It was a Saturday afternoon, and I found myself
working at the church with Pastor George Crosbie in Warren,
Michigan. Ours was a tiny congregation, buffeted because of a choice Pastor made about the importance of Scriptures in weekly
We'd been denominational, but decided, instead, to focus more on Bible classes, and less on programs to keep people
busy. The congregation of 250-plus suddenly shrunk to about 30.
Thus, it was good news when word reached Pastor Crosbie that one of our Detroit weathercasters might be interested in attending. It would be the morale boost we so desperately needed.
Troy distinguished himself on television by wearing a bow tie, reminiscent of Soupy Sales, and Michigan Governor G. Mennen Williams, who had served from 1948 to 1961.
Well, the phone rang, and for some reason I was the one to pick it up. A very light voice, with perfect elocution, greeted me. "Hello, this is Troy Dungan." I am slightly hard of hearing, so thought he said "Duncan." Still tend to pronounce his name that way.
Immediately, my torso froze into position.
"Hello," I said to him, but to myself: "this is where he tells us how much he appreciates a deep study of Scriptures, and how wonderful we are for leaning that way!"
"I was wondering, do you have anything for the
kiddies?" My jaw dropped. These are the first words out of his mouth? I quickly blurted that our "Prep School" was very much like Sunday School, except that we engineered our own curriculum. But then hastily added, "and we use the Greek and Hebrew, plus categorical studies..." etc., going into great length, just in case he'd forgotten to ask. Ahem.
Looking back, I can see my arrogance and self-centeredness, but then was very, how shall we say? "Evangelistic?" Nah. Pugilistic!
Still, Troy kept his composure, and assured me he
might be stopping by soon. Which, of course, is exactly what took place.
Little did I know then that one day he'd be working at a TV station in Dallas, Texas, with the motto "Family First."
Or that I would see him again in that city.
I worked as an Assistant Pastor with George Crosbie for 5 years. I would fill the pulpit when he couldn't, which was often for a while. When the church members didn't like our approach, and scattered, he tried to work full-time and teach several Bible classes per week. His heart gave way, and my opportunities to fill the pulpit rose during his recovery period.
One thing led to another, and I began to feel less and less adequate as a teacher. I moved to Houston to study under a Pastor there, Colonel R. B. Thieme, Jr., then moved to Tulsa,
Oklahoma, originally to attend seminary. Funding for that endeavor suddenly dried, and so I ended up studying Computer Science at Tulsa Junior College. With two Associate degrees, I moved to Dallas, where the computer jobs were then most plentiful.
And there he was ... Mr. Dungan himself ... in the
same church as I began attending (because of its emphasis on doctrinal
Troy was a lot of fun to watch. I remember one time I bolted out of the rest room, and almost collided. For some reason, I kept staring at him instead of where I was
going. Not Troy. He looked down, and carefully measured each step, thereby enjoying a safe trip.
I'm personally short of stature, and sometimes get buffeted in life. Troy frequently used his own presence to lend me strength.
Once a very close, and tall, buddy of mine visited from Alabama. We've been friends since we were roommates at Detroit Bible College.
Don saw Troy, and his eyes lit up. Troy responded with "I remember Paul from Warren, Michigan." He knew, somehow, that Don assisted me on occasion. Those words impressed my friend.
One of Troy's most endearing qualities, in my opinion, is a refusal to take himself seriously. When he is
weather-casting, he concentrates on the matter at hand, just like he did his steps in the church lobby. On rare occasions he'll say
something humorous, but most of the time he's Ol' Saint Nick ... goes straight to his work, and leaves with a whistle.
My hope, in presenting this tribute, is to demonstrate the characteristics that make Mr. Dungan the silent hero that he truly is. As you will see below, he is tireless in his outreach of helping ... ministering ... and keeping the family first.