“For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.” I Corinthians 4:15
Our dearly beloved brother, Elder Daniel Wilburn Layne, was carried by the angels to eternal glory in the early morning hours of September 21, 2011 . Bro. Layne was born on March 30, 1944, of church of God lineage in Ashland, Kentucky, and in youth was associated with the radical pioneers of the church of God. After years of terrible bondage to sin and the devil, he was raised from the depths of sin to radical holiness in May of 1980 and obtained a clear experience of Holy Ghost baptism in November of the same year. Soon after, God laid the charge of gospel ministry upon his heart. Called to be an apostle, he restored what had been lost through the awful and disastrous spiritual silence which began in the early 1900s.
He was thoroughly committed to the work of restoration, and was principally instrumental in the heating up of the gospel message which shattered the silence and awakened the sleeping virgins. He was a fearless preacher filled with Holy Ghost boldness and faith. A passionate lover of the truth, he could say with Paul, “my gospel:’ God used him to reinstate the vital truths of church government and authority which characterized the church of the morning time. While Bro. Layne was cruelly accused of man-rule, he was, in fact, a humble servant of God who followed the directions of the Holy Ghost in leading the people of God. He accepted no salary and died with few possessions. He could not be bought, bribed, flattered, ousted or impeached, as he was sold out to God and belonged to Him alone. He thrashed Babylon severely, executing judgment on worldliness, fleshliness, and compromise. Every dear child of God loved him, but Satan and his allied compromisers cringed at his presence and gnashed their teeth at him. Many names could be applied to this saint—holy apostle, pastor, evangelist, Bible scholar and teacher. The saints will always hold him in their hearts as brother and friend and will sorely miss the physical presence of this father in Israel. Many were the long nights and early mornings when he wept and prayed for his beloved children. He loved the church of God intensely and relentlessly poured himself out in arduous and ceaseless labors for her welfare and perfection. The care of all the churches was placed upon him by God. His love and burden for honest souls knew no limits, and he reached out with a fervent and impartial burden to people of all races, cultures, and nations.
Every saint has a cherished memory of him, because he took time for the individual. Although sin-embracing apostates called him harsh and tyrannical, Bro. Layne was characterized by the most tender compassion, love, and forgiveness.
He had many enemies who have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof. Because his spirit and life were a sharp rebuke to the works of darkness, many hard ungodly words about him were spoken, written, and published on infernal websites by those who love darkness rather than light. However, Bro. Layne and his doctrine are justified by wisdom’s children. The seal of his apostleship is the glorious present-day church of God—a cloud of witnesses that provides infallible proof of the validity of his ministry, and which is impossible for our enemies to gainsay. To all saints we proclaim that we have not lost this faithful soldier of the cross, but that he has merely passed on to join in more immediate presence the majority of the redeemed. He has passed from the place where glory is dimmed by human flesh, to the place where billows of glory roll without the least interference. His earthly house has been dissolved, but his spirit is rallying the saints to exceed all former attainments of spirituality.
To those who feel their opportunity for fleshly assertion has come, we proclaim that a double portion of fire, hail, and brimstone is awaiting them. To those whose spirits are independent of the body of Christ, we proclaim that he is gone, but his works (the true saints of God) do follow him, and will be an ever-present rebuke to their carnal self-love. Some are eagerly anticipating reprieve from the judgments Bro. Layne laid down and a relaxing of the standards of the church. May they rest assured that as the father, so are his children, and that we stand with unflinching fidelity for the same sin-shattering, flesh-consuming, compromise-searing truth of the gospel.
To the entire world we proclaim that even the very gates of hell will not prevail against the one and only church of God, but that she will remain gloriously triumphant over every diabolical influence until all her ransomed members are forever “safe to sin no more.”