A.S. Lucaciu – Our Friend Igrisan is Asleep
Rev. C.R. Igrisan, organizer of the First Romanian Baptist Church in America, the church in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the first president of The Romanian Baptist Association in America, is asleep. After 76 years of a fruitful life, useful for the nation and for the Kingdom of God, a life full of good acts, he is asleep with the Lord. Therefore, we say like St. John: „We’ll be happy, from now to eternity the people who have died with God. Yes, Joy in the Holy Spirit and they will be rested after their labors, because their actions will come after them.“ (Apos. 16:13).
The Rev. C.R. Igrisan was born on March 23, 1872 in the village of Pecica, Jud. Arad, Romania. He went to Heaven, he was asleep with the Lord Sunday evening, January 11, 1968 at 9:30 p.m. He was married to his wife, Floarea, in 1895 and they were happy together for 37 years, until 1932, when God called her. During these happy years. God blessed then: with a nice family: 6 sons and 3 daughters. All are alive except Florita, the youngest daughter who went to heaven when she was 18 years old.
In 1898 (50 years ago) our brother Igrisan, was happy to learn of the Baptist Church in his native village, where he heard the word of God preached. He believed the Lord’s word and shortly because of his faith in Jesus Christ, he was baptized. At the same time of his conversion he heard the calling of God: „Who will go for us? We need somebody to send there.“ And he answered: „I can go, send me.“ And after that he began to say to anybody, with a great pleasure, how many things God did for him, and how much God loved him.
In 1903 he was elected general missionary for Transylvania, with a very special present from God: to preach the Gospel in very simple terms, easy to understand for all the people.
Hundreds and thousands of people found the „True Road“ in life after his sermons. In 1907, like the old patriarch Abraham, he left his birth-place and his parent’s home and he went to the promised land, America, looking for a better place. In the beginning he understood just a little of what God was planning for His „Ambassador“ to America. After he came to Cincinnati, Ohio he worked hard in a factory during the week, and Sunday’s he preached the Gospel, with God’s help. He worked for money for a house where he would know that his family would be safe in poor times. But at the same time he was thinking of a „house for God’s people, who visit him from time to time.“ He understood what it meant to put the pack on your back, the peasant sandals on your feet and the walking stick in your hand and walk from village to village, hungry, thirsty and tired.
After he arrived in Cincinnati, some Brothers like him who believed in God’s word, came to him and with God’s help they organized the First Romanian Baptist Church in America, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Lord blessed their work in the gospel field, and in a few years the number of people who came to this church grew to be 150. All the time God added more and more souls to the number of the congregation. He loyally shephered God’s flock until he heard another calling from God: „Go into Macedonia and help us!“
He accepted God’s word and formed the Second Romanian Baptist Churci in Detroit, Michigan. And for 25 years he shephered this flock of God s with diligence, wisdom and love until 1941 when, because he was weakened, he finished his work in God’s garden. But his life and his presence in the church was very profitable because his good advice helped all the people. Everybody accepted his ad /ice in the church, and his sermon on Sundays. All the people listened o him carefully, with love and respect.
After a short time his strength left him, but God helped him to stay in the center of his family and in his churci. until his last day of life. His mind was clear, and he continued to believe in God’s word. He loved to read books, magazines and newspapers, but his favorite book was the Holy Bible and he read the book every day with faith and respect. He prayed every day for his church, for the Gospel, his children and for everyone who needed prayer. For him heaven meant a nice place that God prepared for all the saved people who believed in him. The name Jesus for all time was the dearest name.
Sometimes he wished to see his wife and daughter in heaven. He was convinced that his time for eternity had come when one day he said to the author of this text: „The earth pulls me more and more down and my soul wants to go into the sky to God. my Father.“ Everyday he was waiting for the parting time and often he said that for him it is better now to stay with God.
On his last day he told his sons that he felt weakened. The sons advised him to stay in bed and rest. But he didn’t want to. In the evening of the same day on his way to the kitchen, he fell. The children carefully laid him on a bed and called the doctor. The doctor came very quickly but he said that the problem was difficult and serious. On the bed, the veteran, had just one wish: „Please lift me up.“ But the doctor said that he couldn’t be moved because it was dangerous for him. But the children tried to help him and possibly didn’t understand his wish to rise, because no one can do that, no one can raise him so high. God’s angel came and helped him to go to the sky’s stars, near his wife and daughter. He was asleep with God but his actions follow him.