To Ron and Shelly Hamilton’s Church

If one member suffers, all the members suffer with it.  1 Corinthians 12:26a

Our dear friends Ron and Shelly Hamilton and family are suffering unspeakable grief.  Their 34 year old son Jonathan died in tragic circumstances on Mother’s Day afternoon.  This beloved family is giving testimony to the comfort that only God can give.

People’s natural responses to this news include sorrow, questions, and speculation.  The God-glorifying  response of those who are joined to Ron, Shelly, and family by union with Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13) is to suffer with them.  That is, we take their pain upon ourselves as if their tragedy had happened to us.

The extremity of grief is an opportunity for the church to be the church, to do what the body of Christ does.  The Hamiltons’ connection to the body of Christ includes not only our local church, but the greater church of Jesus Christ to which they have ministered for many years.  The Spirit Who has united us will lead individuals and local churches to take the Hamiltons’ pain upon themselves and to embrace and support them in ways that impart grace into their lives.  The present ordeal is a learning moment for us all, an occasion for Christ-followers to grow in our understanding and practice of “one anothering.”

As co-members of the body of Christ:

  • We share in the joys and the heartbreaks of life together.
  • We hold our dear ones up through unceasing prayer for superhuman strength, mega-doses of grace, and Spirit-fueled endurance.
  • We communicate our support through acts of love, providing for material needs.
  • We express words of comfort while understanding when space and privacy are needed.
  • We do not stay silent just because we don’t know what to say.  “I know words aren’t sufficient, but I want you to know I love you and am praying for you” is always appropriate.
  • We do not ask hurting people questions for which there are no answers.
  • We do not offer well-meaning platitudes for which there is no basis in Scriptural truth.
  • We are patient and understanding when grief debilitates for a season and when a tragedy leaves its mark for a lifetime.
  • We speak truth from God’s Word into the lives of those who grieve, not with a preachy tone, but to give them solid footing during a tumultuous experience.

We at Calvary Baptist of Simpsonville often recognize what a treasure we as a local church have in the Hamilton family.  We also recognize they belong to the greater body and that God has opened many ministry opportunities to them.  The door to greater ministry was opened through suffering when Ron lost his eye to cancer.  His personal testimony and encouragement to others has been “Rejoice in the Lord.”  May Ron and family receive an infusion of the grace of God now and in the days ahead to endure, trust, grow, and even, yes, rejoice in the Lord.

Pastor Dean Taylor

125 thoughts on “To Ron and Shelly Hamilton’s Church”

  1. Thank you for your encouraging words. My heart has been in grief since I heard of Jonathan’s home going. He has been a “part” of our family for well over 25 years as my children learned the songs and sang them with him. In a way I feel like I have lost part of my extended family. Our prayers are with the Hamilton and Garlock family and we are so thankful that their church is reaching out to them.

  2. Thank you for writing this. Such a needed reminder in such a heart-wrenching time. The body of Christ is to weep with those that weep . . . . Praying God will use this time in all our hearts and His Spirit will minister grace and strength to the dear. Hamilton family.

  3. Thank you for these words of grace. We love the Hamilton family, as I know all do who have been blessed by their ministry. We grieve with them and we ask the Lord to be for them what no one else can be. And we pray that they will know the love of God and the love of their Christian family in new and precious ways in the days ahead.

  4. I am praying, as is my family, for the Hamilton family. My brother and I grew up listening to Patch the Pirate Adventures. My brother died 2 years ago at the age of 22. So they are definitely in our prayers.

  5. Thank you for this blog entry, Pastor Dean! Like so many, my brothers and I grew up listening to The Patch the Pirate Adventures, so this tragedy came as a shock. The Hamilton’s, Garlock’s, and those close to them are loved, and my prayer is that the Holy Spirit will comfort them in this time of need.

  6. Thanks for these comforting and helpful words, Pastor Dean. Praying for you as you continue to minister to family and friends of this dear family. Asking “that the Son of God might be glorified” (John 11:4).

  7. I am praying for the Hamiltons. I knew Jonathan in elementary school and Patch the Pirate was a staple in our house as I was growing up. As the mother of a young son now, I can only imagine the pain of their loss and my heart just breaks in two for Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton. I pray that in the days and weeks to come, they will feel the comfort of the Holy Spirit and the love of their Savior through the support of their friends and family.

  8. We are praying for the Hamilton family’s tragic loss…they have been such a blessing to our family through the years with their music and childrens CD’s.

  9. May God bless these families as they deal with the overwhelming grief that they must be going thru. All of these members of the families have a special place in my heart. The Garlocks had a great influence in my life when i was a teen and needed to know the right kind of church music to listen to and also the right kind of music to listen to, period. I was in school the same time as Shelly at BJU. I know that she does not remember me, but I remember her from society days. And what a testimony that Ron was with his faith in God and rejoicing in the Lord. God bless you all!

