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A Tribute to Brother Clifton Inman:
A Letter from Tom Marcum

In the fall of 1989, while a student at West Virginia University, I had the priviledge of attending the campus ministry fall retreat where Brother Clifton Inman would be speaking for us. Growing up in southern West Virginia I had heard a great deal about Brother Inman and Ohio Valley College. A cousin of mine had attended OVC and many in my family wanted me to do so also, but I wanted to be a Mountaineer.

I had not really wanted to go to the retreat. It was a home weekend for the Mountaineers, and I really hated to miss a game, but a couple of the guys had been on a mission trip to Scotland with Brother Inman, and were telling me how enriched my life would be by this weekend. I went, but I must say my heart was not in it when I got there. I wanted to be doing some other things, but I decided I would go and give God the chance to touch my heart. My what a touch!

When we arrived at the camp, I don't even remember the name of the camp, Brother Inman spent Friday evening making sure that he got to spend a few minutes with each of us finding out where we were from, and what made us tick. When he came to me we spent some time talking about where I grew up, and he actually knew where Crum, West Virginia was. It was amazing. I had not met many people who actually knew where Crum was--let alone someone who was interested in talking about it. I knew that this man was really wanting to show an interest in me. He touched my heart because he took the time to talk about me.

On Saturday evening, Brother Inman spoke about our goals and our desires. He encouraged us to set our goals high, but to never leave God out of them. His forty minute talk touched my life, but it was the time we spent in talking and prayer that meant even more afterwards. He told us to break into pairs and talk about our goals and pray about them. When we broke up, he asked me to partner with him and pray.

We began to talk about our goals, and he let me go first. I shared with him that I wanted to be a teacher and a college football coach. I was majoring in education and had made the dean's list the past semester, and was well on my way. We prayed about my goals, and asked for God's guidance. Brother Inman then shocked me. I had been asking for something very personal, and maybe even selfish because God was nowhere in my goals, and then Brother Inman shared his goal with me. His goal was that Ohio Valley College become a nationally known and attended school. What a shock. Here I am asking and praying for me, and he is praying for a school. Here I am asking God to bless me, and he is asking God to bless millions.

That was eleven years ago. September 8-10, 2000, I was privileged to speak at the fall retreat in Angola, IN on the topic of "What It Takes To Win." What happened that weekend I never expected, but also will never forget. The OVC Pied Pipers were ministering to the young people, but also to me. At the beginning of their time of sharing they started by introducing themselves, and where they were from. I could not believe what I was hearing. All those different states. The tears filled my eyes as I realized that a prayer prayed eleven years ago was being answered right in front of me. OVC was becoming what Brother Inman and I had prayed for so many years ago. It was truly amazing. I saw my God at work in a way that not many ever get to see. I saw him answer someone else's prayer.

Eleven years ago I prayed to be a teacher and a coach. I am now the full-time minister for the Milan Church of Christ in Milan, MI, but I also get to coach at the local middle school getting to impact young lives. God knows what He is doing even when we do not.

Thank you Father for allowing me a glimpse of your mighty hands at work.

Your Servant,
Tom Marcum, II

October 2000

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