Tom Dowling was a leader in every aspect of life. He was a leader as a coach and as commissioner of the Mid-South Conference. But I remember him most as a great leader at Central Baptist Church where I was a member of his Sunday School class for several years. Tom died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer Sunday.
It was a joy to participate in that class. Tom was always well prepared. Often he would begin the class with a photograph shown on the big screen in the auditorium of the church of some event or place taken many years ago.
He did this to open participation and discussion. After an inspirational song from one of several soloists in the church he taught the lesson.
His ability as a speaker was captivating. He used the big screen in the auditorium for illustrations. He was an excellent teacher.
He used his leadership abilities in several capacities in the church. He served as chairman of the deacons,was on several committees, and was called upon to speak on many occasions.
Tom started a business luncheon at the church. He brought us motivational speakers from throughout the state.
One of my fondest memories of him is the Christmas story he told. The class enjoyed it so much that we encouraged him to repeat it each Christmas.
In my 70 plus years of attending Central Baptist Church I’ve had many good Sunday School teachers. As a young boy I recall Herbert Eaton, Roy Wyrick and Hoyt Meadors.
As an adult Dr. Sam Ballou was one of my favorites. Tom Dowling is another one that I will miss.
Tom’s many friends in Georgetown, at the University of the Cumberlands and the churches he served will also miss him.