  10. Like so many others have said, Ron and Shelly Hamilton have been (and I’m sure will continue to be!) a blessing through their ministry. As the Fine Arts coordinator in my Christian school several years back, their songs were the main ones I gave to the students to choose for Fine Arts events. Many of their songs were also used in Christmas programs as well. Their message has always been clearly a way to honor the Lord. I thank them and their family and the Lord for that. Now I pray that our precious Lord will wrap them in His arms of love and unending comfort that only He can give.

  11. Praying when words can’t express sympathy enough. Grateful the family has a loving and supportive Pastor and church family.

  12. Praying for u guys sorry to hear about ur son God is in control love u all Jer 29:11

  13. Just want you to know we are praying for you and yours through this very difficult time. Thank you for the musical inspiration you have been in our home since our children were young. We are thankful that our Lord has all the answers to all of life’s difficulties and also has the peace that passes understanding.

  14. I am so sorry to hear about this loss. My family will be praying for the Hamilton family. As a teenager, Ron had encouraged me to continue with my musical abilities. I give him credit for encouraging me to trust God with my talent.

    I am saddened for the family and as I stated I will keep his family and friends in prayer.

  15. Having lost our only son 8 years ago at age 34 after 9 years of ALS we know the grief and sorrow felt by the Hamilton family. We also know the grace and peace only God can give at a time like this and pray that He will lavish them with His love and comfort in the days and years ahead.

  16. Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not nor be afraid of them.: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee or forsake thee.

  17. I just wanted to say that your bullet points are right on. My husband died unexpectedly from heart failure four months ago. These are the same truths that have comforted and helped me. Thank you for telling your folks to suffer with the Hamiltons. Grief is a crazy thing. But the truth that continues to resonate with me is the hope of the gospel– who I am in Christ, what He has done for me. So thanks for your post– from someone still right in the thick of it

  18. Beautifully stated. I am praying and I know many, many others are too. We hurt for you and are asking God to comfort as only He can!

  19. Our family is praying for you and your family and extended family. Thank you for your influence on our lives through your godly music!

  20. What an amazing church !! to take their grief upon the church family .. We too learned Patch’s songs and my son’s sang the songs at teen camp, chapel, and during choir at Grace Baptist Academy, Kankakee, Il .. We had changed churchs when our tragedy came to us … My oldest son and his family – wife, 3 sons, daughter ..

    Had the unbelieveable death of their 2 mo old baby born with a heart condition, on Mothers Day in 1994, then went to heaven June 27, 1994 .. that wasnt enough — 13 yrs later, 2007 their first born, 16 1/2 yr old son was on his way to help his other Grandmother plant trees, when he came to a country double railroad crossing — out in the country there were just wooden X’s marking the crossing .. He stopped saw the train on the right way far down the tracks and went across, there was a engine coming like lightening from the left hidden by a big dirt berm .. He never saw that train ..

    We never saw him again .. no real closure, no open casket – he was gone …. to heaven and now its 6 yrs coming on May 19 .. This lead to the divorce of my son & my DIL, my sons surviving 2 kids have NOTHING to do with their Dad, both parents left Gods side .. Nothing from their church, or our church like your taking about for Ron & his family with their precious son’s passing … I have little to nothing of a relationship with my Grandkids they were just — Granddaughter 15, Grandson 13, now they are living in such a bad place .. Granddaughter is a bartender (She just turned 21) Grandson will graduate H.S. end of this month. Both parents live with someone ..

    My son was brought up is a strong Christian home, went thru Christian school, went to BJU for 1/2 a yr .. He knows … We trained him up, his x wife now was not brought up as a Christian, she did get saved before she married my son … I sure do with our Church’s would have FOLLOWED after God, FOLLOWED 1 Cor 12:13 .. What a difference that would have made … Thank you for caring so much, and following Gods words .. Amen .. Rejoice in our Lord .. He makes no mistaked .. (so am I saying here that what we went thru WITHOUT our Church’s help was Gods plan .. hmmmm …. Thank you, Grammy

  21. There are no “human” words that could possibly bring you foks comfort, but may you “rest” in the promises of our Savior!!!—He “holds” you, understands your breaking hearts…He will “go thru this valley” with you….Even tho you can hardly “breath” at this point…you will get thru these difficult days….God will continue to “use” you even thru this tragedy in your lives!!! God Bless you and comfort you!

  22. Sacred hymns of worship and testimony affect us at all times. Tonight I am praying that the Hamilton’s may find that in every valley known, such compassion will be shown and be given strength not their own as God’s grace is shed upon them.

