Last night was the funeral of a very special man who was a mentor to many. Bert Tippett was a man of character, humility and Godliness. He worked for years at our denominatonal college, Free Will Baptist Bible College. He mentored thousands of students over is career at the college. When I was there he and his wife, Diane, traveled with the touring groups – choirs, ensembles and drama teams. They traveled as the tour “parents”. That’s when I really got to know them. I was on the college drama team. Each spring break for 4 years they traveled with us on a tour bus for over a week all over the country. He was a friend to each of us traveling as a ministry. His job was to close our services for us. But he and Diane would jump in and help us unload, set-up and load the bus. They would see that we were all distributed to the home we stayed in each night. One year he was in cahoots with Ron to give me a letter from him each day in some unique way. One day the letter was taped to the outside of the bus on the front windshield.
To the end of his life people all over the world were remembering the ministry that he had in their lives. If you looked at his Facebook page you would see how many people loved him and admired him. We co-pastored at their home church for a while – Cofer’s Chapel Free Will Baptist Church. He was always a delight to work with and even just pass in the hall. He was always smiling and happy. Even in his bout with prostate cancer his joy was in tact. He was a complete blessing. He and Diane were an amazing example of what a married couple is and should be. Their love for each other was always clear and visible. You could just look at them and see how much they loved each other.
Bert and Diane always accepted everyone for the person God created them to be. They may not have always followed through with following God’s will but Bert and Diane always displayed love to them with a smile and honest acceptance. That’s hard to come by today.
Our loss is Heaven’s gain. Mr. Tippett has gained his reward. He is now enjoying the joys of Heaven with Christ. He left all of us with a loving feeling. His legacy can continue on when we treat others in the same way. I want to use what I learned by watching his light and let that same light shine through me. What an incredible example of Christ’s love. And now he is experiencing love like he never knew on this earth.
You will be missed, Mr. Tippett. But enjoy your reward! You deserve it!
“If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” –C.S.Lewis, Mere Christianity