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A Life Changer: Gordon Cargill

Kathleen Wyly, Special Contributor

Sep. 5, 2013

After 17 years as an integral member of the campus community, Gordon Cargill moving to Arkansas.

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Gordon Cargill visits with Dr. Toby Rogers after addressing the LCU chapel audience on Thursday.

As the Lubbock Christian University family says goodbye to Gordon Cargill after 17 years of delivering so much more than mail, a reflection on his life and time at LCU was written to celebrate the Cargill's moving to Searcy, Arkansas.

Gordon started working for LCU to pay off a pickup. His first job at LCU was to clean the floors in the science building.

"Those floors were dirty. I looked at it and thought, 'Gordon, what have you got into?' I started scraping floors and talking to God. I said, 'Help me, Lord. Help me to make this a better place.' I was thinking one thing and He was thinking something else."

Other departments at LCU started noticing the shiny halls in the science building and would ask for "floors like Gordon's floors." Gordon says God gave him more than he asked for; He gave Gordon a place to work and a place to help others. When LCU's motto was changed to "Changing Lives," Gordon immediately analyzed himself and how he could fulfill that mission.

"I took a good look at myself, 'Gordon, if you're going to help change lives, it starts with me.' I've served as an elder, I've served as a deacon, but I could see that there were things in my life that needed to change. I began to work on me. If we're going to change something, we have to work on 'me' first to change it.

"Gordon's roll at LCU grew over the 17 years. He cleaned inside and outside, wanting the campus to look nice. He would pick up trash though it wasn't his job, simply because he believed it would "make everybody look good" and he had the time. Eventually, Gordon was asked to assume a new position to deliver mail and fill copiers with paper.

"You know, little things - if we take care of them - then big things take care of themselves," Gordon says. However, this concept didn't just apply to taking care of the campus, it reflected the way he approached the people at LCU as well. He made sure to always greet those around campus when delivering mail, and as he built relationships, Gordon found himself talking about scripture during his mail stops.

"We can all encourage one another to be the very best they can be. I've been called here at LCU to encourage people. We talk about changing lives, and I've seen great changes in many lives."

When asked what Gordon sees at LCU, he says it's not the buildings, it's the people. It's a campus who prays for one another, encourages one another, and puts the Lord first. "Not that we’'e perfect," says Gordon, "but that we try to live what we say. I think we do that here. I think the best is yet to come. I think it will get better and better."

Emotions flooded Gordon's face as he explained everything he's going to miss about LCU: the people, the love, the visiting, and the encouraging. Gordon recalled a time when he saw a fellow employee who appeared to be emotionally broken. Hoping she wouldn't get offended, he asked her what was wrong. When she said she had lost her best friend, he went behind the counter, put his arm around her, and said, "Cry. Cry, get it out." As people walked by and watched, Gordon just stood there until she "got it together." Gordon says it's moments like this he is going to miss.

The encouragement has been mutual between Gordon and the people at LCU. Gordon and his wife, Betty, have both been in and out of the hospital over the years, and the LCU family has always been there, and they always ask "how's Mrs. Betty." If you asked him one thing about the impact LCU has left on him, Gordon would say "It's drawn me closer to God than I've ever been in my whole life.

"One of the fondest memories many on campus have of Gordon is his chapel presentation in which he proclaimed his love for his wife, Betty. According to Gordon, a successful marriage doesn't come easily. Gordon explains, "First your love has to be real, and when you say 'I do,' we knew that meant from now on." After his chapel talk, he came off the stage to where his wife was seated in the audience and gave her a kiss. Everyone present remembers that moment.

Now, as he moves to Searcy, Arkansas, after 17 years of serving the LCU community, from scrubbing floors to delivering mail, Gordon Cargill leaves an example on how to love and listen.

"It's been more of a ministry to me. I was delivering love, happiness, a positive attitude, and sometimes, scripture. I prayed with students, I cried with students when they were hurting, I made friends with students. Every morning I prayed that we would all work together in love and unity. We'll miss it. I guess we've accomplished what God wanted us to accomplish. I thank God every day for the place that He's given Betty and me. It's a special place."

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