  23. Howard and I are praying for the strength that only God can give at a time like this. It is not ours to ask why but What is God teaching me through this. God truly used our sons home going to minister to many. Holding your family up in prayer. Praying God will give you the strength, grace and comfort that is needed at this time. In Christian love Howard & Sandy Key

  24. Shelly,Ron and Family: Art and I are praying that our Lord will give you strength and will comfort you at time. We are so sorry for your loss and will keep in our prayers. Art and Mary

  25. This coming Christmas is going to be sad. Every Christmas season we listen to the “make yourself at home” cd. Jonathan was such a big part of it. Praying and thinking of you! From Mobile , AL

  26. I will be praying in our Saviours name for the peace that passes all understanding..for ur precious family…u always sing to my kids…pigs don’t live in houses….:))) be blessed my familyin Christ…

  27. Early that morning (now 22 years ago) as I waited for surgery for the cancer growing in my body, with a poor prognosis, peace fled. But the words “God never moves . . ” began to flow through my mind and my heart and soon I began to feel God’s peace settle in and fears truly fled away. Thank you, Ron and Shelly for your gifts of music through the years. Our prayers are with you all.

  28. Ron and Shelly,
    You have touched many lives through your ministry. We have been missionaries to Brazil since 1973 when we left BJU and brought the Gospel to these people. Your music has been in use by us for many, many years here in Brazil. Thank you so much! I know that “the Joy of the Lord is our strength” and know that He has a special train load of grace for you at this time. We weep with you and are keeping you in our prayers. Love in Christ, Kirk and Kathy Hickok with BIMI in Brazil

  29. My condolences to the Hamilton family. Praying that God gives you Wings As Eagles….May he give you wings to fly and strength to rise above!!!! May he also allow you to “Come forth as GOLD.” I have loved your music and “Patch The Pirate” Series since a child. I will always remember the first one I bought at Camp Co Be Ac in Houghton Lake, MI, (hope I spelled that right). I was a member of Faith Baptist Church in Fremont, MI, for about 11yrs before moving to GA 15yrs ago. I always dreamed of meeting Ron and Shelly Hamilton in person. There are so many songs and cantata pieces that are near and dear to my heart. Love you all and pray that God gives you the peace only HE can!!!!

  30. I have never met you, Ron and Shelly, but have enjoyed your music for many years…..Rejoice In The Lord being my favorite. I have probably played it and sang the beautiful words a thousand times in my living room as it comforted me in the loss of five of our six sons. Thank you for sharing your talents and gifts with the Christian world.

  31. When I lost my wife of nearly 28 years of marriage, I was emotionally devastated. The comfort of friends and family was such a blessing. One of the greatest blessings was when I received a card from the Hamiltons along with some very comforting music about heaven. My heart grieves with these dear servants of the Lord. I pray for a closeness and comfort from the Lord that is exceeding abundantly above all that they could ask or think.

  32. This dear family was a part of our children’s ‘S.S.’ as they grew up in Japan. Every where we went we listened to the tapes and eventually CDs. We bought the books and acted/sang them out as a family. This event DOES NOT change anything that we have been blessed with in the past or will continue to be in the future. Brother Hamilton has gone through much, his family with him and now the whole family suffering together. We pray that the words of their own songs which have comforted so many will come back to comfort them and that will never lose faith that their work will continue to glorify God and encourage many across the world. NO ONE is exempt from pain and disappointments that go beyond our own understanding and the hurting is no less for those that are in the service of the Lord. We will continue to pray for the family and that they will know that others are standing by them in prayer and hope. Thanks for posting this reminder as well. God bless, strengthen and comfort, Ken and Vicki Mansell in Japan

  33. Our hearts are saddened by the loss of your son. Please know that we are praying for you. You have been a part of our lives for many years and have influenced us to to do right. We love you all. James & Cheryl Pridgen, Jennifer, Michelle, Kimberly, Stephen, and Joseph. Uganda, East Africa

  34. I can’t find the words to express the pain I feel for this very special family. I was one of Shelly’s “group leaders” in Sunday School her senior year of high school. I have rejoiced & grieved with them through many joys & sorrows over the years. I wish somehow I could wrap my arms around them and take the pain for them. I am so glad our Heavenly Father can do just that. I am also glad they have such a wonderful church family. This blog is a wonderful encouragement to all. I love you Shelly & family.

  35. “There is coming a day when no heartache shall come…” Our hearts grieve with the Hamiltons, and each time my thoughts pause to consider them I will be saying a prayer for God’s grace and comfort.

  36. “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

    For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

    For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

    For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

    Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” ~ I Thessalonians 4:13-18

  37. Life is tough. Our God is tougher. Cling unto him and he will see you through. He never said the path will be easy. He said I wlll be with thee

  38. We love you and are praying for you as you tread this sorrow filled path. I keep crying because I love you all and feel it to the depths of my soul.So thankful for his sweet “Pee Wee” voice we came to treasure on the Patch tapes and CD’s. May the Lord continue to comfort all our hearts as we grieve the loss of your dear Jonathon.

