Phyllis and I believe our middle child, Randy, will have great rewards in Heaven as he and his family have devoted most of their adult life to Christian service. More about that later.
Randy was a bright child. While Rick and Cynthia, who like their parents, had to study and work to get A’s in school. Randy could inherently grasp a complex concept with apparent ease and very little study. Particularly in math.
Randy standing in front of our camper at dad’s salvage in Warner, OK
This giftedness was first recognized when Phyllis was teaching Rick math skills using flash cards when he was about five. Randy two years younger, would interrupt with the correct answer before Rick had an opportunity to respond.
When I retired from the Army in the fall of 1981. Our family (except Rick who remained in Wichita, KS where he later married Susan, his sweetheart) moved to Tulsa and became active in Bethel Baptist Temple. It was here where Randy accepted Christ as his savior and was baptized.
Shortly thereafter, Randy accepted the call to the ministry. When he graduated Webster High School, Tulsa University offered a scholarship in engineering. During his first semester it was apparent that his heart wasn’t in this endeavor.
His English Professor assigned students a writing assignment about a topic of the students choice. Randy decided to write about Jesus and his plan for saving humanity. However, the professor instructed Randy he would only be allowed to write a satire of the “story” of Jesus .
Randy disregarded her instructions and submitted his paper about the REAL Jesus. He was chastised and given a poor grade. Shortly after that, he withdrew, married Donna Cobb and left for Baptist Bible College, Springfield, Mo.
After 2 and 1/2years in Springfield, MO, Randy joined the Navy to attend the Naval Nuclear Power School in Orlando, Fl. After graduating near the top of his class he was transferred to Balston, Spa, NY to attend the Naval Prototype course. Aftr two years of schooling, he was assigned to the USS Skipjack SSN 585 fast attack submarine.
As a crew member. Randy served with distinction on the Skipjack until it was decommissioned in 1991. During this time Randy and Donna had two beautiful daughters, Cynthia and Kimberly.
Randy and his young family remained in Virginia where he found work as a manager trainee for Camelia Food Store, a multi-state grocery store chain. Within a few months he was assigned Manager of the store and earned the reputation of increasing operational efficiency and profit margins in every Department. Subsequently, Corporate Headquarters moved him to grocery stores struggling with theft, inefficiency and profit issues.
In each case he met or exceeded corporate goals. Again, he was promoted and assigned to an audit team to examine operations across 52 stores and make recommendations. Randy was advancing quickly to positions of greater responsibility and seemed to have a bright managerial future with Camelia Foods.
He did know that God was preparing him for a future where the managerial and leadership skills developed here would enable him to weather the financial and cultural storms that began in 2007 and lasted almost a decade.
Randy felt the call of God and left Camelia Foods to joined the ministry of Fellowship Baptist Church, Chesapeake, VA where he received his ordination and served as Assistant Pastor for 3 of the 11 years in Chesapeake, VA.
Randy and Donna
During the next 8 years Randy impacted 100’s of lives for Christ while pastoring two churches. In fact, the entire family was intimately involved in the ministry. Donna is an accomplished pianist and singer. Further, their daughters, Cynthia and Kimberly, are also musicians and singers. Randy completed his Bachelors of Science during this time.
While Randy was pastor of Decatur Heights Baptist Church in Bladensburg, MD he suffered a heart attack and underwent surgery. His doctor advised him to find a less stressful profession. Accordingly, Randy began looking for a job where he could use his managerial skills in a less stressful but still in a Christian environment.
He found the perfect fit as Principal of Lanham Christian School, Lanham, MD. and was hired in 2006. It was the job God had prepared for him, at a time when Institutions all over the U.S. where experiencing the declining economy as well as the cultural upheaval that effected Christian institutions in particular. In this environment several similar Christian schools in Prince George County were forced to close.
Lanham Christian School is a college prep day school with over 200 students enrolled in grades K-4 thru 12 fully approved by Maryland State Department of Eduction’s Board of Accreditation and Certification. The mission of Lanham is to shape students to (1) Magnify Christ as they learn and grow, (2) reflect the Character of God’s person and purpose and (3) to Develop Commitment to self-discipline and obedience that promote spiritual and academic growth.
Randy was instrumental in improving day to day operations and returning the school to the mission of providing high quality education to a christain community. Here are a few of the changes made under Randy’s leadership:
Developing a long range financial plan to insure stability, hiring highly qualified and credentialed teachers, adopting a circulum which achieves high standards and academic continuity from grades one thru twelve, growing year to year student retention to 85%, improving student performance on National Standard Test to the 65th percentile in grades 1-10 and college prep testing in grades 11-12, developing 20 Honors Level and 3 Advance Placement Courses. In addition, a 10% increase in enrollment is projected for 2018-19 school year.
Randy is also involved in church leadership and the preaching ministry and is an Elder at Grace Brethren Church. He was also promoted to Executive Director of Lanham Christian School, Lanham, MD.
Phyllis and I may be a bit prejudiced but we think our son Randy is the most gifted preacher we’ve ever heard. It is apparent that God has richly blessed Randy and his family.