It was a day of mourning and a day of celebration on Wednesday for those who knew Clint Dobson a young pastor whose life was cut short.As the Rev. Jeff Waldo, associate pastor for discipleship at University Baptist Church in Texas, put it, "Clinton's life was short in years but long in impact."
Dobson was killed last Thursday at NorthPointe Baptist Church, which he had been leading for about three years, during a robbery. He was only 28. His assistant, Judy Elliott, was found severely beaten.
Over 1,000 people attended the memorial service at First Baptist Church Arlington to remember a man who served God faithfully. Everyone who approached the podium on Wednesday agreed that Dobson had a big heart for his neighbor and more importantly, for God.
As one former seminary classmate testified, one passion stood above everything Dobson loved and that was Jesus Christ. "I want more Christian news!"
Born in Webster, Texas, Dobson was the all-American kid a strong student, a sports star, and well-liked. Robert Creech, Dobsons former pastor, described his first impression of him as "someone who stepped out of a 1960s family sitcom."
Growing up, Dobson had a great love for people. But another love was growing stronger. As Waldo guided him from his youth and into college, he saw that "there was something growing in his love for God."
He engaged in a lot of conversations around theology both with his minister and his seminary friends. It was apparent to everyone around him that his love for Scripture and the truth was great.
His life, as one friend testified, was focused on knowing Jesus and making Him known.
Waldo proudly stated, "Clint Dobson's life was lived well. In what time he lived, he got it right. He loved people, he loved God," as he encouraged those in attendance to keep in their hearts what Dobson kept in his Jesus.
As family members, friends and the Arlington congregation grieve the loss of a humble and loving man, they were reminded that life on earth isn't everything.
"Are you still living this life like this world is all there is?" FBCA senior pastor Dennis Wiles preached. "Have you not already learned that this world is fleeting?
"God has designed us for eternity," he said, noting that they are just aliens or pilgrims on earth.
Wiles pointed to Jesus and encouraged believers to walk by faith and not by sight "because you'll be distracted if you live by sight."
Reflecting personally on the impact of the sudden loss, Wiles said his journey this year "will be deeper and richer because of Clint Dobson."
Two men, Steven Lawayne Nelson and Anthony Gregory Springs, were arrested and held in Arlington city jail on charges of capital murder and attempted capital murder.