A few minutes ago, my wife, Lenoa, rushed into to my room and interrupted my reflection to inform me that Graham Maxwell had passed away last Sunday. Although I knew this would happen some day, I was deeply moved, and quietly sobbed for a moment as I recalled in one flash the kind of person he had been and the profound impact he has had on me over the last forty-three years. Along with Jack Provonsha, he was my mentor extraordinary. How little did I know that the impression his presentations and persona made on me during a week of prayer he conducted at AUC in 1976, (while I was a senior theology student there), would have been so profound, so lasting, and so transformative of my theology and my faith experience!
That early impression was reinforced again and again from 1971 to 1977 when, as a graduate student at LLU, I had the honor of having him as my major professor and adviser. I took almost all of his classes, including a journey through all sixty-six books of the Bible. He guided me through my thesis on SDA Theology of Healing. At one time I routinely attended his very popular Sabbath School class and absorbed his theology so well that he trusted me on more than one occasions to teach that class for him. His insistence on evidence as a precondition for intelligent faith, that faith in God was not a leap in the dark but a willing response to enlightening evidence, was a cornerstone of his theology that proved to be liberating to me over the years.
Graham had a way of making a person feel good about himself/herself, and I believe that influence was a direct reflection of the picture of the God he cherished and his relationship with him. Though my origins are from a little known or regarded island in the Caribbean and I had no connection whatever with the powerful of this community, Graham Maxwell and his associates made an effort to have me join the faculty of the Division of Religion upon completing my studies at LLU; but Instead I accepted a mission invitation to Asia, where I served for over a decade, and never had another opportunity to accept his invitation before he retired.
It is fair to say that, although my special career focus has been on health and on the relationship between science and religion, no other teacher has contributed more to my maturation as a Christian thinker and a believing follower of Jesus Christ than A. Graham Maxwell. His probing questions but gentle touch, his personal dignity and scholarly simplicity, the mellow depth of his voice and the strength of his character, as well as the unique comprehensiveness of his theology are irreplaceable and will be greatly missed. Loma Linda University, the SDA Church, and the world have lost a quiet and gentle giant. He was God's man for his generation, and his influence will never die. THANK YOU, THANK YOU SO MUCH GRAHAM!