  39. A very wise and practical message to the saints! Thank you Pastor Dean, for taking the time to write this. Much needed reminder for those who comfort, for those who grieve, and for those who ask too many unanswerable questions. Our love and prayers to this family who have faithfully ministered to us all for many years….may our ministry to them, whether in prayer, word or deed, be honoring and glorifying to our Father, and a comfort in their sorrow.

  40. Praying for the Lord’s comfort for your family as you grieve.

  41. So well said. Our hearts go out to the Hamiltons, Garlocks, extended family & your church family. God has used Ron & Shelley & their family in some marvelous ways over the years, and so much of their ministry has come from ‘tragedy.’ God will surely use this for His glory, but this is not the time for them to focus on their ministry nor the tragedy. This is the time for others to minister to them–as the body, as the church. God will do a work in them, in others, and through others to them. And He will be glorified! With our love & prayers. Grace Baptist Church in Wilmington NC.

  42. Praying for the church and family. I can’t imagine the hurt involved, but I do know that God keeps His promises and gives His grace.

  43. Thank you, Pastor Taylor, for writing such Scriptural, comforting, honoring and timely words for the Hamilton and Garlock families. We were greatly blessed by your comments and thankful our dear long-time friends have such loving concern being bestowed upon them during these difficult days.

  44. I am the person who reblogged your post to Iconobaptist, my blog (up above). I must say that your post was read by almost 300 people on my blog. It is balanced and beautiful. Tabernacle Baptist Church of Virginia Beach (my church family) and I are praying for the Hamiltons and Garlocks.

  45. Thank you Pastor Taylor for your encouraging words. We have been listening to Patch the Pirate since our oldest (age 31) was 2 or 3. And our kids participated in the Majesty Musicollege in South Bend, IN, this past summer and we were struck by Ron’s warmth and kindness with our grandchildren, even when he had to be exhausted. We grieve along with the Hamiltons for the loss of Jonathan. Our prayers are with you all!

  46. Our family has been blessed by their ministry. Our hearts and prayers go out to them during this difficult time!

  47. We really know what they are going through right now having lost our 24 year old son, Scott, suddenly in a car accident in 2007. “God bless them & wrap your loving arms around them.” He is always good all the time…. I often remember what Cookie Altizer told me @ Scott’s viewing – “You will find a new normal.”, and although things will never be the same, we have found a new normal. Not what we would have chosen for ourselves but His perfect sweet will for us none the less. Sincere love & prayers…
    I will hope continually & yet praise thee more & more!

  48. Thank you, Pastor, for these words of comfort and encouragement to those of us who loved Jonathan and love and grieve with Ron and Shelly and the family. The thoughts about what we do now are helpful, but your reminder for the future is perhaps the best line of the full post for me: :”We are patient and understanding when grief debilitates for a season and when a tragedy leaves its mark for a lifetime.” Thank you for your love and wisdom for them and for us.

  49. What great words from a wise, caring pastor! Our hearts also break for this tragedy. The Hamiltons have seemed special to us since we bought the first Patch the Pirate tapes on our first or second furlough in the late 70’s or early 80’s, which our kids listened to constantly in the car traveling! We often think of them and thank God for their service to Him through the years as we use translated music in Portuguese in our church here in Brazil. Now our grandkids listen to their cds. We pray God’s grace be with the Hamiltons at this time, and bring them through it for many more years of service for Him. Hamilton family, our love and prayers are with you.

  50. Thank you, Pastor, for the words of wisdom, encouragement, comfort, and strength. We grieve deeply with Ron and Shelly and the family. Their whole family has been such a blessing to us and we are so privileged to be part of the church where they minister. My sons have enjoyed Patch the Pirate during their growing years and now that they are grown, I’ve had to admit that I still listen to the new adventures for myself, as I enjoy them so much. The song, “Rejoice in the Lord” has always meant much to me, and since I can’t sing, I read the words at the funeral of my wonderful blind father, who very literally could not see, but looked to the cross of our Savior instead. Those heart-felt words that Ron wrote in a prior difficult time are such a source of comfort and strength, as they reflect the truth of God’s word. We will trust in the Lord, and yes, rejoice, as He leads us all into the future and gives grace in this incredibly difficult time.

  51. The ministry of Hamilton family goes way back in my life. Recently, due to our family’s own trial, the ministry of the Hamiltons has grown in our home. Thank you Hamiltons for your faithful music ministry that has always been source of encouragement, but especially recently. Our family is praying for yours. We love you dearly.

  52. Pastor, what encouraging words to share. I was thinking the very same thing you stated as you closed (“The door to greater ministry was opened through suffering when Ron lost his eye to cancer. His personal testimony and encouragement to others has been “Rejoice in the Lord.”) When Ron went through that trial in his life, I’m sure he never had any thoughts about how the Lord may use that in developing “Patch”. Even now, I’m praying that, in time, the Lord will use this trial to minister to countless others around the world in a similar way. May God give you wisdom as you “shepherd” the hurting sheep in your fold.

