FLORENCE, Ala. (BNC) By Bill Bagents — We express our sympathy to the family and friends of Rod Tate, who passed from this life Wednesday morning, March 31. Rod left this world surrounded by the family he loved so dearly. We so look forward to seeing him again in God’s tomorrow!

The happy relationship between Rod and Heritage Christian University dates from 1972 when, after five years of mission work in Mississippi, Rod joined the International Bible College family. In As the Waters Cover the Sea, Vernon Shuffett documents that International Bible College President Charles Coil traveled to Kosciusko, MS, early in 1972 to recruit Rod to work with the college. President Coil introduced Rod to the Board of Directors as a new faculty member on May 27, 1972. Among the courses he taught was “Evangelism for Every Member.”

Rod’s role with IBC was quite broad as Assistant to the President. On June 16, 1973, Rod presented to the Board the proposal to build the first major classroom-office-library building on the current university site.

In addition to serving the college, he earned the Bachelor of Sacred Literature degree from IBC in 1974. Rod was serving as Dean at IBC when he left in 1976 to become President of Magnolia Bible College.

Rod’s heart for evangelism led him to create a 30-minute television program called “Let the Bible Speak” that aired for two years. He also founded the monthly gospel publication Truth in Love.

C. Wayne Kilpatrick fondly remembers working with Rod on a daily basis. He particularly loved Rod’s mantra, “I feel great!” Wayne enjoyed seeing students adopt that optimistic expression.

During his tenure with the South Haleyville congregation and beyond, Rod attended numerous preachers’ luncheons and chapel services on campus—always blessing us with a healthy dose of encouragement.

Additionally, he partnered with board member Jerry Self in organizing and conducting a new Partnership Dinner for HCU in the Haleyville/Double Springs area of northwest Alabama.

Most recently, Rod led efforts to reenergize the church in Sulligent, AL.

Even in his last days, he worked to encourage and bless those sweet brethren.

Please keep Mimi, Tammy, Roddy, and Joey in your prayers.

The above text is a press release from HCU, slightly edited.