I had heard about Bob Sessoms. He had literally written the book on Church Recreation.
I then got a chance to meet Bob Sessoms. Rec Lab has been uniting Church Recreators and Sports Ministers for decades. I was elected alongside of Bob Sessoms to the inaugural CSRM Board of Directors but I was not his equal.
Bob Sessoms served as CSRM’s first president. We wouldn’t have survived the first years without him. I was quoted by Bob Sessoms a few times. I have quoted him thousands of times.
I was encouraged by Bob Sessoms. He came to consult with my church and told our leadership team we had one of the best evangelistically oriented sports ministries he had seen and yet he gave us many suggestions which made it even better.
I was mentored by Bob Sessoms. He shared basic concepts on how to build a sports facility that was beautiful, easily maintained and supervised, but most of all functional.
Perhaps Bob Sessoms’s greatest accomplishment in ministry was the fact he never pretended to be someone else. He never aspired to be a “real minister.” Bob Sessoms knew God had gifted and called him to Church Recreation and he did that better than anyone. The thousands of people who came to know Jesus through his recreation programs and through the ministries of the hundreds of Sports Ministers Bob influenced will be forever grateful!
My only regret in regard to Bob Sessoms is that I wasn’t in his presence more often.
Bob Sessoms climbed his last mountain last week and when he arrived he was welcomed by the arms of his Lord and Savior – Jesus Christ. Well done Bob Sessoms! You have been a guiding light, trusted mentor and a true inspiration to generations of us who can only hope to in some small way emulate you.
We will remember you each year when we give out an award in your name. Thank you for modeling for us what it means to call people to Jesus through sport and recreation.
As that great old hymn states…
For all the saints
Who from their labors rest
To Thee by faith Before the world Confessed
To Thee oh Jesus Be forever blessed
Bob you truly are one of Sport and Recreation’s Patron Saints. You will be missed…..but not forgotten.
Past Bob Sessoms Award Winners
Local Church Professionals
2009 – Steve Quatro – Azusa Pacific University
2008 – Barb Wagenfuhr – 1st Presbyterian, Colorado
2007 – David Stubbs – Buncombe St. U.M. Greenville
2006 – Tim Adcox – Smoke Rise Baptist, Atlanta
2005 – Rodger Oswald – Church Sports Int., San Jose
2004 – Jim Riley – Highland Park Presbyterian, Dallas
2003 – Bob Sessoms – 1st Baptist, Concord
Local Church Volunteers
2008 - Ben & Martha Wertz – First Friends, Canton
2007 - Chris Cox – St. Judes Anglican, Portsmouth England
Dr. Greg Linville was one of the founding members of CSRM and has served as the Executive Director since 2000. He served for 15 years as a local church sports and recreation minister and coached over 30 years at the junior high, high school and collegiate levels as well as 30 years in rec. leagues. Dr. Linville has consulted with churches from Australia, Africa, Asia, Australia, Caribbean, Europe, New Zealand and North America. He was awarded the world's first honorary Doctorate in Sports Ministry and holds an earned Doctorate as well. He is the author of Christmanship: The Theology of Competition & Sport. Dr. Greg has been married for over 35 years, is the father of two married children and the grandfather of a growing number of grandchildren.