  53. As I read the comments above I can only say; Amen to the Above. God is good; all the time. Sometimes it is hard to see but nevertheless; He is God and He is good. May He surround you with His deep peace at this very hard time. Lovingly, Christians at Gospel Baptist Church in Bonita Springs, Fl.

  54. Many times while in church at Calvary, I would become overwhelmed while as I was singing the congregational songs that Ron and Shelley had written, especially as I watched Ron humbly lead the congregation in song. The music, the words were treasures to me. I wondered what prompted him to write a particular song. I wondered, too, what the words meant to the people around me. I know, in my heart, that scores of people are singing those songs with them now. Thank you, Pastor Taylor, for your sensitivity.

  55. I heard of this young man’s death from my 33 yr old daughter. She had heard it and called me weaping. As a family, we have invited the Hamilton family in and have been blessed by them. We may not see them, but we love them dearly and consider each of the Hamiltons as family friends. Our prayers will be with them as God walks with them through this difficult time. Praise God that we can know He will never leave us!

  56. One never realizes how small and how large the Body of Christ is until something like this happens. We are praying for the Hamiltons as they go through this valley.

  57. Pastor, thank you for your very wise and helpful words! I, too, am a pastor and have been helped by your counsel. I, too, have a personal family trial and cannot sing “He makes no mistakes” without tears. We will be praying for the Hamilton’s and for your church family as you minister to them.

  58. Thank you, Pastor for these encouraging words. My heart breaks for Ron and Shelly and their family, as well as the many others of us who knew Jonathan, and have been so tremendously blessed, taught, and encouraged by the ministry of this godly family. Ron and Shelly have been there for me so many times, counseling, encouraging, and loving my children and me. I have often pointed my children to them to see what a real godly family looks like. I wish I could do more for them in addition to uplifting them in prayer. Thank you for guiding us how to respond and to help them.

  59. I really grieve for this family. I have listened to Patch the Pirate and Pee Wee since I was young and still enjoy listening to them with my children.

  60. Surely are praying for the Hamiltons and their church, etc… Our hearts go out to you, asking God to comfort you with the comfort that only He can give.

  61. Pastor Taylor excellent reminders on how the local body should minister to one another. Ron and Shelley have been greatly used by God over the years. Ron has ministered in our church on a few different occasions. Be assured we will be praying for the Hamilton family here at Red Rocks.

  62. Pastor, thank you so much for your words of wisdom. Even though our family had never met Jonathan, we grieve and empathize with his family and friends around the globe. The Hamiltons have been on my heart from the moment I wake up until the close of the day. I find myself praying for them every time they enter my thoughts. I know God hears our prayers and has his loving, comforting arms around them. I pray that the body of Christ will minister to them in the various ways mentioned in your blog.

  63. We serve a great and powerful God and only He really knows us since He has made us. The sadness that you go through will be so hard but God will be right there to hold you and keep your heart and mind. He loves you so much and be a comfort like you have never had before. God’s blessings to all the Hamilton’s family and friends and their church family..

  64. Can’t imagine the grief, will be praying for this family. May GOD extend to them an extra measure of GRACE AND MERCY.

  65. My heart aches for you all! I am praying that you will fee God’s loving arms around you every minute.

  66. Our prayers are with Pastor Ron and Shelley and the family.

    Duane & Carol Slack

  67. Tears, love, prayers for each of you. Praying for comfort, strength, grace, and peace.

  68. Although John and I have never met you. I am familiar with almost all of your music! It has truly blessed my heart. Now our hearts grieve for all of your family, including your church family, and we will be praying for you as you walk through this refining fire. May the Lord comfort you and may you feel His incredible peace

    John and Susan Bowerman
    Highland Baptist Church
    Parkesburg, PA..

  69. Pastor Taylor,
    Thank you for the excellent counsel to those who would encourage the Hamiltons or anyone sorrowing. My wife and I have both experienced the death of our first spouses and greatly appreciate your wise words. Please also pass along our love and encouragement to the Hamiltons. Back in 1981 my 5-year-old son was enduring painful surgery and recovery and his greatest comfort came from listening to the Hamilton’s music, including “Rejoice in the Lord.” May God bathe them in His all-sufficient grace.

  70. 15 May 2013

    Dearest Friends:
    You are in our prayers. This is Pastor Schearer from Great Falls, MT, we sat behind you at the Leadership Conference, with our son and daughter in-law Chad and Marsha Schearer.

    May God give you the grace that no one else can give.

    We are in Greenville, SC until Tuesday.
    We love you,
    Dr. & Marcia Schearer

  71. What a wonderful letter, Pastor Taylor, and very true. God bless your church family as you minister to the Hamilton family. My husband and I will be burying our 16 year old son on Friday, and although the circumstances are different, we grieve with the Hamilton family and uphold them in prayer. Our sons are both in the Lord’s presence and free from all pain–both physical and emotional. Our reunion with them will be precious one day. I knew Jonathan from BJA and thought he was such a sweet boy. What a sweet smile. I’m thankful that we don’t always have to speak what’s in our hearts. The Lord speaks on our behalf with groanings which cannot be uttered.

