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Memories of Cos

Articles are sorted with the most recently posted at the top.

This page contains memories of Terry Cosby, past Pastor of White Bluff Chapel.

Help in a Difficult Situation
Posted July 25, 2019

by Bill Burris

In 2001 my late wife Connie and I built a home in Illinois for her brother Mike.  It replaced a mobile home we had provided for her mother and Mike in 1980. This became thirty plus years of free residence for them.

Mike had serious heart and lung issues from years of heavy smoking.  He had been able to work some as a truck driver but on a limited basis and on disability from Social Security.  It's sad to say that Mike was the type of individual that was very good at working the system and people.  Mike used my generosity to purchase and rebuild a 69 Roadrunner.  I had been used by him for a long time.  After Connie passed away I suggested to Mike that she would want to add a garage.  What was intended to be one car garage became a 24 X 30 building. 

Once Marcie and I were married I became worried that if something happened to me the house in Illinois would be like an anchor around her neck.  The annual cost to maintain the home became a burden on finances and in 2010 I decided I had to sell the house.  Mike's first comment at this news was "you're killing me."  I arranged to sell the home to a neighbor who agreed to let Mike stay there as long as he needed.  This arrangement did not impress Mike and he cut off communications with me.  His comment cut deep into my heart considering all that we and I had done for him through the years.  He repaid me by destroying the home with filth and tobacco-stained walls and ceilings. This created a major loss in the sale.  The buyer had to bull doze it down.

I stopped by Cos's office one day and unloaded on him about my problems with Mike.  He patiently listened, asking questions to better understand my problem with Mike.  We talked for a while as I explained all that I had done for Mike, including his ability to stay in the home.  Cos fully understood my pain and situation.

A couple of weeks later when I was in the Chapel office he called me in to his office.  He said he'd been thinking about my problem and further shared his thoughts (wisdom) about our earlier conversation.  He urged me to be content with what I had done for them over the years, which was above and beyond.  He further stated that he was sure that I had done all that could have been done and that I should be at peace with the situation.  What a blessing it was to hear those words, absolving me of so much distress. I walked out of his office with a huge weight lifted from my shoulders.

Even When Cos Met with Strangers…
Posted May 30, 2019

by Kathy Groppel

Several years ago, a friend of mine, Debbie Alford, was in her final stages of cancer. She didn't attend church at all. George Collins set up a time for Terry to go over and talk with Debbie. She was already at the stage where she could not get out of bed. He went in and sat with her and I'm not sure what their conversation was all about. When Terry came out, we asked how it went and he said, "Well I put her right to sleep, just like I do everyone in church."

VBS'n with Cos
Posted May 30, 2019

by Kay Lea Scott

It was the last day of my first White Bluff Chapel Vacation Bible School experience.   I found myself sitting beside Cos in the back of the sanctuary during the closing activities.  I was a helper in the Drama/Story section and didn’t know Cos very well.  We chuckled over one child’s response to “What did you learn today?”  He very seriously stated, “We learned the Parable of the Three Little Pigs.”   (Drama had been trying to teach that the rock of Jesus is the best foundation.)

 Our conversation praised the fantastic talent, energy and ingenuity God had collected at White Bluff Chapel.   I think I might have babbled something like, “It’s just too good to keep it to ourselves.”  Perhaps we could grow the experience; attract more children and parents as well as grandparents; take it to Whitney.  Only God knew what was to come.

Through the years I learned how much Cos loved VBS, and I also learned, it was my calling.  He enthusiastically supported almost every crazy idea brought to him.  He thoroughly enjoyed being involved and from the beginning, he wanted a western-themed VBS.

It took a few years.  The first year Cos was covered in a collection of boxes to play a transformer.  He “transformed” into the guy that loved the Lord.  The next year he was a skeptical kid who after meeting Wonder Woman, Superman, Spiderman and other super heroes, realized Jesus is the only true super hero.  That was the year, while pointing to Cos, one of the children asked, “Isn’t he your pastor?  Doesn’t he know about Jesus?”

