” (Pro 20:7) are fitting words of tribute as we remember our father who motivated and mentored us to live the truth in love. In his own words, “A right understanding of God’s truth will affect one’s conduct, one’s values, and one’s communion with God.”

Dad has left us this testimony: “In simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our behavior in the world, and more abundantly toward you” (2Cor 1:12).