- TODAY'S DATE -
NOVEMBER 19, 2007
Mr. & Mrs. Bob Spurlin
2101 Glenwood Drive
Hartselle, AL 35640
Bob and Beverly Spurlin married on July 17, 1971 (36 years). Bob is from Alabama, in the northern part of the state, living in a small community east of Decatur, Alabama, called Somerville. Bob has deep roots in the rural setting while Beverly came from Montgomery, Alabama. They met in the spring of 1969 and fell in love immediately. Bob wanted to attend the Memphis School of Preaching and develop his talents to preach and work with people who needed the gospel of Christ. This need to preach came about following his stint in the U.S. Army, 1965-1967.
Bobís background sprang from a Christian home and taught a core of morals and values, which would serve him well throughout life. Beverly, conversely, came from a household that could only as a home with an overbearing father, and thus suffered abuse in many ways. When her home was at the point of collapse, her father killed her mother and then committed suicide. One can only imagine the pain and heartbreak she suffered with her siblings.
Beverly found it difficult to make the transition from her original home to a new home of living with her motherís sister and family. The sister of her mother provided the best home that was possible. She found solace and comfort with Bob who became a sounding board allowing her to release the troubled emotions buried deeply within the recesses of her mind. She also was able to respond to Bob, who had deep feelings of inferiority and low self-esteem problems. Following their marriage both became fully absorbed in the local work of the church and humbly served to make a true contribution in expanding the borders of the Kingdom where they labored. Driven by goals Beverly always had objectives despite the difficult circumstance from which she came. Love cemented this coupleís marriage and like any other, brought assets and liabilities to the martial altar. Two children came from this loving union; Paul, the firstborn in 1972, full of personality and mischief as a child, but later would grow into a gospel preacher as well following in his fatherís footsteps. Six years later lacking one day, following the birth of their firstborn, a second child blessed this home, Bethany Ann. She was a beautiful little girl that was quiet in behavior, until she felt comfortable around you, but had a heart full of love. Bethany possessed a compassionate spirit, especially was it displayed to the weak and vulnerable. Beverly never considered leaving her children when they were small by chasing worldly pursuits. Her highest ambition was to be the best wife and mother that were humanly possible while helping her husband to be an effective minister.
As the children became settled in school and Beverly could be at home when the two children would return from school, she decided to enter Tennessee Tech University, thus beginning her dream of securing a degree in elementary education. Focused and determined this young woman followed her dream. With the support of her family and friends she exceeded all expectations appearing on the Deanís List nearly every quarter. Beverly had a mind like a sponge, always soaking up information that she had not known previously. Following fifteen years of marriage, it was a sight, indeed, to behold such a single-minded attitude in the pursuit of her education, and therefore contagious to anyone that knew her. She finally finished her Masterís Degree in elementary education at the University of Alabama. Little did Bob and Beverly know that her pursuit of a teaching career would save the family unit because of Bobís disability? Parents and peers alike have recognized Beverly as a tough, but fair teacher in preparing students for the next grade level. Each fall parentsí want Mrs. Spurlin to teach their child because they know their child will receive the best instruction allowing the student to reach the next grade level in their education.
Meanwhile Bob continued to busy himself in the local work of various congregations where they worked in five states over thirty years. Bob received special invitations to speak in lecture programs and gospel meetings in nine different states. This was always humbling to Bob, who was always thoroughly prepared with whatever subject assigned to him. He never would place himself in the position where compromising the truth of God would be a choice. Tested by those lacking respect for Godís word challenged Bobís commitment to the Word of Truth, but conforming to truth would always the be the spiritual compass guiding his course of action. Pressures would be great, and temptations difficult but caution thrown to the wind was not part of his manner or approach (Eph. 5:11; Rev. 22:18-19).
During the last two years of Bob's preaching life an agreement with the church allowed him to work in sales. In the beginning he sold satellite dishesí which thrust him to the top sales representative in his office. He received plaques effectively every month as the top producer and on many occasions, district awards. Later he began to sell memberships to business people all over the southeast. This would give working people and the small business owner an opportunity to let their voices be heard in Washington, D.C. This opportunity opened the door for him to address moral issues such as prayer in schools, the abortion question and the gay rights matter. Bob was productive and advanced himself to a trainer of sales representatives. Within a year Bob flew to Dallas, Texas, with eight other top salespeople from all across the continental United States to attend a managerís school.
Suddenly Bobís health began to worsen as he was having a difficult time of getting up and down. The neurosurgeon immediately suggested surgery, a spinal fusion, which we hoped would bring more feeling to his lower extremities. The surgery was not successful and a short time later he became confined to bed unable to walk while the simplest tasks were a momentous effort. Today his two brothersí take turns in bathing their older brother and attends to other needs that Beverly is unable to do. Finally the regarded Mayo Clinic diagnosed Bob with multiple sclerosis, the severe progressive variety, which meant his condition would only worsen with no remission. His attitude remains good as he displays an unusual spirit of optimism coupled with hope. This attitude of hope and confidence is the only way one can approach any adverse circumstance that we face.
Bob and Beverly Spurlin share this great hurdle in their life as another stepping-stone to that Heavenly home. Oh, there are peaks and valleys, ups and downs, but such is the nature of life and they seize every day as an opportunity or possibility to serve others. We have all faced obstacles and can use them as a choice for good or an occasion to wallow in self-pity. Let us face the possibilities of life and seize them despite the suffering we might face.