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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Charles Siburt—Let Us Praise Godly Men

            In February 1999, I was facing a difficult challenge in my ministry. I felt I needed to grow. At that time, I was living in Brownsville, Texas, and had an opportunity to pursue a doctorate in education from the University of Houston.
            I had an occasion to attend the old ACU lectureship and I decided to investigate their doctor of ministry program. ACU administrators introduced me to the man who could answer my questions—Dr. Charles Siburt.
            Ultimately, I decided to move my family to West Texas to preach and to pursue my doctor of ministry degree. In the ensuing years, I got to know Charles Siburt well, and he became a mentor and counselor to me. Indeed, it would not be stretching the truth to say that he became a father figure during those years. (Without irony I tell you that many other church leaders will offer you the same testimony–such was the power of Charles’ ministry.)
            Charles Siburt passed away earlier this morning after a long battle with cancer. He fought it valiantly, courageously, and selflessly.
            He now enjoys the peace of God, and my prayer is that his wonderful wife, Judy, and his two sons, John and Ben, enjoy that peace as well.
            While the unselfish side of me is happy for Charles, the selfish side is sad for myself. I always knew that if things got bad, I had an option, a phone call, which was always available for wisdom and perspective… a call to Charles.
            My hope now is that since Charles has invested in so many of us, perhaps collectively we can rise to the challenge and disseminate a Christ-like presence into a broken world as well as he did individually.
            Enjoy your new proximity to God, Charles.

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