ForeverMissed
Cooper Horace Brelsford departed his earthly life in Christ Jesus for his eternal, long- anticipated heavenly home on March 23, 2021.

Horace was born on January 18 1930 in Polo, Missouri to Hiram and Hattie (Cooper) Brelsford. He attended Kansas City Bible College (now Calvary University) where he met Lela Jane Swanson.  They were married in 1953.  After graduation, Horace would enter into a lifetime of service to the Lord as a pastor.  He faithfully served several churches  across Kansas until his retirement in 1995.  He then entered into his second career as an interim pastor. He ministered with fifteen churches in transition, from New York to Oregon, until his second retirement in 2010.

Horace cherished his wife, children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren.  He and Lela enjoyed traveling across the nation and the gift of a trip to Israel.  Growing up on a Great Depression-era farm, Horace developed a love for horses that he shared with his grandchildren through bedtime stories, drawings, wood carvings and occasional visits to the family farm.

Horace’s life was defined by his wholehearted devotion to understanding the Word of God.  He joyfully, prayerfully and diligently shared God’s message of faith and salvation in Jesus Christ alone to the thousands of people who walked through the doors of the many churches they called home.  He was known to all for his remarkable kindness, compassion and ability to hear and understand anyone with whom he spoke.

Horace was preceded in death by his father Hiram and mother Hattie, as well as brother Hiram and sister Ruth.  He is survived by his wife Lela, children Kenneth (Jane) and Diana Staggs (Mark), as well as three beloved grandchildren, Matthew Staggs (Jessica)  and Jessica Shivers (Vance) Michael Brelsford and five great-grandchildren.

The family wishes to express our deep appreciation for the staff of Home Instead Senior Care and BJC Hospice.

Graveside service at Prairie Ridge Cemetery in Polo, Missouri on Saturday March 27 at 2:00 PM

To share a memory of Horace or leave a special message to the family please click the link below for www.forevermissed.com/horace-brelsford

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to:

Wycliffe Bible Translators  https://www.wycliffe.org/donate

The Navigators Life to Life Discipleship https://www.navigators.org/donate/

BJC Hospice https://www.bjchospice.org/Donate-Online

Posted by Scott Stringfield on March 27, 2021
Horace (and Lela) came to our small town of Lyons, KS (pop. 3500) out of the blue (led by the Lord) and reoriented a somewhat wayward denominational American Baptist church back on the path towards biblical faithfulness.
He poured into my family’s life in so many ways, and as a result of his discipleship, turned my path towards greater faithfulness to the Lord. He (and Lela) poured into our marriage, our parenting, our careers and our ultimate trajectory and I can say clearly that without Horace’s investment in my life I would have been a far less spiritual man and perhaps far less faithful to the Lord.
He introduced the concept of “margin” into my life (which literally altered my professional career and ministry investment and the investment in my family over my career) and I still carry a method of evangelism in my wallet which he hand made for me to use (and I still use this method today in sharing my faith in Jesus with others).
I am confident that there are many in Heaven (by the leading of the Lord) in eternity with him right now and he is sharing great and worshipful fellowship with many “saints” as we think about him being gone.
What an impact. What an influence. What a remarkably faithful life serving the Lord in good times and in great places and also in hard times and in difficult places but always with biblical fidelity and the Lord Jesus elevated through his faithful preaching of Jesus and the word of God.
Posted by Corwin Seamans on March 26, 2021
pHe was a great help to me when I became the supertindent of Adult Sunday School, esp. in selecting teachers that I was uncertain about. He know so much about a person's spiritual condition just by visiting with them. What a gift! Serving with on the Deacon Board with Pastor Horace was a treat. He always came with an idea - some great, some not so great. When turned down he smiled and next meeting he had a new idea. So positive and wanting to improve ministry and move it forward. He was a very good listener and had spiritual insight to share, which fit the bill. He had a great influence on my life and the lives of my family. I'll never forget his simile and laughter - such a joyful person.
Posted by Steve Strom on March 25, 2021
I knew Horace and Lela during my time at KSU. I attended Grace Baptist. I really respected both of them and learned a lot in my Christian life while under their teaching and care. Fast forward about 20 years and I was in pastoral ministry myself. Horace & Lela served with my wife and me one summer. They served in an interim capacity to give us a break from a difficult ministry situation. I really appreciated how both of them built into my life. I look forward to seeing Horace in the future.
Posted by DAVID MURPHY on March 25, 2021
My name is David Murphy from Manhattan, KS. Somewhere back around 1956-57 my future wife Angie and I (as high school students) attended Blue Valley Youth For Christ which met in Manhattan. There was a time that we were without a director for that ministry - but we were fortunate because 2 students that were attending Kansas City Bible College would drive 130+ miles one way each Saturday evening to be a temporary director and song leader for our Youth Christ rally. Their names were Horace and Jasper - yes, Horace was Horace Brelsford!

