A Tribute to James P. MacLean III
Jesus taught that the true measure of a man is what he does with the limited time and talents he has been given. On April 7, The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry (FOI) lost a revered colleague and friend, James P. MacLean III, who used both his time and his talents to counsel and guide this ministry for more than 50 years. He died after many days on a respirator, battling COVID-19.
Jim first became affiliated with The Friends of Israel in the 1960s as a young corporate attorney whom FOI’s first executive director, Victor Buksbazen, engaged to provide the ministry with legal counsel. In the 1980s he joined the board of trustees and served as board chair for 30 years. Jim was the only person to have worked with all five of FOI’s executive directors.
“I knew Jim MacLean for 50 years,” said former Executive Director William Sutter. “We served on many boards together. He was passionate about helping the Lord’s ministries succeed. Jim possessed a unique ability to see things clearly and respond with firmness and grace. He was incredibly supportive and vitally involved in key matters of policy. And he worked hard to ensure that FOI would always demonstrate the highest levels of organizational, financial, and personal integrity. He also was devoted to the Bible as God’s Word, the Lord Jesus as His personal Savior, and the Jewish people as the object of God’s love.”
FOI Executive Director Jim Showers called MacLean “a steadying hand whenever the ministry faced challenges. He skillfully guided the ministry through troubling waters and always stressed the importance of doing things in order because that is God’s way, and it should be ours as well.”
“I valued his reasoned judgment and wise counsel,” Jim Showers said, “and his commitment to operating the ministry at all times with honesty and integrity.”
Mr. MacLean retired from active board membership in 2017 and took on a new role as trustee emeritus.
Former Executive Director Elwood McQuaid said, “Every cherished memory of Jim, along with his passionate love for our ministry and dedication to those of us privileged to serve beside him, brings with it feelings of heartfelt appreciation.”
Mr. MacLean leaves his wife, Kathy, of Florida; his daughter Susan Daley of Vermont and grandchildren Kaitlin and Kaile; his son-in-law Scott Swanson of California and grandchildren Colin and Devon. His daughter Carolyn Swanson went home to the Lord in 2017, as did his son-in-law Scott Daley in 2014. “Jim is now with his Lord and Savior, whom he served so faithfully,” said Jim Showers. “He was a faithful steward who accomplished so much with all that God gave him.”
Elwood McQuaid added, “That he has now reached that ‘better country’ that we long for with each passing day is our present consolation. To say we will miss him is not enough. Our sustaining comfort is the anticipation of the joy we’ll share when we meet again at Jesus’ feet.”