VBS popcorn and movie nights were Cos’s idea.  We’d gather at the Old Course pavilion to watch a movie related to the VBS theme.  Those VBS concepts were with us from sun up to sun down and beyond.  When he had a minute Cos could be found mingling in the hallways of VBS activities.

The year that the western-themed VBS, “Sonwest,” finally arrived had to be one of his favorites.  It was campfire, s’mores and movie night.  There was so much support and many extra donations.  We even had horse-drawn wagon rides and a petting zoo on the last day.  But, to me, the best part was Cos.  He got to be the “good guy” bringing the Bible and God’s story to the old western town of Dirt Clod.  He also rid the town of its sinning nemesis, Dirty Daryl.

God blessed the VBS team with ideas that gave Cos a platform to reach parents, children, friends and grandparents with God’s invitation during those weeks.  He always had just the right words for an exhausted, frustrated VBS director.  One day, tears threatening, I asked, “Doesn’t God want me to bring others to him, even those that don’t belong to the Chapel?” He soothed my ruffled feathers and helped me see God’s desire to grow His kingdom in the light of our children’s safety.  Then came the year I was rushing to get something for VBS and decided to grab a coffee from McDonald’s.  It was several months later before I learned it was Cos who “paid forward” for me in the drive-through lane.  No wonder that “free coffee” tasted so good!  His eyes just twinkled when I finally got to say “thank you.”

Cos never missed a chance to say thank you and tell the VBS team we had done a good job.  I will carry one of his emails in my day planner always.

So I’m walking down the hall at the chapel this am.  I see all kinds of glitter looking stuff in the carpet.  I think to myself that they haven’t had time to vacuum yet.  Some of the glitter stuck to my shoes.  I examined it more closely back in the office as it didn’t appear to have the same qualities as regular glitter.  Turns out it was dust from angel wings.  Who knew?   Cos

Every time I come through the gates of White Bluff, I see the sparkling dust from Cos’ angel wings everywhere and I’m comforted with the thought that God needed him for heaven’s 2019 VBS.  I hope it has a western theme.

How You Can Contribute
Posted May 16, 2019

The last two website updates contained some memories of Cos that Bill Burris shared. They were examples of moments he had had with Cos. It is our hope that others will also share some of their memories of Times with Cos. We're sure there were times on the golf course where his humor was in full bloom or times he was a mentor or a great listener and giver of his thoughts to a problem. Think about your time with him and maybe share some things where he helped you or made you laugh.  

You can send you memories to Bill Burris at aceburris42@gmail.com and they will be posted on the website. 

The Sharing of Cos
Posted May 2, 2019

by Bill Burris

Several years ago with the birth of the Cosby's granddaughter Klaira, Cos wrote and shared with the Chapel family a wonderful prayer of what he hoped would be God's will for Klaira.

I was so moved by the prayer that I asked if he would mind if I used it, changing only the name or names of the child and the mother.  He was more than willing to let me use his prayer.

That prayer has now found a new home in the bedrooms of four granddaughters and seven great-grandchildren.  I've done them individually and as a group.  I did start placing birth pictures at the top of the prayer of each child involved.

You may remember the prayer or, if you're new to the Chapel, possibly you didn't even know it existed.  I'm sure Cos would not have objected to my sharing his prayer.  If you would like a copy, you can reach me at 254-694-1853.

