By: Dr. Jerry G. Burch
My life has been greatly enhanced by Dr. Leroy Dorminy. He became the man in my life who encompassed many virtues. He was the real deal. He lived the Scriptures and his actions spoke as loud as the words he used when telling you about his relationship with Christ and challenging you to have a deeper faith.
I met Dr. Dorminy in the early 1980’s at a Christian Veterinary Mission booth at a conference. Shortly after that meeting I received a phone call from him and we continued to talk often, and eventually weekly, for many years as prayer partners.
God gifted him with the ability to remember names and sell a vision. On many of the calls he would be telling me about an idea that was on his heart for CVM and before we finished the conversation I would be volunteering to help. I am sure most people reading this had the same experience with him. He was well connected with the working of the Holy Spirit!
Dr. Dorminy and I spent a considerable amount of time traveling to make presentations at Endowment Dinners during the five years I was Chairman of CVM’s Endowment Committee. It was always an amazing experience to observe the intensity on people’s faces as he spoke at a fundraiser meeting or student Real Life Real Impact. God used him in a mighty, yet humble way, to change hearts for His Kingdom.
One fond memory I have of him was when Dr. Coalson Lacy had set up an Endowment Dinner for my wife, Judy, and I in Springfield, MO. Dr. Dorminy and his wife, Kathryn, drove from Ocilla, GA to Collierville, TN to spend the day and night with us before we traveled together to Springfield the next day.
A new restaurant had just opened and we thought it would be the perfect place for lunch. Judy, Kathryn and I ordered chicken salad. Dr. Dorminy, sticking to his strict, self-controlled diet, ordered the tuna salad. We went to bed early because of the six-hour drive the next day through the winding mountain roads of north Arkansas and southern Missouri.
Kathryn woke us up early the next morning to tell us that the good doctor had food poisoning and had been in the bathroom most of the night. He looked as bad as any walking sick person I had ever seen, but he was determined that we were going to attend the meeting. He would not eat or drink anything, but he laid back in the van seat and endured the trip, while continuing to refuse crackers and Sprite from Kathryn. When the time came for him to speak at the meeting, he stood up and gave his normal eloquent presentation as if he was perfectly well.
We spent the night in Springfield and finally got him to eat and drink a little about three o’clock the next day. He was a determined man when he made a commitment. Needless to say he and Kathryn left for home early the next morning and never visited us again. We extended an invitation many times later and he would say,”I need to think about that.”
Dr. Leroy Dorminy was selfless, loving and God honoring. He obediently put his own ambitions aside to follow Christ’s call on his life. He was a humble veterinarian from Ocilla, caring for the animals of Irwin County during the prime earning years of practice, when God clearly called him through the words of an African woman.
When the woman was asked “How can we, Christians in the developed world, help you, in the developing countries?” her response was “Come and teach us your skills so that we may do things for ourselves.” With that statement God pierced Dr. Dorminy’s heart and Christian Veterinary Mission began.
Because of his dedication to the call, Dr. Dorminy opened the eyes and hearts of hundreds of veterinarians to serve on the mission field. He told thousands about the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ in both the developed and developing world. He fulfilled the words of Micah 6:8 that guided him: “And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”
I know each person cherishes every memory they have of Dr. Dorminy. I will always treasure that he chose me to be his friend and prayer partner and mentored me by the Fruit of the Spirit. For that I am eternally grateful. I can’t wait to see my friend again on the other side.