He Was Old Enough to be My Father


I was a preteen when our family met the Julian family. We were a family of three kids; they were a family of four kids. The Bruces and the Julians were at Bible Town in Boca Raton, Florida for a music conference for church music directors. My dad was the Music Director for the Westside Alliance Church in Birmingham; David Julian was the same for the First Alliance Church in Atlanta. When my dad and David met it was an instant connection because of the denominational affiliation. What I didn’t know is that there would be another connection 30 years later.

David Julian 1938 - 2013

David Julian
1938 – 2013

I couldn’t have dreamt one of those in the Julian family would later become one of my best friends. It wasn’t one of three boys, (or Janna),—all of whom were about my same age. No, it would the oldest of the bunch—the father.

Years later I would see Dave from a distance as he was a regular pianist at the annual national meeting of the Christian and Missionary Alliance. I admired his talent as a musician. In 1999 I moved to Atlanta and joined the staff of the Lilburn Alliance Church, (LAC), where Dave was the longest residing staff member. A friendship was born.

Dave passed away on Friday.

There are a lot of things I can say about Dave. He was known for his talent at the piano, the training he provided to the next generations of musicians, his devotion to Janet and his love for church music. But for me, though he was old enough to be my father, he was great friend with whom I could be totally honest and open without fear of rejection.

Though I transitioned from the church nearly 10 years ago, Dave and I kept in touch. We went to a Hawk’s game and would occasionally meet for breakfast at the Georgia Diner or Chick-Fil-A. The conversations were filled with catching-up on family—particularly his grandkids, what was new at the LAC and laughter-filled reminiscing of our days working together in the church.

Dave laughed a lot. When I would be frustrated and express it through a gripe, he would be right there with me in the frustration but would somehow find a way to laugh about it. Dave could take a joke with the best. It didn’t matter if it was a prank at the hands of Brian Condello, the youth pastor at the church, or some humorous verbal swipe in the office by Sara Wallace and Margie Terry, Dave would take it with a huge laugh, spreading delight throughout the office.

Now, that laugh is silenced—at least to human ears. My friend, my much older friend, Dave has joined in heaven that other Music Director he met years ago in Bible Town.

“Thank you, Lord, for providing me with the friendship of David Julian.”

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by jackwbruce on December 8, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    After reading this post, my mom told me that Dave and Janet once spent the night in our home. It was probably when I was away attending school when Dave and Janet brought a hand-bell choir from Atlanta for a concert at our church. I’m surprised I had never heard that story before now.

    I can also add that each time Dave and I talked, in recent years, he would ask about my parents. -Jack

    Reply

  2. Posted by Sara Wallace on December 9, 2013 at 8:17 am

    Jack,
    Missed seeing you at the funeral but what a great tribute to Dave. Margie, Martha and I sat together at the service. So glad we were able to get together in August at Cracker Barrel!

    Reply

    • Posted by jackwbruce on December 9, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      Sara,
      Truly regretted having to miss it as I was out-of-town. Yes, that breakfast at Cracker Barrel is certainly even more memorable now. Agreed, so glad we were able to get together.

      Reply

  3. Posted by JimHooker on September 2, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    Jack, Glenda and I were members at LAC from 1984 – 1997. David and I became great friends during that time. When our second daughter decided to come into the world, it was David and Janet that came to our home to spend the night while our oldest one slept. Dave and I would spend extra time sharing with one another after Tuesday morning breakfasts at the church. A true friend that I really miss.

    Reply

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