“I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 7
Brother Randy Cuchens came to Newton just a short while after I did, my arrival being in 1980 and his in 1985. His wife Susan and I worked together for over 30 years, until her untimely death in 2018. We were neighbors, and our children went to the same school. Moreover, it seems we were always running into each other in organizations and community events. In that time I learned that he was a most remarkable man.
Only an earthquake could shake this community more than the unexpected passing of Brother Randy.
When I think of Randy I can’t help thinking of the word “irreplaceable.” Why would I say that? Well, he was the glue that held his church congregation together through times of turmoil. He was the indispensable man at community events, who would give the invocation, adjust the sound and help clean up. He was the person you sent struggling young couples and misguided teenagers to see. He was the guy who was up for a basketball game or golf. He was the man who supported the chamber of commerce and the local schools. And all this time his real job was music director and minister to youth and later senior citizens at First Baptist Church.
Brother Randy did all of the above with enthusiasm and excellence. There is no doubt in my mind he could have “moved up” to a larger church in a bigger town had he so desired. But he found his life calling in our little community. As I like to say, he was here voluntarily. He could have looked back at any of the activities mentioned above and claimed success.
His family life deserves a special commendation at a time when families seem to be under great stress. He married his first and only girlfriend and was a faithful and caring husband until her death. He was the rock of Gibraltar to Jennifer and Jessica and the granddaughters. Just as he was in the community he was a servant leader in his family, both near and extended.
We are so fortunate to have hosted such a role model; a Godly man, a manly man, a man of good cheer at all times. There is no way to count the number of people whose lives were changed through his ministry. His generosity, his warm smile and his enthusiasm were all unmatched.
We can thank First Baptist Church for bringing him to town, but he belonged to all of us, black and white, rich and poor, young and old, Baptist, Methodist, and none of the above.
Randy leaves behind a legacy of friendship and a family who worshipped him and are left in deep mourning. He also leaves behind a hole in our hearts and in our community. Can he be replaced? Yes, of course, but not by one person. Randy Cuchens can only be replaced by each of us who knew him doing more, caring more, loving more.
Robert Logan is the former city attorney of the City of Newton and is the current Chancery Judge.