Former Bryan College graduate, staff member and Rhea County resident passes at 67
Columbia, TN — Terry Hill served the Lord all over the world during his 67 years. A memorial service was held in Columbia, Tennessee recently. Terry was a student athlete at Bryan College and later returned to work at Bryan and taught Sunday School at Dayton First Baptist Church in Dayton. His two daughters and son played basketball at Bryan. Terry left Dayton to continue to serve the Lord in many different places, including Israel.
Terry was born in St. Louis, Missouri on July 9th, 1949. He was the firstborn of Bob and Georgia Hill. He was exposed to God’s truths from infancy, with his father being a pastor, and trusted Jesus’ death on the cross to cover his sins around the age of seven. During his schooling he was known as friendly, jovial, a prankster, lovable, and athletic. He started college at Freewill Baptist Bible College and finished at Bryan College in Dayton, TN. He played basketball and sang in the Chorale while there and somehow acquired the nickname, “Lumpy.”
After graduation Terry moved to Atlanta to work as a middle school history teacher and coach. While there he attended First Baptist, Atlanta, and sang in the choir. Terry’s parents picked Dianne out of the choir, and visited each Sunday after church for eight months, before telling Terry they found “the One” for him. They were married March 8th 1975. In the following years Terry and Dianne had four children, and many more were invited into their home and welcomed to be part of their family. He was known as “Coach” to many
Terry lived in 12 cities, worked for seven ministries, used his gifts to serve in 10 churches, and wrote 14 books in his lifetime. He had a repertoire of over two thousand jokes. He had a mean pick in church league basketball, and broke his wrist covering home plate for his daughter in a church softball game. He was usually involved with students whether as a teacher, coach, or Bible study leader. He was intentional in helping others understand how passionately God loved them. As he passed people his finger would often point at others, and he’d say, “Watch it, watch it!” or “Better watch out for this guy!” accompanied by his big grin. People, in turn, returned his smile, often accompanied by a high-five or a hug.
Terry and Dianne could not even count the number of people who have lived with them for periods of time. From exchange students, to college students, and interns, people were always welcome and were made to feel like family. Here is what is echoed in those whose lives he has been a part of “[Terry], you showed me an example of what it is to be a man of God.” “You saw the good in me when no one else did.” “You were like a father to me when mine couldn’t be there.” “You gave me my very first Bible.” “A man of God, always willing to share his heart.” “I had a plan to commit suicide until you invited me into your home and showed me what love is.” “Second most important man figure in my life, after my dad.”
One of his favorite quotes he posted online in September is, “He does not call the qualified, but qualifies the called.”
He firmly believed God’s word and memorized many scriptures. One favorite is Romans 8:28, and he’d happily say, “Look it up!”
Posted on his facebook page on September 22nd, 2016, “No experience in this world can satisfy. The most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” – paraphrased from C. S. Lewis
On October 3rd Terry posted online, “Obey even when He asks you to move in the dark. He Himself will be gloriously light in you. And there will spring up rapidly in your heart an acquaintanceship and a fellowship with God which will be overpowering in itself to hold you and Him together.”
Tuesday evening on October 11th, Terry graduated to glory while by Dianne’s side.
He is preceded in death by his parents Dr. Bob and Georgia Hill.
Terry is survived by two brothers, Rob and Rusty Hill and a sister Sherry Camp, and many nieces and nephews.
He is also survived in death by four children and their spouses:
Laurie Cole and husband, Jason; Kellie Johnson and husband, Josh; Kimmie Saado and husband, Sahar; “Little” Terry Hill and wife, Aunna. 11 grandkids: Grace, Marcus, Isa Lynn, Moriah, Adoniram, Benyamin, Ezra, Gideon, Charlie, Michaela, Eliora, and two more on the way.
William Terry Hill, 67
“Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his ancestors …. “ Acts 13:36