Part of my childhood died today of cancer. Charles Siburt, prophet, teacher, preacher, friend was part of my growing up years. I was a teenager when his family moved to Hamlin, Texas to minister. His father was probably the best preacher we ever had--and his mother was a true jewel.
Charles was a wee bit younger than I. He, his sisters Myra and Elva and I did what teens do in a youth group. We traveled to surrounding churches for youth meetings where we ate and sang; we played silly games in the "parsonage" (his parents so graciously hosted many a youth meeting), and we talked and talked. Little did I know that very chunky little kid would grow up to be a giant in the church--one who frequently saved churches from imploding; one who taught young preachers how to save themselves; one who taught many classes at ACU on church growth and organization. Sam and I took one of his classes at night. Although his classes were usually full, this class was very small--only us and one other couple. I don't remember the other couple, but I do remember the wise words that fell like rain on a church elder and his wife.
I don't know why people like him can't live to be 90; that is a question I will resolve later when I ask about Sam, but I do know that in his short life, Charlie did more than any one man could do in enriching the church, loving his family, and living a joyful life in Christ.