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Music album extends witness of ‘quiet, gentle, godly man’

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)–Tim Collier’s memorial service last December following a two-year bout with Lou Gehrig’s disease celebrated his life, not his death. The service, attended by more than 1,200 people, was so uplifting that the music from it has been incorporated into an album, “I’ve Got Joy: A Tribute to Tim Collier.”
Collier, 40 years old when he died Dec. 23, was not a celebrity. He was, in his wife Cathy’s words, simply “a quiet, gentle, godly man.” He taught Sunday school at Southcliff Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, and loved Christian music. He sang in the church choir, with a men’s trio and performed duets with his wife.
C. Warren Pearson, Southcliff’s minister of worship and music, said music from the new album will be performed during a special service at the church June 8 at 6 p.m. The concert will also signal release of the album, which sells for $15 in CD and $10 in cassette. All profits from the album go to ministry causes.
“Ministry was where his heart was,” Cathy Collier said. “He didn’t want anything wasted, and certainly not his death. He wanted something positive to come out of it.”
Something has. Collier said she knows of at least six people who have come to know the Lord as a result of her husband’s death.
“I think that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “Through the album and the opportunities I have to speak, I think many more people will come to know the Lord as a result of Tim’s death. But it’s more than just the way he died. It also has to do with the way he lived. Both his life and death open the door to introduce people to Christ.”
“Our choir, orchestra, soloists and ensembles have done an outstanding job in producing this album,” Pearson said. “As a tribute to the life of Tim Collier, it expresses the truth of Christ that he displayed.”
Appropriately Tim Collier’s photo is on the album, along with the plan of salvation.
Music on side one of the album includes “I’ve Got Joy,” with soloist Dave Cave; “In the Presence of Jehovah,” with soloist Suzanne Godby, Tim Collier’s sister; “Goodbye, World, Goodbye,” with a trio of Cave, Warren Pearson and John Sharp; “Mercy Saw Me,” a duet of Cave and Godby; and “Gospel Guitar,” featuring Tom Burchill.
On side two, Sharp is soloist for “The Anchor Holds;” pianist Jerry Hitt plays his special arrangement of “Just a Closer Walk with Thee;” Cathy Collier is soloist for “I Am Not Ashamed;” the church orchestra performs a Camp Kirkland arrangement of “Glory to His Name;” and the church’s brass ensemble performs “The Solid Rock.”
Burchill is jazz band director at Weatherford College in Weatherford, Texas, and jazz guitar instructor at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. He and wife Pam perform with their band weekly.
Sharp is owner of Colonial Homes Building Co. in Fort Worth. He has six solo albums and three albums with his group, Generation.
Cave works at Lockheed in Fort Worth. He was lead vocalist at the Miss Texas Pageant, has recorded four albums and performs throughout the country.
Godby is a teacher in a Christian school and teaches private piano.
Hitt is a professional pianist who currently performs at the Crescent Hotel in Dallas.
Collier was born in Graham, Texas, and graduated from high school there. He moved to Fort Worth when he was 20 years old and started a Snap-On Tool business. He and Cathy had three boys: Cavin, 14; Cameron, 12; and Carson, 9. They had been married 17 years when he died.
“He was diagnosed as having Lou Gehrig’s disease one day short of our 15th wedding anniversary,” Cathy said. “He died two days after our 17th anniversary.
“When we received the diagnosis, we were in the midst of building our dream home. The Lord helped us through the next two years so that we would be able to give him up. And during that two years, every need we had was met. We discovered how wonderful the people in a caring church could be. Now Tim lives on through the people in the church and through the different ministries we supported and continue to support.”
The album can be ordered by contacting Southcliff Baptist Church, 4100 SW Loop 820, Fort Worth, Texas 76109; telephone, (817) 924-2241.

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  • C.C. Risenhoover