LIMA — “Too insignificant for God to use? I don’t think so.”
It was one of the last sermons the Rev. William Croy shared on his blog “Giving Wings to Thoughts” before dying Thursday. It was his first at Maple Grove United Methodist Church.
“None of us is insignificant — nor are our gifts, our skills, our talents or our material resources,” he wrote.
Croy recalled an Alabama trip with Trinity members. They learned about an older woman, confined to her home she worshiped through TV, though faraway from church, wrote a letters to every new ministry member.
Croy was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease nine years later. Despite his own limitations, he continued to share his faith.
Lou Gehrig’s disease, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, attacks motor neurons, cells that control the muscles.
“Even though this dreaded disease has come upon him, he has managed to continue to teach us all how to live life,” Trinity member Pam Lauless told The Lima News in 2012. “He is still teaching us.”
Croy grew up in Ottawa and graduated from Ohio Northern University in 1971. He met his wife, Dorothy, there and served on the board of trustees for 18 years and was in the Athletic Hall of Fame. He was Trinity’s senior pastor from 1993 until 2002. He was a Lima Noon Optimist Club and YMCA member and the first Downtown Lima board president. He and his supporters also began “Bill’s Backers” to raise funds and awareness for ALS.
His fight against ALS lasted for four years.
“I enjoy life and I enjoy this world,” he said in a 2012 Lima News article before returning for one last Trinity service. “And if heaven is better than this, that will be great, but I am already living with God and Jesus.”
It was the last time Croy would preach, in Lima and in life.
“It was a very powerful Sunday for him to preach and share in the officiating communion,” said the Rev. David Harris, a lifelong friend and current Trinity pastor.
Croy’s funeral will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Maple Grove UMC.