BY TIM MCCOOL
Primitive Baptist Church
Charlie Bill, Mr. Tibbs, the Mayor of Coaling, Bro. Tibbs – Charles William Tibbs, age 83, was known by several different titles. I called him Bro. Tibbs. He lived in Coaling in the house he was born in, and passed away in that same house this past Friday. Since Bro. Tibbs is so heavily on my mind, I thought I would share a few thoughts about him. He was unique.
Bro. Tibbs was single, never married, and never had any children. He wore overalls everywhere and had a distinct southern drawl. He loved to visit and talk about cows, mules and farming. I asked him this week how much trading he reckoned he had done with Mr. Barrett over in Echola through the years. Bro. Tibbs responded, “There ain’t no way to count that up…” Bro. Tibbs was what we call a “character” here in the deep south. Once he asked me to come over to his house. He wanted to show me a horse he had bought. As we stood looking at his horse, he said, “That’s yore horse Bro. Tim.” I asked, what do you mean Bro. Tibbs? He said, “I bought it fore you, Bro. Tim…” That was how he was.
I met Bro. Tibbs in a strange way. A few years ago, I was asked to go on “Law Call” by an attorney friend. The next day I received a call from Bro. Tibbs. I didn’t know him from Adam. He said, “I saw you on Law Call last night. Can I make an appointment?” I set it up and we met. He didn’t drive anymore, so his nephew drove him all the way to Carrollton.
After we concluded our business, Bro. Tibbs said, “They said you’sa preacher last night when you were on Law Call.” I said yessir, that is right, I try to act like one… He said, “Where is yore church located?” I told him. He said, “I’ll see you Sunday.” And from that point, Bro. Tibbs came to church. A few months later he asked me to baptize him. I had a couple brothers get in the water with me to help him in and out, and then and there, I baptized 78 year old Bro. Tibbs.
There are a lot of people who need to be baptized who hang onto the pew and won’t walk a few feet down the aisle to get wet. But Bro. Tibbs, even in his condition and at his age, was willing to do it. By the way, I never intended to be a TV preacher. But I guess by default, since he saw me on TV and he eventually came to church, I guess I technically qualify as a TV evangelist. I am sure someone keeps statistics for TV preachers. And I am sure with ONE single person arising out of my TV preaching days (or actually day), that I qualify to be listed in the joke section of TV preaching stats. But let me say that I would take ONE Bro. Tibbs over the massive statistics TV preachers may boast!
A couple days before he passed, his sister asked me if I could convince him to go to the hospital. Knowing his steadfastness (a nice way to describe stubbornness), I agreed to try. As an attorney, I have negotiated with high-dollar, high-powered, trend-setting lawyers and firms, hammered out deals in mediations, brokered settlements that left me exhausted and drained. But none of that negotiating can compare with negotiating with Bro. Tibbs!
When I finally pulled the card, “Now don’t lie to the preacher, Bro. Tibbs…” he budged, but only slightly. I could go on and on. Bro. Tibbs was a great man and my life was blessed in knowing him. He loved church. He loved people. He loved to trade. I still have a 1800s wagon I bought from him. And NO, I will not sell it, so don’t ask. Most importantly, he loved the Lord. I am rejoicing in knowing he is there with our Lord now. If you knew Bro. Tibbs, Charlie Bill, Mr. Tibbs, the Mayor of Coaling, or Charlie – you were blessed.
For inquiries email Pastor McCool at firstname.lastname@example.org. Join us Sunday mornings for the March to Zion Broadcast at 8 am on 100.1 FM (Tuscaloosa) or 9am on 106.5 (Fayette/Lamar county); subscribe to our podcast at bethlehempbc.org. Visit gracealoneradio.net.
See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.