One advantage of attending Stonebriar Community Church is the chance to rub shoulders with some remarkable individuals. Many of them are associated with Dallas Theological Seminary.
One disadvantage of this advantage is feeling a deeper loss when they’re called Home to be with the Lord. Stanley D. Toussaint is now in the presence of Jesus.
Dr. Toussaint suffered a stroke a few months back. The long-term effects left him unable to speak. When something like that occurs to one of God’s saints who depended on his voice for ministry it makes you ask God, “why?”
He taught the largest adult fellowship at Stonebriar. It’s called Marathon because it’s made up of mostly elderly folks. Their marathon called life is nearing the end. Stan crossed his finish line…or has he?
Dr. Toussaint has been teaching at DTS since 1960, longer than I’ve been alive. One of his early students was a young marine named Charles Swindoll…he’s now our senior pastor.
Click on the image below and watch the video with it. I’m sure you’ll recognize some names of other students like David Jeremiah and Irwin Lutzer. You see, Stan’s impact is still going out today even though he’s been silenced.
Stan Toussaint filled the pulpit several times for Pastor Chuck. He usually told us he was from Hinckley, Minnesota. “Where men are men, pansies are flowers and the women are all above average.”
He never used notes for his message. His points were usually five to match the number of fingers on his hand. “I know a sermon is supposed to have only three points,” he would quip, “but, I know you’re super intelligent people so I’m using five points today.”
As you’ll see in the video Stan was a gentle man, and a gentleman.
I had the privilege of shaking his hand one Sunday morning during Church. When I told him I was from Michigan he mentioned that he spoke at the Maranatha Conference Center before.
When I told him I was there a couple of years ago for a writer’s conference he paid special attention to that and asked me what I write. That’s the kind of man I want to be when I grow up, always noticing others.
The Marathon class shrunk after Stan could no longer teach. He’s leaving some mighty big shoes to fill.
Polio at a early age left Stan unable to run a marathon. Toward the end he could barely walk, but he kept at it just to please the Lord.
The Marathon class will carry on. There will never be another Stan Toussaint to teach it. It may never reach the number of attendees it once had. The core group of folks there will always remember Stan.
I don’t know if anyone will write anything like this after I’ve gone Home to be with the Lord or not.
I’m pretty sure I’m impacting a few lives in my life.
The only real accolade I’m reaching for is the same sentence I’m sure Stan heard when he saw Jesus face to face. “Well done, good and faithful servant. Well done!”
I’ll see you later. Wade