I’ve never been good at English. After four years of the hated subject with a cynical teacher in high school, I could honestly say I would be happy if I never had to write another paper in my life. That changed when I got to SEBC. Dr. Greene, my English teacher, brother in Christ, and friend taught me so much more than the subject. After opening up the class with taking prayer requests, Dr. Greene would teach us how to write as Christians. Many times it didn’t even feel like a class. His wit would be evident as he told stories about SEBC, students past and gone, or just life. He definitely had a way with words and with life. Words cannot express how much Dr. Greene changed my life. What will I remember about Dr. Greene?
- I will remember playing guitar with him upstairs in the music room between and after classes. Dr. Greene, the musical virtuoso of our school, definitely had the best Bob Dylan impression I had ever heard. Playing guitar with Gary wasn’t even the best part of the time we spent together. I just loved to sit and listen to his songs and his stories about life. We would frequently plan to play and we both always looked forward to those days. I remember walking by his window on my way to the dorms and stopping to see him. I’d pretend to play air guitar outside his office and he’d reciprocate the lost art form and then point to his watch. Jam time would soon begin.
- I will remember the Atwaunology video we made. Dr. Greene was always game for a fun time. While at SEBC, some guys created a facebook account called “Antwaunology-The systematic Study of Black People Via Antwaun Williams.” Our first video was Dr. Greene being taught to pray like a black man from Antwaun. Needless to say, Dr. Greene “got the ghost” and prayed more like T.D. Jakes than T.D. Jakes (I’m not endorsing T.D. Jakes btw)! I cannot believe he wasted a whole afternoon joking around with us.
- I will remember what I learned from him during his Friday chapels. Our Friday small group consisted of Dr. Greene, Yamoto Kelly, the great Colby Jones, and myself. It was a party! You never know what was going to be said during our short time together. I remember Yamoto would begin to talk…and talk…and talk…and talk…forever and Dr. Greene would just sit there with such patience and listen to her speak. He was so genuine in how he treated other people. We never tackled the big issues that you would expect to find in a Bible college small group, but I learned so much from him. Faith…prayer…suffering…and just the love of God from a man of God. I’m not the biggest fan of chapel, but I never missed a Friday one, in part, because of Dr. Greene.
- I will remember just his love for people, his humor, and the willingness to let a freshmen/sophomore sit in his office and ramble about life. Dr. Greene always took the time to just shoot the breeze with me and pour into my life when I needed him. Words cannot express how much it meant to me to have him just take the time and talk to me. He even would beat me to a bloody pulp in ping pong game and would take the time to do that with every student…what a guy!
Dr. Greene talked about John 11 in one of his last chapels I remember. He said something that struck me so deeply. He said, “Jesus Wept. (John 11:35). What is more profound-having a God who raises the dead or having a God who will weep with you in your pain?” That statement became sort of a comforting prophecy to me upon hearing the news of his death yesterday. Remembering what he said, I knew that Christ would be weeping with over this loss with me. What joy Dr. Greene is now experiencing in the presence of Christ. I’m sure God’s presence is that much more sweeter because a humble, loving, man of faith is now present there. Dr. Greene set an example for me. He is the kind of man I should aspire to be. I love and miss you already Dr. Greene.