On the evening of September 11th, Covenant students and faculty gathered in the chapel to celebrate the life of Dr. Kevin Eames, the late chair of the Psychology Department at Covenant. Welcomed by a soft hymn medley played by Dr. Finch, they sat in quiet reflection as Chaplain Lowe took the stage.
“A memorial is oftentimes something to help preserve remembrance,” Lowe said, “but our memorial tonight is not about capturing life, but instead about celebrating life. For the next hour or so we will slow down and be reminded of God’s love, which Kevin lived out in our midst, and the reality that death has been conquered by Jesus, whom Kevin humbly clung to.”
Hannah Bloomquist, Resident Director of Andreas Residence Hall, was first to speak. For her, Eames faithfully modeled the Christian life at Covenant, both as a professor and a friend.
“Kevin Eames was never afraid of a hard question,” Bloomquist said. “He wasn’t scared that a difficult or uncomfortable question would undo his theology. But rather, his theology and his firm trust in the Lord and God, the Creator of the universe, would hold in the midst of the most difficult question. In his absence, we do grieve, but we also celebrate the work that he did. Because of his absence, we here at Covenant are challenged even more to stand in the gap.”
Echoing these words, Dr. Mike Rulon, Katie Kelley, and Dr. Jeff Hall also shared their reflections and anecdotes on Dr. Eames. They reiterated the Christian love he displayed towards others and the firm faith he held in God despite hardship.
“I was profoundly and deeply influenced by Kevin’s teaching, but more importantly by his friendship,” remarked Katie Kelley, a Covenant alumna and former student of Dr. Eames. “Not only was Dr. Eames a delight to know, to study under, and to work with, but he expressed delight in all areas of his life. His joy was a rebellious joy, one that knew darkness and suffering and refused to let it win. Through this vulnerability, he invited me into that rebellious joy, to defiantly declare in the face of grief, ‘Where, O death, is your sting?’”
After a clip from Dr. Eames’s commencement speech, the service concluded with an excerpt from Handel’s Messiah, which Dr. Eames specifically requested before he died. The words from this selection echoed the promises found in 1 Corinthians 15, read earlier in the service by Dr. Jay Green: “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.”
Though it has been several months since he passed on, the Covenant community continues to be blessed by the life and work of Dr. Kevin Eames. In his wake lie memories of his laughter and friendship, his joy and vulnerability, and his faith and love for Christ. To use the words of Dr. Mike Rulon, a friend and former colleague of Dr. Eames, “Kevin will be surely missed—really, really missed.”