Our Prayer for Alaina, Chloe and Lily

O Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all our generations. You have added two more blessings in this generation. We praise you, O Lord, for the gift of Alaina, Chloe and Lily and we pray that from the rising of the sun each day of their life to a place where it sets, may they always know the strength of your love above all.  Watch over them Lord, now and throughout their life.  You do not sleep nor slumber and you know there will be days of shade and shadows in their life as well as days of sun and brightness. Keep them in your watch in all those days of darkness or light...may they feel your Presence. May they know the freedom of your mercy, the depth of your salvation, the light of your hopes for them and the joy of your love. You will search them and know them as no other can. Hem them in with your will and may their hearts sense that You are with them. You created them and knit them together in Amy's womb. May they always hear Your voice above all others. May they understand that the world doesn't revolve around them but help them to let their world revolve around You. May they always know your precious thoughts toward them. Grant them, in your timing, salvation through your Son, and may they sense His love for them and may their love for Him be seen through the joy they bring to others. Thank You for the grace that makes this miracle--life.  May we all, Great-Grandparents, Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, family and parents be good stewards of this joy, this gift of Alaina, Chloe and Lily.   Amen

Great-Grandmother Bubba and Great-Grandfather Bill

Cos' Famous Humor
Posted April 18, 2019

by Bill Burris

Early in his time with us our doorbell rang. When I opened the door, before I could even say anything, he asked if everything was ok. I must have had a strange look on my face. Then the broad smile came across his face and he said, "I was walking by and saw three buzzards on your roof and thought I should just stop and make sure all was well."

Cos the Mentor
Posted April 18, 2019

by Bill Burris

A powerful memory I have of Cos the Mentor involves his willingness to let me share his sermon time. It was the day I spoke to the congregation about what God had meant to me in my life.  In my work career I had had many opportunities to speak to small and large groups related to obtaining or retaining business.  But the idea of standing in front of the congregation and talking about my personal life was a big hurdle to overcome.  Cos encouraged me all the way as I prepared what I wanted to say.  That experience gave me a deeper relationship with some of the members who were there that day.

Marcie and I were double teamed for that event by Cos and Pam. As Cos sat nearby during my talk giving me additional confidence, Pam was sitting next to Marcie holding her hand for reassurance.  I think Marcie was afraid I would get up there and start babbling.

I came out of that day with a greater desire to tell people about our Lord and Savior. Cos helped me through every step of it along the way. He also encouraged me to continue writing for the website.

On the Road to Heaven
Posted April 4, 2019

by Jim Browder

A few days ago Lanette and I attended back-to-back funerals--one on Friday and the other on Saturday. As an old sports writer, I called it a double-header.

The Friday service was for writer Dan Jenkins who has been called the greatest sports writer of his generation.

The Saturday service was for Terry Cosby, our pastor.

On Sunday I suddenly realized the great contrasts and the many similarities between these two outstanding men, both good friends of the Browders. So, I had to write this story.

Dan grew up in the city, Fort Worth. Upon his success as a golf writer and novelist, he and his family lived in New York City for many years, celebrating life among the rich and famous.

Terry grew up on a farm near tiny Milford, a few miles east of White Bluff. During his ministry, his family lived in places like Hereford and Burnet, celebrating a rich life among farmers and ranchers.

Dan, I suspect, seldom saw the inside of a church because he was covering the big-time golf tournaments--which always end on Sunday.

Terry worked on Sundays, too.

Dan wrote 23 best-selling novels.

Terry preached from the No. 1 best-selling book of all time, the Bible.

Both were excellent writers. Dan mixed a lot of laughter into his thousands of stories and gained international fame. Terry mixed humor into his several thousand sermons--and changed lives.

December was the birth month of both - 26 years apart. Remarkably, Dan lived to 90 despite his love of cigarettes, coffee, Cokes and some booze. Blackie Sherrod hired Jenkins and taught him to write at the old Fort Worth Press. Blackie said: "Jenkins would come sailing in, smoking his 19th cigarette of the morning and drinking his 12th Coke, then sit down and write the best 800 newspaper words you ever read." Terry's life was cut way short at age 64--he was still in his prime--he still had words to write, things to say and Dr Peppers to drink.

Dan played golf with Ben Hogan and President George H.W. Bush.

Terry played golf with the president of WBC board of trustees, and hackers like me.

Dan was a GOOD athlete, playing golf and basketball in high school and was a member of the TCU golf team. He was one of a very few writers elected into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Terry was a GREAT athlete, an All-Star in high school football, basketball and track, winning State Championships in shot put and discus. At Howard Payne University he became All-American in shot put and discus and was inducted into the Howard Payne Sports Hall of Fame.

