by Christy Gandy
Everyone longs for the kind of friend who will celebrate with you in the happy times, stand beside you through the hard times, and cheer you on in between.
Whether he is seen teaching his winter Bible study, announcing decisions at the close of a service, or walking down the hallway holding hands with his glowing bride, Dr. Tim Trammell and his wife Peggy, a doctor of education herself, have been those kind of friends and faithful servants at Hillcrest Baptist Church for the past thirty years. Since being called as Associate Pastor in February 1984, Dr. Trammell has served the church in various capacities, good-naturedly referring to himself as the “pastor’s flunky.” His responsibilities through the years include helping with visitation, teaching Sunday school, moderating church conferences, writing Sunday school lessons for special emphasis, and supporting the pastor as needed.
Church ministry is nothing new for Dr. Trammell who recalls how, much like Hannah in the Old Testament, his mother prayed to the Lord for a son, asking that he one day be called to the ministry. Though she passed away when he was just four years old, her prayer of faith was answered 11 years later when he surrendered to full-time Christian ministry at the age of 15. He accepted his first pastorate at the age of 18 and continued to serve in several churches throughout Texas as senior pastor for the next twenty-one years. Personally understanding the pressures that ministers face has given Dr. Trammell an even greater ability to assist the past two pastors of Hillcrest.
When asked about his fondest memories of Hillcrest through the years, he grins slightly while looking off as though remembering those early days. Tim and Peggy both recall happy times as well as sad times, days of conflict, growth, and learning. Having walked with several pastors through various moves, from meeting in small locations to large buildings, Tim expresses his approval with where Hillcrest currently resides and comments that moving to the current location has been an important facet in the life of the church. They both agree it has been exciting to see how Hillcrest has expanded its missions program through the years, and to see the enthusiasm of its members to sacrificially give, support others, and even to personally go themselves. They highly value the godly friends God has placed in their path and are so grateful for the people of Hillcrest through the years, also remembering fondly good friends who are now with the Lord.
A man of many talents, Dr. Trammell has not only served in full-time Christian ministry within the local church, but also served as a full-time professor in the College of Christian Faith at Dallas Baptist University. He joined the faculty in 1969 and taught a variety of classes including Old and New Testament Survey, Greek, Theology, and Church Administration, just to name a few. A beloved professor by many of his students, Dr. Trammell retired a few years ago from teaching full-time, yet continues to remain a part of the adjunct faculty, unable to give it up! Noting that his spiritual gift is teaching, Dr. Trammell confesses that he always thought his place would ultimately be among college students, and he has thoroughly enjoyed his time at DBU.
It goes without saying that his ministry would not have been the same were it not for Tim’s faithful wife Peggy. A poised and elegant woman, Peggy beams with pride as she listens to her husband recount the ways God has used him through the years. Tim and Peggy met at East Texas Baptist University when Peggy was still a student and Tim had already graduated. When asked about when it was she knew she would marry Tim, Peggy’s eyes twinkle and she smiles knowingly, “I knew it before I met him.” After dating for 3 weeks they became engaged and were married a year later. Still very much in love and chuckling with his bride Tim adds, “Something clicked from the very beginning alright.” And 61 years later, they think it’s going to work out.
These days, one of the most meaningful aspects of Hillcrest for the Trammells is their Sunday school class of which Tim is the teacher. He lovingly refers to Peggy as the “glue” that holds their class together as she consistently plans lunches, special events, women’s outings, and seeks to make each member feel loved and welcomed. Not wanting to miss an opportunity to publicly praise her husband Peggy shares the fact that after being in church for as many years as they have, there is a tendency to become complacent. The Bible stories are no longer new. “But he always has a fresh approach” she insists. “I love being a part of his Sunday school class. He is a great teacher and I’m glad I’m there.”
A lot can happen in thirty years. You meet a lot of new people, create lasting relationships, and say goodbye to good friends. If there is one thing Dr. Trammell has learned through the years and wishes to pass on to others it is this: “Be kind to everybody, because everybody has problems.” He wisely instructs us to remember to have a compassionate spirit toward every person that we come in contact with. You never know the burden a person carries. Kindness and compassion is essential. Peggy adds an exhortation to make personal time with the Lord a priority. “You need the Lord to direct your life, even in the ordinary things.” With wisdom gained through the years she encourages everyone to surround themselves with Christian friends because we all need the influence from each other – the kind of godly influence that Tim and Peggy have been to so many throughout these past thirty years. What would Hillcrest be like without the Trammells? Well, we don’t even want to know.