  72. You are in our prayers! We are so sorry for your loss and the grief that you are going through. May you sense the prayers of God’s people upholding you in the days ahead. May the God of all comfort bring deep comfort and peace to your hearts.You have been a part of our lives ever since you started creating your Patch the Pirate cassette tapes and will continue to be.

  73. Praying many times through the day….thank you for your ministry to our family through many years……when Jonathan was in his teens our son would pick him up to spend weekends at The Wilds…then return him home Sunday evenings. Our hearts are hurting for you all.

  74. Patch the Pirate ministry has been a blessed part of my children and now presently my grandchildren’s lives . May the Lord richly bless the Hamilton’s , Garlock’s and extended families. God’s grace is sufficient for every need. May you all know the peace that passeth all understanding as it will keep your heart and mind through Christ Jesus. He will carry you through.

  75. We are crying, grieving and praying for you all..Patch the Pirate is on and has been on in our home since it started..Pee Wee grew up with our sons as they are the same age..he grewup with our daughters again on CD..we have no words to express our sympathy..but we have prayers and hugs for you all…

    In our victorious Chirst,
    Tony , Jackie, Frank, Luke, Jessica, Rose, Toni, and Esther Ruckel…
    Because He lives..we also live…

  76. Psalm 56:8 “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?”

    Dear Ones, As you cry, the Lord is gathering your tears of grief into His bottle. He keeps track of every tear that falls. As we go to Him with our tears He will reward us one day for the faithful, trusting tears we have shed. Crying with you…looking to and praying to our Abba, Father on your behalf.

  77. Dear Ron, Shelly and Family,

    May the peace and comfort of God be with you during this difficult time. Praying God will sustain you in the days ahead.

    Pastor Bob Mathis
    Friendship Baptist Church
    Warwick, RI

  78. Sadden by this news we will pray and cry aloud to God for you all. May the Holy Spirit comfort you all in this time of sorrow.

  79. I join in the chorus of upholding the Hamilton family during this time. I too can quote many of those tapes and CDs (though now I actually understand them better) and my sons hear them as well. I thank the Lord for the Scripture truths that I learned through their ministry, and ask God to continue to use their testimony and faithfulness.

  80. To Ron and Shelly, I’m so sorry that you lost your son. There isn’t enough words to express how bad I feel for you. We lost our son in 1998, and this very day we still miss him. Our son drowned. I praise the Lord that Chris is with Jesus.Patch The Pirate was part of my chidrens lives when they were little. I’m praying for you both and my heart is with you. Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, Which Thou Knowest Not. This is my life verse and has taken through many trials!! I love you both, It’s like I lived next door to you. My heart is you and my prays. May the surround you with His Holy Spirit and guide you and your family with strengh and power. Because He Lives Love Mark and Sue Bonitatbus…… Bridgport, CT. 06606

  81. Thank you Pastor Taylor. For Ron and Shelly; my heart breaks for you with this seemingly unbearable tragedy. I can not even imagine the pain and grief you must be going through.
    All three of my children grew up listening to The Hamilton family, whether it was Patch the Pirate,
    or sacred music, we have been truly blessed to have known and fellowshipped with Ron and
    Shelly. I pray that God will grant you and extra measure of Grace and Strength during this time.

  82. I am so saddened to hear this news. The Hamilton family has been such a blessing in my life through their ministry. I grew up listening to their son on the Patch the Pirate series; I felt as if I grew up with him as I was close to the same age he was. Patch and his crew helped me stay strong as a Christian and filled many lonely hours as I grew up as a missionary’s kid on the foreign field. I am praying that the God of all comfort will give the family peace that passeth understanding at this time.

  83. Ater hearing of Ron and Shelly’s tragic loss, we tried to imagine what we would suffer if the Lord took one of our children, or if our unsaved son were to perish. The sense of grief was overwhelming. So Ron and Shelly, though the Lord has not required us to go through the deep waters through which you are passing right now, please know that we are trying to understand, and are interceding for you that God’s immeasurable grace will uphold you, and when your loss becomes unbearable, that the love of Christ will be more real and full than you have ever imagined that it could be.

    Tom and Connie Chapman

  84. As a grieving mama myself in the loss of our sweet Savannah ten months ago, I can testify that the God of all grace will help you all. Even though you may feel like your world has been turned upside down. God will be all that He has promised. Keep running to God when you feel that void of the loss of your precious child. The advice given here was very wise. I would also add allow them to talk about their son when they need to. Sometimes we know it may be awkward for other people, but you don’t want anyone to forget your precious child. It is a gift when someone will allow you to talk about your child when you feel like it. My heart is hurting right along with the Hamiltons at this time. Always looking up

  85. Thanks Pastor Dean for writing this. We are praying for and sharing Ron and Shelley’s hurt.

    Ariel and Elvira Jacala

  86. We are praying for the faithful Hamilton servants at this time. God’s grace will carry them through.
    Ken & Dee Thelen

  87. Our sympathies from Guam. We are praying for your family through this difficult time. May our Lord give you the comfort and peace that only He can give.

