I met this guy today many summers ago. We were both 10 years old. Through the years we remained friends through each others’ marriages, divorces, children, ministry, troubles and triumphs. He was a friend to the Tankard family for years. My mom would invite him over for dinner when we were in elementary school. There’s nothing like a childhood friend to set you straight and challenge you when you need it. David challenged me every time we had a conversation about anything. Our conversations were very intense. He was stubborn and I was even more stubborn. We were both firm in our beliefs and we challenged each other in them. He had a lot to say about my life and would often try to tell me how to live my life. I would kindly remind him that he was out of place by doing so. Then we would laugh it off and go out to dinner to talk about it all over again.
David was a profound speaker and vocalist. If I happened to be in the same building at the time that he was presenting, he had no problem calling me up to the organ to play music for him. Sometimes, I would be so embarrassed because he would ask the presiding musician to get up and let me play. But David was David. He didn’t hold back or bite his tongue about what was on his heart. I could write a book about our lives as friends during the past decades, the traveling, the revivals, conferences, the church drama, ministerial theatrics we encountered, the challenges and victories of family life, and more. I will say that we were friends until the end. I lost him this past December. I am satisfied with the friendship that we had and I have no regrets. I found out all I needed to know about his life concerning our friendship before he passed away. I am satisfied to know that I treated him well and did all that I could to be the best friend that I could be. My loyalty towards David was never questioned and never will be.
Cherish your childhood friends. They love you and have known you the longest. Rest in Peace, Bishop David R.D. Bryant.