Baptist Preacher Died In Pulpit

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 11, 2014

It’s hard to imagine a better way to go. Cowboys want to die in the saddle. What about preachers?

In the pulpit of Dutchman Creek Baptist Church, the Rev. Thomas Edward Tuggle, 87, slumped during the Sunday service Feb. 23 of an apparent heart attack.

Someone said he lifted his hands … as if to embrace Jesus. And then he died.

He had pastored the church for 51 years. His flock was with him at the end. He was buried in the church cemetery, of course, still among his flock.

Rev. Tuggle had been part of the Mocksville landscape for decades. He was a big man and drove a big car. I saw him often at York’s Exxon and at nursing homes — always in a suit, always neat, always ready to preach.

The unusual circumstances of his death caused as many smiles as tears.

“There would be no greater honor for any preacher than to go out in the pulpit,” evangelist Larry Cannon of The Gospel Ministry wrote of Rev. Tuggle’s death.

“What a way to go!” agreed Glady M. Mill of Stoneville. “It sounds just like the way Brother Tuggle would like to go for Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ into Heaven.”

“Another soldier of the cross has been called home. We will miss his presence here, but I am sure there is rejoicing on the other side,” wrote Pastor David Tucker of White Plains Baptist Church in the Eaton’s Funeral Home’s obituary memorials.

“He made a godly impression everywhere he went, and as our brother in Christ, Heaven just got a little sweeter,” wrote Charles and Penny Carden.

Tuggle had made daily trips to Davie Place to see his invalid wife. “His love and dedication to his wife is something that is not seen often anymore. His love for his wife was a true testament to what love really is,” wrote Becky Payne of Davie Place.


Buying Obama’s ‘Mom Jeans’’

 Forgive me, Sarah Palin, I may have accidentally bought a pair of mom jeans.

The former Alaska governor took apart President Obama last week, challenging his “potency” compared to the manly Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Putin “wrestles bears and drills for oil,” she said, while Obama “wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates.”

My new designer jeans may hedge dangerously close to the President’s.

Both Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have been chastised for wearing high-waist, big-bottomed jeans, sometimes with pleats, stretch waists and blah colors.

I only looked at the price: $14. The label, an exotic French name, didn’t bother me. The chest-thumping cowboy Wranglers that Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brett Favre endorse cost $40.

I’m a sucker for a sale.

I would have bought my college boy a pair, but he demurred over the telephone. He made me send him a picture. “I’m picky about my jeans,” he said.

That was my first clue that I was treading into Sarah Palin’s potency radar.

For 40 years I wore nothing but khakis. My shirts are either white or blue. For variety, I wear blue and white stripes. I’ve never had to think about what I’m going to wear to work. It’s always the same.

Then my sweet daughter-in-law disrupted my life, giving me a pair of low-riding, flair-legged American Eagle jeans suitable for teenagers. Because she had also given me three precious granddaughters, I wore the jeans religiously — a few times to work, causing a stir among the staff.

I wore them thread bare. Gaping holes developed in embarrassing places.

When Sarah Palin visits, I’ll spring for Wranglers.

— Dwight Sparks