I met Mrs. Sapp five days after becoming a Christian. She was a teacher at the local Christian high school that I decided to attend after my conversion. I met this woman (who could easily have been mistaken for the fifth Golden Girl) in my first period class my freshman year. She challenged me academically in a way I had never been challenged before and was effectively the first person that accepted the task helping me become a follower of Christ. During my high school career I spent countless nights in her home studying for a test that she would lay on me the following day. She was both my proctor and my tutor. She was the first person who caused me to believe that could succeed academically.
Later in my life, after graduating, I learned that she and her husband financed much of my education. She believed in me when my when I didn’t even believe in myself.
I remember once after class Mrs. Sapp asked me to stay around to talk with her. During our conversation she revealed that she knew that I had cheated on a recent exam. Instead of punishing me she told me that God was making me into a great man because he wanted to use me in great ways. She told me that my lack of integrity would make me unusable by God and pleaded with me to walk uprightly before Him.
In the past 15 years I have seen this woman honor God through some of life’s most difficult circumstances. She has taught me that obedience to Christ is the key to abundant life. She taught me the value of continued education and I tribute much of my perseverance through college and seminary to her.