My Mighty Men…


In light of my last post (which spoke of my pain over a number of people whom I know that have punted their faith), I thought it would be appropriate to list some of the most significant people whom God has used to positively shape my life to date…

In 1 Chronicles (and 2 Samuel), we see that king David had his “mighty men”; these were men that strongly supported him in his kingship… so these are my mighty men.  Some are family members, some are strong spiritual leaders, some are lay people, and some are no longer walking with the Lord today- but all have been used by God at some point in my life to help make me into the man I am today… These men are listed in the order in which they appeared in my life…

1.) Eddy Swanzy (step-father)… came into my life when I was 6 years old.  He stepped in and filled a void where my biological father had left.  He married my mom, raised my brothers and I, provided the means for my food, shelter, and education- and more than anything, provided stability to a confused little boy.

2.) Jeff Madison (high school friend)… was the first person to invite me to church.  We played basketball together all the time, and then one night he invited me to a church lock-in.  After that night, my life has never been the same.  God used him to introduce me to the body of Christ.

3.) Louis Tanner (sunday school teacher)… showed up at my door, invited me to Braums, and shared the Gospel with me.  He, along with a few other Sunday School teachers, were the first to introduce me to Christ.  They were the first to shape my understanding of Christ’s love.  (honorable mention to other Sunday School teachers & youth workers at The Heights Church: Lawson’s, Reid’s, Vanderslices’s, Edward’s, Brown’s & more I can’t remember)

4.) Chris Swanzy (step-brother)… was the first to teach and model for me what a consistent, daily devotional life with the Lord looked like.

5.) Joe Simpson (youth minister)… served as a spiritual father for me when I didn’t have one.  He counseled me through depression and suicide attempts, helped me make sense of girls, coached me in basketball, and further explained the Gospel to me.

6.) Jared Peterson (greek advisor)… taught me how to be a missionary in my own fraternity house and boldly proclaim Christ in a lost world.

7.) Brad Bell (discipler & friend)… first man to truly disciple me..  Brad taught me God’s Word, mentored me in life, equiped and mobilize me to lead others, and shaped my view of biblical manhood.

8.) John Bryson (college minister)… taught me just about everything concerning vocational ministry.  He taught me how to lead & manage people, how to run a ministry, how to be a visionary, and how to believe in a BIG GOD who can answer big prayers.  And on top of that he gave me my first, and current job as a college pastor. 

9.) Joey Kimbrough (mentor)… provided an early model for me for what a Christian home looks like.  He and his family invited me into their home and let me see Christian values in living color.  His investment provided the framework for how I would eventually lead my own family.

10.) Tom Nelson (pastor)… Truly explained the Scriptures to me.  Took me through the entire bible (cover to cover) and showed me the power that is contained within God’s Word. Most of all, he empowered me to be able to teach God’s Word to others.

There are a number of other men whom God has used to shape my life, provide accountability and encourgament, etc… -all to which I am truly grateful.  But these have to be the mightiest of men whom the Lord has used most significantly fashion me into the man I am today. 

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” – Proverbs 27:17


~ by Shea Sumlin on January 11, 2008.

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