    In Christ Love,
    Besar and Lahlah Santos

  88. Apples of gold on platters of silver. Very well spoken, Pastor Dean. We visited your church last year. We still have hopes of moving down there from PA, and being a part of your church. We are grieving for the grieving from across the miles. Yes, as Christians, we do bear one another’s burdens. Praying earnestly for peace and comfort for the family. God be with all of you today and in the days ahead.

    Stu and Lori Ann Ames

  89. we just watched the service live streem. God was glorified in every way. My husband and I wept again as you sang rejoice in the Lord, as we sang that at our sons funeral 9 years ago. We will continue to pray for the Hamilton family.

  90. Our hearts ache over your lost of your son, Jonathan, but rejoices in the fact that Heaven is sweeter now with his presence there. Your music has lifted us in times of grief. We lost our son Christopher when he was 24. “Rejoice in the Lord” was a great comfort to us. We are praying for you and your family that God’s grace will sustain you and that memories of Jonathan will be precious in the days ahead.

  91. I watched the memorial service for Jonathan today. I am so sorry for all who grieve his loss. My own son is the same age. He grew up listening to Patch the Pirate records and tapes. I still have much of those same tapes memorized. Those tapes were and are a blessing. May God bring comfort in the days ahead. Thank you for sharing this service with us. I am sure that the Hamilton family will continue to be a blessing to many, as God uses this tragedy in their lives to bring honor and glory to His great name. There are many in our Christian culture who have suffered the well meaning comments and preaching of fellow believers concerning mental illness and suicide. Perhaps God will use the family and friends of Jonathan in the future to shed some truth and light in a dark and misunderstood part of this earthly life. May God help and bless you in the days to come.
    Love and Prayers, Cynthia Sims

  92. Praying for Shelly and Ron at the difficult time. Thank you Pastor Taylor for your words. I can’t comprehend this loss, but I know the One who holds you in His everlasting arms. Deut 33:27

  93. What a blessing the memorial service was today! Our hearts have been heavy because of Jonathan’s leaving us very suddenly, but we rejoice knowing that he is in the presence of the One about whom He wrote many songs and in Whom his firm faith and trust rested. I will never forget meeting him for the first time in about 1997 when he was still in the academy at B.J.U. He came to our house one day with our son, Tom. I had never before met such a vibrant academy student. I was a 63 year old man at the time and had never met a young man that age who took such a genuine interest in our family- where we had been, in our mission work in the Orient, etc. It was just a thrill to meet him. Because I worked at Bob Jones University at the time, I saw him frequently on campus and stopped to chat with him. As the months passed, I was grieved to notice a change in his personality- the change which years later resulted in his death.

    In the short years which he spent here on this year, he made a tremendous impact on the lives of countless numbers of people. I count it a privilege to have been one of those whose lives was impacted.

    We are praying for you- and will continue to pray for you.

    Mel & Julie Lacock

  94. Thank you for broadcasting the funeral live on the internet. It was a blessing to see and hear the testimony and faith of the Hamilton family.

  95. Our church in Hartford Wisconsin is praying for you guys during this time. May the healing process go quickly and smoothly and may you find your strength in God at this time when you need him most.

  96. Years ago, we were in the same Sunday School class as Ron and Shelly. We didn’t know each other well, but I have always admired their family. Since we and learned of Jonathan’s passing, we have prayed often for the Hamilton and the extended family. I just read the memorial service program and I was moved to tears.

    We never had children and I know that heartbreak. The heartbreak of having a child go to Heaven before the parent has to be a million times worse. Once again I am admiring the Hamilton’s and their strength. Knowing your loved once is with the Lord is so comforting.

    My dad was on his death bed and my brother and I were visiting him. My dad had many struggles and challenges in his life. Because of the challenges he faced, I wanted to be certain he was going to heaven. I said, “Dad, don’t get mad at me for asking, but are you sure when you die that you will be going to Heaven?” His eyes welled with tears and he said the sweetest words! He said, “i know that my sins are forgiven, I have asked the Lord to save my soul and I am going to Heaven. If you hadn’t asked me, I would have been mad, I am so happy that you asked.”

    Even though my Dad has struggles, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will see him again, just as the Hamilton’s know they will see their precious son again. What a blessing!

    We continue to pray!

  97. Our family has been greatly blessed by the ministry of the Hamilton family. We bought all the Patch the Pirate cassettes, wore them out and then started collecting CDS. So much truth in my family because of their faithful service to the Lord. Grieving with you, praying for you and trusting you to the Man of Sorrows, well acquainted with grief.

