Scott Hodge


Me, Gators, and Billy Hornsby

Feb 9, 2011

December 1st, 2009.

Early morning flight to Ft. Lauderdale to spend a day and a half “having fun” in the middle of a giant swamp known as the Everglades.  Not my idea. 100% Casey Graham.  To be honest, I wasn’t even all that excited about it and almost backed out earlier that week.

So….I got off the plane….made my way to our planned meeting point in the airport….when lo and behold…I see my friend Casey.  Standing next to Casey was this big dude that looked like he had just stepped out of a Bass Pro Shop catalog.  I’ll never forget it because the contrast between this man and me….well, it was pretty much the size of the Grand Canyon.  He was wearing a camouflage shirt, boots, and a yes, you guessed it – a Bass Pro Shop hat.  He reminded me of my uncle from Missouri who owns lots of guns and enjoys sitting in a tree waiting and looking for animals to shoot.

I knew in this moment that I was in trouble.

Who was this Bass Pro Man?  Billy Hornsby.

And who is Billy Hornsby?  Billy’s the President of ARC – The Association of Related Churches.  One of the most successful and impacting church planting organizations in the world. And as I was about to find out, he’s also one of the nicest, most down to earth guys I’ve ever been around.

It was only a day and a half…but by the end of our “excursion” (well for me it was anyway…), I felt like I had gotten to know someone very, very special.  Not only did Billy and I share a room together (the two snorers…mostly me)….but in a matter of hours, this man had initiated me in the ways of nature, animal sacrifice, and alligator wrestling.  (Watch this for proof.)

Not long after that, Billy was diagnosed with cancer and is now just days away from leaving this life….for the ultimate experience of life – Eternity.

A week ago, Billy spoke at his son-in-law’s church (Chris Hodges) in Birmingham, Alabama at a service honoring his life and ministry.  I watched the video this past Saturday night and was completely blown away by what I heard and saw.  Aside from the fact that it was really, really tough seeing Billy sick from cancer, it was truly one of the most beautiful things I think I’ve ever seen.

So I grabbed the video, cut it to Billy’s part (no offense Greg Surratt) and wanted you to see it.  It’s powerful.  And I think it speaks volumes about what makes Billy the incredible leader he is today.

Watch the video.  And pray for my outdoor mentor, Billy Hornsby.  Also pray for his wife Charlene, his family, and loved ones.

Love you Billy.  Thanks for making a difference in my life.

And one more thing…  Let me again say sorry about almost shooting you and the others…

3 Responses to “Me, Gators, and Billy Hornsby”

  1. Tammy says:

    This is so moving. I remember my Dad also saying something similar about feeling so comforted in those last days by the presence of God.

    I love what Billy said about making a difference. “It doesn’t take the big things. Be the spark. Be the catalyst of life.” We so often think that we have to wait to do something really big in order to be useful. The truth is we can do so much by just loving and being a friend to the people around us who need us. Thanks for sharing this!

  2. Ben Arment says:

    wow if this video doesn’t make you reevaluate your priorities… very moving.

  3. Casey Graham says:

    Don’t know how I missed this! Dang bro, love it! Thanks for this!

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