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12:19 PM   [23 Apr 2012 | Monday]

Ode to My Uncle Troy

He is a twin. Not identical but fraternal. Both are still living. Roy and Troy Carroll. They were salutatorian and valedictorian respectively at Lonoke High School, Lonoke, Arkansas back in the day. They went on to Ouacita Baptist College (now Ouachita University) in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

Uncle Roy was Mr. Personality. He was a cheerleader at Ouachita. Always had buddies around him. After graduating from Ouachita, he would be a recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship that would take him to Oxford University, where he received his doctorate in World History. He would teach at Mercer University in Savannah, Georgia, Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, and then University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he would serve a stint as Chancelor. He is a brain. Photographic memory, dry sense of humor, our grandfather's golden child.

Uncle Troy's life has been much different. He didn't have the photographic memory his brother was blessed with. He studied hard for every A he ever received. After graduating from Ouachita he would go on to Southwestern Theological Seminary, marry, have three children and serve a series of small churches: a Baptist church in Murphresboro, Arkansas, another in Henrietta, Texas, yet another in Elkhart, Indiana, Baugh Chapel Baptist Church outside of Cabot, Arkansas, then retire to Murphresboro, Arkansas where his wife would pass from a fast growing virus. His is now 81 years old and he is still serving as pastor of a church in Murphresboro.

His life has been hard. Serving churches where the pay was, shall we say, difficult to live on, having to borrow money every year to pay his taxes. Driving cars that frankly were held together with a rubber band (not literally, but you catch my meaning).  Having a wife with rheumatoid arthritis who would teach despite her illness, then losing her just when they retired to their long-awaited home in the mountains of Southwest Arkansas.

But he is amazing. I have never, not once seen him carry on about how bad things are and how life was hard. He never questioned rather lived by the mantra, "I'll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord."  Even today should you visit facebook and pull up his name you will be amazed at what a ministry he has going on in the social networking world.

My Uncle Troy Carroll is a role model to so many. I see young and old alike, who call him Pastor Carroll, saluting him on Facebook every single day. In this world, where Christians are sometimes fearful of being unpolitically correct, my uncle stands out as a prince among men. He is definitely Jesus with skin on to a world searching for the answer.

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