  98. Ron and Shelly,
    I times like these we have the God of all comfort to be there for us and meet our needs as only He can do. Our prayers and love accompany these few words from our hearts. (Psalm 91:1,2)
    We love you,
    Gene Anderson

  99. My heart and prayers go out to this precious family. Even though our paths didn’t seem to cross very often while I was in Greenville, I enjoyed and appreciated the few times I was able to spend with you while there. Love you all!


    Dr. Bob & Sue Warren ..
    Formerly pastored at First Baptist Church of Wixom. MI. Hamiltons & Garlocks ministered here in past. PRAYING!

  101. We trust the Holy Spirit and the truths of God’s Word will comfort, keep, guide and protect your family as many prayers go up for you.

    Psalm 57:1 – “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me; for my soul trusteth in Thee. Yea, in the shadow of Thy wings I will make my refuge until these calamities be overpast.”

    “There’s a secret place where my soul can hide as a shelter from the storm. It’s a place where the Father’s presence dwells as I wholly trust in His Word.
    I will put my trust in the Lord, in the shadow of His wings, I will make my refuge. I will put my trust in the Lord, til all these calamities be overpast.
    There is mercy abundant for every need, though great or small it may be. For I dwell in the shadow of His wings where I’m safe eternally.
    There’s no fear of man and no fear of foe in this life or that to come, for I dwell in the shadow of His wings and it’s there I am at home.

  102. On Sunday our first child, Aleesha, would have been 34. She loved listening to Patch the Pirate, but at age 6 Kidnapped on I-land was a bit scary for her. At age 24 the Lord took her home after a heart attack. It seems the more you love your child, the harder the pain; the two just go together. Will pray for your family!!

  103. I didn’t personally know you at BJU, but I remember you as a student the same time I was a student there. I was very saddened to hear of the death of your beloved Jonathan. The service that I am listening to is such a wonderful tribute. I truly feel the pain and loss as I too have a son Christopher who passed away 13 yrs ago although in different circumstances. He was in a car accident. Your remembrance of Jonathan is surely a message of hope. Treasure your memories, talk about him frequently, continue to mention his name. It will help you in the coming days. There will be good and bad days. Don’t hold back the tears and lean on God and lean on others when they offer to help. God bless your family!

  104. “Oh, what pen, what human tongue, can adequately set forth the deep, deep blessedness of having a Man in the glory whose heart is with us in all the trials and sorrows of our wilderness path! What a precious provision! What a divine reality! The One who has all power in Heaven and on earth now lives for us in Heaven. We can count on Him at all times. He enters into all our feelings in a way that no earthly friend could possibly do. We can go to Him and tell Him things which we could not name to our dearest friend on earth, inasmuch as none but He can fully understand us. Precious Saviour! Most merciful High Priest! May our hearts delight in Thee! May we draw more largely upon the exhaustless springs of comfort and consolation that are found in Thy large and loving heart for all Thy tried, tempted, sorrowing, suffering brethren here below!” — C.H.M., excerpted from “Holy Brethren,” “The Mackintosh Treasury”

    “While the storm was fiercely blowing,
    While the sea was wildly flowing,
    Angry wind and angry billow
    Only rocked the Saviour’s pillow;
    Jesus SLEPT.

    “But when sudden grief was rending
    Human hearts, in sorrow bending;
    When He saw the sisters weeping
    Where the brother’s form was sleeping,
    Jesus WEPT.”

    Our dear brother and sister Ron and Shelly, and family….we are looking to our loving, caring, ever-faithful Lord to make Himself increasingly precious to each one of you during this little interval of time until we all hear that welcome “gathering” shout, calling us HOME, where there will be no more “partings”!

    With warm love in our wonderful Lord,
    Berlin and Laura Wilson, Charlotte, N.C.

  105. Perfectly said sir. As an older highschooler I listened and loved the patch the pirate tapes. They helped keep me from the bad and encouraged my life. The music gave me such joy when experiencing many trials and brokeness. I love the Hamiltons; God has used this family to add such pleasure and laughter in my life that I needed so much. Thank you for your faithful lives. Life is with trials and hardships for everyone, including those who are leaders. It is wonderful to see the faith of those beloved workers in Christ as they stand the fiery trials of their lives. May God strengthen and keep you all in His abiding love in all your days ahead. I love you all.

  106. Just found this posting as I was searching for lyrics to one of Ron’s songs, and am heart-broken for Ron and Shelly. Will pray for their continued strength, courage and comfort. Praise the Lord for their love of Him and their testimony.

  107. If your getting pictures under the sun don’t forget to buy sunglasses with polarized tinted lenses. My sons got married on a beach and they bought 15 pairs for the wedding party. The pictures turned out amazing!!! I think we paid $59 each at

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