The Reverend Leslie B. Flynn, pastor, author, teacher, radio broadcaster, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, died at home in Nanuet, New York on August 11, 2006, at age 87. Reverend Flynn was the pastor of the Grace Baptist Church in Nanuet, New York for 40 years, from 1949 until he retired in 1989, and he had been Pastor Emeritus there from 1989 until his death. At the age of 15, Leslie Flynn claimed Psalm 37:4 as his life verse: "Delight thyself also in the Lord and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."� Reverend Flynn often said that this verse proved to be true in his life. He dedicated himself to trying to answer God's call for his life and in return he felt blessed beyond measure. Reverend Flynn enjoyed a rewarding career doing meaningful work that he loved, an active retirement, and a rich family life. Married for 61 years, he and his wife raised seven daughters. Upon his retirement from Grace Baptist Church at the age of 70, he invoked Psalm 23:6, saying "Surely goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life."� Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on October 3, 1918, Reverend Flynn graduated from a five-year high school at the age of 16. He completed the pastor's course at Moody Bible Institute and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wheaton College, a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Eastern Baptist Seminary, and a Master of Arts degree in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania. He was also granted an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Denver Seminary. Before coming to Nanuet, he was the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in St. Clair, Pennsylvania from 1944 "" 1949. During his 40-year pastorate at Grace Baptist Church in Nanuet, Reverend Flynn was dedicated to his parishioners. He started each work day praying for members of his congregation individually by name. He was faithful in his visitation, making approximately 1,000 calls a year to homes and hospitals. Under his leadership, two new buildings were erected to accommodate the needs of the growing congregation. When asked how he survived 40 years in the same church, he answered, "Ultimately, through the goodness of God and the support of a kind congregation."� Reverend Flynn's ministry was not confined to his church. A prolific writer, he authored 43 books and hundreds of articles for religious magazines. His most recent book, Laugh, which he completed at age 87, is scheduled for publication later this year. His most popular book, 19 Gifts of the Spirit, sold over 250,000 copies since its publication in 1973. His most widely published tract, Through the Bible in a Year, has had more than nine million copies printed. In addition to pastoring and writing, Reverend Flynn taught pastoral methods, journalism, and evangelism at Nyack College for 21 years. He also had weekly broadcasts on three local New York radio stations for 24 years. In addition, he filled an average of 40 speaking engagements outside the church each year. Reverend Flynn was a member of the Board of Trustees of Denver Seminary for 15 years and a member of the Board of Directors of the World Relief Commission for 20 years. Through the generosity of his church and in his capacity as a World Relief board member, he traveled extensively, visiting mission fields worldwide. Through his ministry at the church, on the radio, in writing and in person, Reverend Flynn touched countless lives and worked tirelessly to spread God's message of love and forgiveness to all people. He was gentle, hard-working, humble, disciplined, and soft-spoken. He had both an encyclopedic knowledge of the Bible and a winning sense of humor. Nothing made him happier than to see someone's life change for the better through Christ's teachings. When asked how he would like to be remembered, he answered, "Simply, that I preached the word of God."� Reverend Flynn is survived by his wife, Bernice Carlson Flynn; seven daughters, Dr. Linnea Carlson-Sabelli, of Chicago, Illinois, Rev. Janna Roche of Williamsburg, Virginia, Marilee Lee of Jensen Beach, Florida, Annilee Oppenheimer of Potomac, Maryland, Donna McGrath of Ravena, New York, Carol Mellema of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Susan Symington of Bethesda, Maryland; 22 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren. A memorial service will be held at the Grace Baptist Church in Nanuet on Saturday, August 19, at 1:00 p.m. Donations in his memory may be made to Grace Baptist Church and United Hospice of Rockland.
Published by The Journal News on Aug. 18, 2006.