ORRIE COCHRANE- A is a big fisted Irishman who repented of sin and is winning souls with uncommon zeal and love. Orrie takes us on a soul winning excursion in the country.
Orrie Cochrane lived in Michigan in Newaygo County near Grant. As a young man he was a fighting Irishman, and he knocked out many a tooth for the sheer joy of educating some trouble maker.
Orrie's idea of a good time was to head for the bar in the evening and pick a fight with anyone he could. He had fists like hams, and he was famous around Grant, Michigan for his hot Irish temper.
Orrie was not a big man, but he was all steel and guts. Sinners feared him and saints avoided him-- well, all except brother Uhe. Brother Uhe got to Orrie somehow, and lead him to faith in The Lord Jesus Christ.
Orrie changed in that his fists got sanctified, but his zeal just moved over to become the Lord's.
I rode through the countryside with Orrie one day. He loved old Cadillacs. I think it was a little latent Irish philosophy. No one could argue with him, which was helpful, because the more excited Orrie got, the more of the road and right of way he used as he herded the Cadillac down the road. One time he got so involved edifying his wife on some great biblical doctrine that he ran right off the road and over a wall.
As we rode through the farm land that day, at about 30 miles per hour, Orrie had an editorial for every farm house we passed.
"I talked to him about the Lord last week. He listened and said he needed to get saved, but not yet. I'm going back pretty soon to see if he's ready."
"That guy told me to go to hell, but I ain't going to do it" (Grinning from ear to ear).
"I had to work on that fella for ten years. He didn't want to listen, but he finally gave in. He's a deacon at the Baptist church now."
"I haven't been to this guy's place yet. I wonder if the Lord is mad at me for not trying to get him saved?"
Orrie's method was very direct, and he had a quality that is nearly gone from the Lord's Church today-- He feared God. He absolutely believed that God would shorten his life or chasten him if he didn't go witness. Add one more quality-- Orrie loved those folks intensely. He thought that there was no bigger favor he could do for them than to give them the Gospel.
We came to a farm house which had been sold off of the original farm property. The man there had an electric motor winding and repair shop. Orrie pulled in, and he dug an old greasy motor out of the floor of the back seat. He carried it into the shop, and told the man he needed it fixed and cleaned up. The fellow showed real affection for Orrie. Everyone in the area did. The sinners held Orrie as a sort of legend. Remembering his Irish fire and fists before he got saved, they knew that Jesus' power had changed Orrie.
Orrie took the conversation to Jesus with an ease I have seldom seen. The Holy Spirit used Orrie's understanding of the old life to help him wiggle in right next to these old country boys. Pretty soon, Orrie sensed he had said enough, and we said good bye and got in the car and drove off.
As we went down the road, Orrie turned to me with a sly grin, and said, "I'm going to get that fella for Jesus pretty soon." What a blessing and what an inspiration Orrie was-- except that we were half way into the ditch. I yelled, then Orrie yelled, "Wooooa," corrected, and we flew all the way across to the other ditch and used it for a while. We got home safely, and the coffee pot was on. It was good to know Jesus in Orrie.
Oh, by the way, Orrie specialized only in witnessing to men. He left the ladies to the Christian ladies. I am getting sick of these fornicating Gospel hustlers from Hammond, Indiana who seem to specialize in getting ladies saved. Too much Max Brand, I say. They like to "take them by the hand and pray for them." Orrie knew how to stay with the men. A real man in Christ gets a genuine delight in being a sinner-man's saint.
Orrie went to be with the Lord he loved so well in January of 1996. Praise God!
Ecclesiastes 7:1 A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.
Psalms 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.