Inside View Jul/Aug 2019
I awoke in Jerusalem on April 5 to learn my uncle, Dr. Renald E. Showers, was called home to glory. As I reflected on Rennie’s life and the family stories I heard growing up, the Lord impressed on me the words of Psalm 37:23: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD.”
I thought about a teenager in Western Pennsylvania in the mid-1940s who spent Sunday evenings in his bedroom listening on the radio to the evening service of First Baptist Church in DuBois. He knew something was missing in his life, something he desperately wanted—peace with God.
That boy was my father, Louis Showers. When the church hosted evangelistic meetings, he responded to the gospel and gave his life to Christ. Immediately, he began praying his younger brother, Rennie, would come to faith—a prayer God soon answered.
As my Dad went off to Bible school to train for the ministry, he prayed God would call Rennie to full-time ministry too. Rennie wanted to be a medical doctor and graduated from high school with a full scholarship to Cornell University. But that summer, God gave Rennie no peace about Cornell.
On the eve of packing his bags for school, Rennie surrendered to God’s call to ministry. Instead of treating people’s physical needs, he would invest his life ministering to their spiritual needs; and he enrolled in Philadelphia School of the Bible.
One of the greatest blessings in my life has been to know Rennie as my uncle. Growing up, I was always impressed with his deep love for God and strong desire to do God’s will. He had the humble spirit of a true servant, always extremely approachable. And he enjoyed humorous stories.
God used Rennie to help order my steps. His teaching and writing opened my understanding of theology; and his book What on Earth Is God Doing? enabled me to see God’s grand plan for the ages. It influenced me to go to seminary and then into full-time ministry.
Between my father and uncle, the Lord blessed me with two great teachers of His Word.
God used Rennie to connect me with The Friends of Israel. In 2001, Rennie submitted my name to then Executive Director Bill Sutter when Bill needed a chief financial officer. Were it not for Rennie, I would not be with The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry today.
In every generation, God raises up a few individuals whom He endows with exceptional skill and understanding for His purpose. They are mighty warriors for God in the spiritual battle with Satan. Rennie was among that number in his generation.
He had an extraordinary command of Scripture and the God-given ability to break down difficult passages so everyone could understand them. As famous as he was, he always took whatever time was necessary to answer questions when people approached him; and he reflected genuine Christ-likeness through his humble spirit. Rennie was truly filled with grace and truth.
I’ve received many notes from friends and colleagues since Rennie passed, each one sharing how God used my uncle to influence them. Through Renald Showers, God has ordered the steps of so many people. I can only imagine the large welcoming party that greeted him when he arrived in heaven.
Rennie’s presence will be dearly missed; but his ministry continues through the lives he touched and the many books, articles, and recorded messages he leaves behind. Well done, Uncle Rennie! Until we meet again.