Received this email first thing when I arrived at my office today:
Dear Lee University alumni
There is deep sorrow on our campus this morning as we mourn the sudden loss of Dr. David Horton.
Dr. Horton suffered a fatal heart attack last night while in Nassau, Bahamas with his wife Virginia and the members of the Campus Choir. The Hortons and the choir were there for a week-long ministry tour following commencement.
If you attended Lee during the past thirty years -- or even if you didn't -- you know that David had a huge impact on our campus. He has been on our music faculty since the late 1960's, and he and Virginia traveled around the world with Lee students in music ministry.
He invested himself completely in the ministry of the Campus Choir, and was deeply loved by hundreds of students who were part of that group.
At this point (Tuesday morning), we are trying to sort out the details of getting everyone back home to campus, so there is no information yet on services to remember David.
We will send another email when we have information to share. But for now, I wanted you to know that the Lee family around the world has lost a brother and colleague who gave everything he had to Lee students.
Please join all of us here at Lee in prayer for Virginia, their son Jonathan, and the Campus Choir members still in Nassau.
Needless to say, this was not the way I wanted to greet Tuesday morning at work. Yet, it is true, and my heart is deeply grieved.
I sang in Campus Choir under Dr Horton's direction for two years (1983-85). It was a tremendous learning experience, and a tremendous joy to be part of that group. David Horton had no problem rehearsing until it was "perfect." His love for music was only exceeded by his tremendous love for his wife Virginia and his only son, Jonathan. He supremely loved God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He always worshipped the Saviour.
Dr Horton had the generous and gracious spirit about him, regardless of where you would see him. Many times I can remember sitting in his office, and laughing about some of the wonderful things that happened on Choir tour, or during a rehearsal in the old "Brown Auditorium." I can remember when we encountered the LIVING GOD in those rehearsals....on more than one occasion.
No one could lead a congregation in singing "O Happy Day" like David Horton could. This gentle giant of a man completely embodied what it means to be a "worshipper in Spirit and in truth." More than once he might stop the singing, because he felt impressed of God to personally "speak a word" to someone the Lord would bring to mind.
I'm not sure just what I am feeling right now. I feel like crying, because of the loss that so many of us here on earth are feeling. I feel like rejoicing (even in pain) because David Horton is now safely in that "City whose Builder and Maker is God." I feel like worshipping God, because He allowed this marvelous man to serve Him, and to bless so many people in that same service of Jesus Christ.
For those who may see my blog, please remember his wife Virginia, and their son Jonathan, and all the many students and colleagues of David Horton at Lee University, where he was still teaching at the time of his passing on to glory.
Only what we do for Jesus will count. It's a constant reminder.