Denver Haught, age 81, died November 29, 2016 from Parkinson’s disease. He was known to Christians around West Virginia, having preached in many congregations in Tyler County, including Burt and Sistersville, as well as Sandyville, Romney and West Ripley.
For a large portion of my life, he was just my dad - someone I loved, trusted, and admired but also shared with members of the churches where he worked. It wasn’t until many years later that I realized the relationships he had with so many Christians, and the affect he had on their lives. The apostles named Joses Barnabas, meaning Son of Encouragement (Acts 4:36), and I know that my father was a Barnabas to many Christians.
Looking back, I see Dad as being a Barnabas in the church. He was always encouraging people! As he visited friends and family, Dad encouraged them to become Christians, return to the church or to just be faithful in their service and attendance. I remember hearing about how he went to high school and family reunions, and spoke to many of his classmates about the church. He faithfully attended gospel meetings, sings, lectureships and the like, and Dad encouraged preachers with his handshake and kind word. His attendance alone, especially in later years as his health deteriorated, was an encouragement. Dad never liked to miss out on an opportunity to be with other Christians! He encouraged many to make preaching the Word their profession and was filled with joy when that happened. He made you feel good with his smile, his hug and his words. Of course, encouragement isn’t all feel-good stuff! Strong words were said when needed, but always seasoned with much love.
If anyone was sick or in the hospital, Dad would visit. If someone missed a service, Dad would call. He performed many funerals and also many weddings. While cleaning his office, I found a large bag full of funeral calling cards – so many with his name as the officiant. He was loved and respected by many.
Dad was a Barnabas in his family. He & mom (Dorotha) celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary June 3, 2016. Mom was the most important person in his life. He depended upon her for so much! Many knew that he suffered from macular degeneration, and was unable to drive. Mom was always there to take him where he wanted and needed to go. There are 4 children, all who are serving God faithfully where we live, Debra & Chris Tallman in Parkersburg, David & Debra in Middlebourne, Doug & Linda and Deirdra & Timothy in Virginia. We were taught that the Lord comes first!
While he has been gone a year now, there isn’t a day that I don’t think of him and miss his voice, his advice and his smile. The Bible mentions Barnabas in just a few places, but 2000 years later, we have books written about him and sermons preached of him. I know for me, and my family, we will never forget dad and how he lived his life and I pray others don’t forget the encouragement received from my Dad, Barnabas.