Angie and I were married and became members of College Baptist Church (name later changed to Grace Baptist Church). In 1972 we were without a pastor and in August of that year a new pastor and his wife accepted the call by the name of Horace - you guessed it - Horace Brelsford. We were overjoyed.

I was serving as song leader for the church and for the next 15 1/2 years I was almost always with Horace Sunday mornings and evenings while he preached. Horace was a man of God. He loved the Lord and the Word of God. Under his and Lela's leadership the church prospered and grew. Our son and daughter spent their late childhood and teenage years under Horace's ministry and he performed the wedding ceremony for our daughter in 1984. At one time later in his service to our church he decided it was time to move on and told us he was going to resign. NOT SO said our body of believers! So he stayed on for a few more years until resigning again in 1988. Those of us that sat under his ministry have fond memories of those days. Angie and I have prayed for Horace and Lela for several years. Enjoy heaven, Horace. We love you still.
Posted by Mark Mehlig on March 24, 2021
The stories of Horace as he ministered in so many settings along with his wife were so inspirational that I was hoping they were captured in a book. It is a real comfort to know how they touched and blessed so many lives in the name of Christ.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Scott Stringfield on March 27, 2021
Horace (and Lela) came to our small town of Lyons, KS (pop. 3500) out of the blue (led by the Lord) and reoriented a somewhat wayward denominational American Baptist church back on the path towards biblical faithfulness.
He poured into my family’s life in so many ways, and as a result of his discipleship, turned my path towards greater faithfulness to the Lord. He (and Lela) poured into our marriage, our parenting, our careers and our ultimate trajectory and I can say clearly that without Horace’s investment in my life I would have been a far less spiritual man and perhaps far less faithful to the Lord.
He introduced the concept of “margin” into my life (which literally altered my professional career and ministry investment and the investment in my family over my career) and I still carry a method of evangelism in my wallet which he hand made for me to use (and I still use this method today in sharing my faith in Jesus with others).
I am confident that there are many in Heaven (by the leading of the Lord) in eternity with him right now and he is sharing great and worshipful fellowship with many “saints” as we think about him being gone.
What an impact. What an influence. What a remarkably faithful life serving the Lord in good times and in great places and also in hard times and in difficult places but always with biblical fidelity and the Lord Jesus elevated through his faithful preaching of Jesus and the word of God.
Posted by Corwin Seamans on March 26, 2021
pHe was a great help to me when I became the supertindent of Adult Sunday School, esp. in selecting teachers that I was uncertain about. He know so much about a person's spiritual condition just by visiting with them. What a gift! Serving with on the Deacon Board with Pastor Horace was a treat. He always came with an idea - some great, some not so great. When turned down he smiled and next meeting he had a new idea. So positive and wanting to improve ministry and move it forward. He was a very good listener and had spiritual insight to share, which fit the bill. He had a great influence on my life and the lives of my family. I'll never forget his simile and laughter - such a joyful person.
Posted by Steve Strom on March 25, 2021
I knew Horace and Lela during my time at KSU. I attended Grace Baptist. I really respected both of them and learned a lot in my Christian life while under their teaching and care. Fast forward about 20 years and I was in pastoral ministry myself. Horace & Lela served with my wife and me one summer. They served in an interim capacity to give us a break from a difficult ministry situation. I really appreciated how both of them built into my life. I look forward to seeing Horace in the future.
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A fishing trip with Uncle Horace

Shared by Jackie Swanson on April 2, 2021
In 1961, after our mother, Miriam, passed away (mother of Jackie and Michael Swanson), Uncle Horace and Aunt Lela offered to care for us until our father, Virgil (Aunt Lela's brother) could get back on his feet.  This is one of the most wonderful experiences we had as children.  I played around the church grounds many days and would go in to Uncle Horace's pastoral study, talk to him for a while (he was extremely patient with such a small but talkative little girl!), then some days he would take me out for ice cream.  Both Mike and I benefited emotionally, mentally and spiritually during this time.  The experience would set a foundation of spiritual strength and unconditional love that I have never forgotten, and will always treasure.
Shared by Linda Lewis on March 27, 2021
Pastor Horace was a big influence in our life as we began our marriage and having a family. My faith grew under his teaching. One memory was when my father passed away. I flew with Kevin age 3 to Minnesota and Garland was extra busy at work finishing the week. Our oldest daughter Rachel age 9 was at camp that week so when she got back and I couldn't pick her up, Horace and Lela graciously shared with Rachel that her grandpa had gone to heaven. They were a gift to our family while they served in Manhattan. Thank you!