Jenkins' buddies were named Hogan, Palmer, Nicklaus and Bush.

Terry's "buddies" were named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

A few years ago, Lanette was on the Search Committee to find a new pastor for WBC. She was the first person from the Chapel to talk with Terry, and was instrumental in his hiring. And Terry changed lives in White Bluff and Whitney.

Dan Jenkins, a classmate in journalism at TCU, hired me at The Fort Worth Press, and changed my life. If I hadn't taken that job I never would have eventually worked for the Dallas Cowboys.

In his best-selling novel "Baja Oklahoma" (which was turned into a movie), Jenkins wrote the "Ten Stages of Drunkenness." The list began with "witty and charming" and ended with "invisible and bulletproof."

Terry lived by the Ten Commandments, which began with "You shall have no other gods before me" and ended with "You shall not covet anything that is your neighbor's."

Dan's memorial service was conducted in the gigantic Christ Chapel Bible Church in Fort Worth. A string quartet played chamber music.

Terry's service was in White Bluff Chapel. There was a twang of country in the contemporary Christian music.

Christ Chapel seats 1,700 persons.

White Bluff Chapel comfortably seats about 200.

There were approximately 200 people at Dan's service. Nearly 400 people jammed into WBC to pay tribute to Terry.

Perhaps Terry and Dan met in heaven, shared a few laughs and maybe a Dr Pepper.

Debut of a New Column
Posted April 4, 2019

Beginning with this website update, the new "Memories of Cos" column will be an open forum for the Chapel family to share experiences you had when spending time with Cos.  It is certain that many of you have had moments that showed Cos' wonderful sense of humor.  Or maybe the way he may have helped you through a difficult time.  Possibly you were a recipient of his mentoring. 

If you are so inclined, you might share a picture to accompany your article, whether it is of the story you are telling or simply a sunset or golf green to set the mood.  But while pictures definitely enhance a story, they are by no means required. Just put your story in your own words. It can be simply one short paragraph or several, but please limit it to a total of 300-350 words.  Once we have your submission, Madeleine Lively and Bill Burris will review them and they might edit a few minor items, but certainly not the intent or the facts of the story that you wish to tell. 

Send your submission(s) to Bill Burris at aceburris42@gmail.com. Your input will be published in the next website update to go online, typically once every two weeks on Thursdays. It will appear in the "Memories of Cos" column on the Home page.

The Cosby Family
Posted April 4, 2019

To our dear White Bluff Chapel family: 

Words cannot express our heart-felt gratitude to all of you for your prayers, your cards, the food you brought over, and all your help during Terry's struggles.

The labor of love you willingly provided to make Terry's Memorial such a beautiful service touched our hearts in so many ways and is so very much appreciated.  Thank you for the warm welcome you gave to the guest speakers.  Thanks to Dylan for his prayer and support, to Tom and Paula for the music, to Mary and her committee for the food, to John and Kathleen for the work they did, and to everyone – and I know there are so many of you – for your support as we climbed this mountain. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for your love, your encouragement and your generosity.

We are so blessed to be a part of this Christ-filled White Bluff Chapel family.

Pam, Matt and Clay Cosby

[Addition provided by the WBC Editorial Staff:]

The White Bluff Chapel Board of Trustees has sent the following out to the Chapel membership:
If you wish to honor Terry with a memorial gift to White Bluff Chapel, we are now able to offer two alternatives.

1.  One option is to make a tax deductible donation to the Chapel and designate the funds to go to the Missions Fund.  In this case, please note on your check "Missions".

2.  A second option is to make a non-deductible donation to the Chapel and designate the funds to go to the Cosby Family Fund. These funds will be accumulated and paid to Pam Cosby as a tax-free gift. In this case, note on your check "Cosby Family Fund".

Any memorial gifts received by the Chapel that are not designated will be applied to the Mission Fund.