Photo by Hudd Byard | Exhibit Design & Direction by Disciple Design 

“Well, my grandfather was a dear, dear friend. I had two best men in my wedding. One was my father and one was my grandfather. My grandfather carried this Bible with him all through WWI and he looked to God for direction in all that he did and we were very, very close. I saw how he lived his faith. He was a person that did not seek the limelight, but he was a servant and that’s how I’ve tried to model my life. He taught me to work behind the scenes. My dad was the same way: He was a servant and tried to find people in need. My father was mayor in Collierville and when he passed away I had people that told me that my dad didn’t see color – he saw people in need and people that needed help. And I think that’s how Christ wants us to live – to be there to help other people and to reach out when there are people in need. 

My wife and I have always tried to have God at the center of our lives and at the center of our children’s lives. Before each of my children graduated from high school, I bought a brand new Bible and I read through that entire Bible. I took that Bible and I tried to think, “What if I was not here? What do I want my children to know? What are some practical things I can tell them through Scripture?” And I read each of those Bibles and for that year I tried to focus on that particular child: my oldest son, and then my daughter, and then my youngest son. I made notes in my Bible all the way through it. And when each of them graduated high school I gave them that Bible.

Faith is something that I have learned. I know it’s important not just to tell my children or for my grandfather to pass it on to me or for my father to pass it on to me. I’ve got to make that decision for myself and I’ve got to come to a point where it is something between God and me where I make that personal profession of faith, which I did. They can model those things for me and pass along those statements of faith to me and I can pass them along to my children, but all I can do is present it. They have to make that decision themselves and decide for themselves, “This is the path that I want to choose.”