Many years ago Tracy Reynolds talked to me with kindness when I spoke at Emmanuel College as a guest. I appreciated his words of encouragement.
The other times I traveled from Orlando to speak, he was always like a friend to me. When I moved from Florida to stay, he become a true friend.
Many people these days do not speak to others. Tracy does. Many people these days do not find ways to make others feel welcomed, important, significant. Tracy does.
I’ve been thinking about our times, our years, our conversations. Coffee for Tracy. Blueberry muffins for me. Long walks and long talks for us, together, glancing at a sky, praying prayers, his turn, my turn, our turn, together, embracing grace.
We are very different. Tracy likes, loves, coffee. I’m not a coffee guy.
Tracy has hair on his head and a beard on his face. I don’t need hair.
Tracy is an amazing musician, playing and singing in ways that impress and entertain. Me? I also love music, but I make sure the mic is off when I’m singing.
Tracy loves the Georgia Dawgs and I love Tech. Tracy, sometimes, sympathizes with me about that.
We both love the Braves — a team from Atlanta in a sport, from what seems to be our former lives, called Major League Baseball.
Unlike baseball, where owners and players can’t get along, Tracy and I were brave enough to be dear friends and also work together. Our argument was and is, we work better when we work together.
Our giftings are similar in some ways but also very different. When we taught a class together we found it easy to select which of us would be teaching what topics. When we meet with potential students or youth pastors or parents to recruit for Emmanuel or with pastors or business leaders to find jobs for our graduates, we each have our areas of important questions to ask, of crucial comments to state, of inspiring stories to tell.
We communicate regularly with each other. I work best that way. Tracy knows it. If he doesn’t receive an early morning text from me, Tracy wonders if I’m okay.
We both love Jesus and we love people. Our students are important to us. We have those hearts in common.
I will miss Tracy. I’m thankful for him helping me work in my job and helping me live this life. Thankful for him being with me last summer after my father-in-law died, at Emory listening to the surgeon after Debbie’s surgery, and this year after my dad died.
Last summer at Emory as I recorded the surgeon’s comments and Tracy remembered those comments, we were there together. Geographically but also relationally. Like so many times. Together, Tracy helped me understand.
Tracy knows when I need silence and space and rest. He knows when I need serious conversations. He knows when I need music. He knows when I need help. He knows my honesty does not have a selfish motive. I am thankful to have worked for a man like that.
He helped us at Emmanuel by not only teaching and leading and playing music, but by displaying the love of Christ to us. I hope we continue living what we learned from Tracy.
I also hope Tracy and I will still text and talk. Maybe someday somewhere we will get to talk together and walk together and pray together on our way to his coffee and my blueberry muffin.
I will, and we will, miss Tracy Reynolds.
I’ll end with these words directly to Tracy, “I love you.”
So beautiful and so true!
Beautiful tribute, in no way fabricated, to a man of God who loves God’s children. Every last one of His children, including me. Tracy is admired by virtually all who know him. He will leave a chasm in Student Life at Emmanuel. It may take four talented people to replace him.
I agree, Dr. Oxley. He’s been amazing.
Missed will be an understatement. Truly a gentleman and a Pastor of my heart…..
Chris, your tribute to Tracy Reynolds took me by surprise, shock, and disbelief. That is the first stage of the process of Grief. When I think of Emmanuel College and the School of Christian Ministries, I think of Tracy Reynolds.
I rarely see him, although I understand he and his family reside in Winder, Georgia like I do. I remember that he is a member of Grace Fellowship a thriving Pentecostal church in Bogart near our home. Melvine and I attended that church once or twice when they had a special program and friends of ours were in it.
What’s missing in this narrative today is where is Tracy Reynolds going?
Tracy Reynolds can never be replaced. He is a multitalented man, gracious, outgoing, friendly, kind and competent as a teacher and an administrator.
I pray that the God of abounding love and grace may go with him and follow him all the days of his life.
Hugh H. Morgan
Editor of Hugh’s News, Inc.
Tracy will be working full-time at Grace Fellowship. He’s served in ministry there for many years while working at Emmanuel.
Beautifully written. What a legacy this man leaves at Emmanuel. It lives on in all the lives he touched, including mine. I got to know Christ in a tangible way because of the love PT immolates. I am better for having had him as a leader in my life. Thank you for these words, Pastor Chris.