• Burks-Walker-Tippitt Funeral Directors - Tyler
    Tyler, TX
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Rev. Milton F. Gardner 1/18/1925 - 2/2/2018

Rev. Milton F. Gardner

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October 20, 2018
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October 20, 2018
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March 04, 2018
Well my gift from God is not writing or speaking in front of a group of people, but Jan, Rod and Taylor know how much Bro. Gardner and Zell both were family to me. Because of them I have met and cherish many friends and friendships that were developed over the years by being in the Singles class and sitting under the leadership and preaching of Bro. Gardner. I will always remember the great times I was able to spend with both. Thankful for the opportunity to spend time with him on January 9th.I will cherish many memories forever.
March 01, 2018
Our GOD moves in mysterious and wonderful ways. Twenty five years ago, GOD answered our prayers to buy a house in Tyler, guess where, next door to a couple that we would love and admire very greatly. They were examples of what Christ called us to be. Bro. G and Zell never tired of sharing Jesus with anyone, anywhere, and anytime. To say they touched many lives is a gross understatement. They touched thousands of people as we witnessed them in their daily lives. These last years, we were blessed to be very close to Bro. G after Zell went to help prepare a place for him. Every night as we shared meals, we were so blessed to be in the presence of a Godly man. He lived what he preached. He always saw good in others and never shyed away from the chance to give someone a "tract". Even with poor vision, he read and studed relentlessly. He cast a very large shadow in following Jesus. Debbie and I are blessed beyond words for the wonderful time we had with him.
February 28, 2018
Words will never accurately express the impact this one man has had on my life and on the lives of countless souls who now face eternity with confidence and hope! I am thankful for this Pastor, Friend, Discipler, Teacher, Mentor and Forgiver! Never have I known a man to be more Christ-like in every aspect of his life. Brother Gardner saw potential in me and the youth of Friendly Baptist and grew us up in The Word which equipped us to walk in Truth. He wisely and confidently placed youth and young adults on Church committees (including Finance!)encouraging them to become leaders. What an invaluable growing experience for the young as well as the mature, seasoned adults! Brother Gardner was amazing as he led Friendly to grow and to reach out and in - from Tyler, Texas to throughout the world. I remain most thankful for his impact in my life - for being an example of grace, mercy and love to me. To me and to ALL - Brother Gardner was our best friend. Heaven has gained an extraordinary man who lives on in our lives. His impact is demonstrated in the lives of his marvelous family! May we each learn from him - to be Jesus to others and to pour our faith and prayers into our fellow man. With much love and thankfulness I say - Well done Brother Gardner! You still make me smile! :)
February 27, 2018
Ms. Jan. Words cannot express the wonderful years at Friendly Baptist Church. We had a great visit about 3 years and I thank the Lord for the influence he had on my life. Brother Gardner was our teacher, mentor,roll model and dear friend. May the Lord comfort you and your family.
February 22, 2018
Jan my love to you and your precious family. Memories goes back some 50+ years ago when you and your marvelous Dad and Mom came to Clarksville Baptist Church. Bro Gardner and Zell is the reason today that I am who I am in the Lord. We watched you grow up to be a beautiful woman of God. We are so blessed to have been guided as young people by such a powerful family. Thank you and God bless you as you continue this journey. Remember God has you in His Hands.
February 20, 2018
BRO. GARDNER & ZELL AND THE WHOLE FRINEDLY BAPTIST CHURCH WERE VERY IMPORTANT IN HELPING MY DAD TO COME TO CHRIST. I WAS SAVED UNDER BRO . GARDNER. MY DAD SURRENDER TO PREACH ALONG WITH BILL CHANDLER AND JOE & CORA DOM I THINK. I REMEMBER CALLING BRO. GARDNER SEVERAL YEARS AGO TO LET HIM HOW THANKFUL WE WERE FOR HIS INFLUENCE IN OUR LIVES. HE EVEN REMEMBERED WHO I WAS ALONG WITH MY PARENTS. HE WAS A VERY SPECIAL PREACHER . WE ATTENDED BEFORE WE WENT TO SEMINARY. FRIENDLY BAPTIST CHURCH SUPPORTED US WITH PRAYERS, POUNDINGS, MONEY, & CLOTHING WHILE MY DAD WAS GOING TO SEMINARY. THANK YOU ALL . CINDY (CLINCH) MCCOLLUM. 2/20/2018
February 14, 2018
As a member of Friendly Baptist many years ago, under his leadership, I feel compelled to share in his memory. When Brother Gardner came to our home to visit, before I became a member of Friendly, he repeated our names throughout the conversation. He did this because he wanted to put to them memory. He valued each individual and had a lot to keep up with, so he made it a point to know us by name. He never really retired in the traditional sense. His scope of ministry simply expanded as doors opened and opportunities arose. An exceptional person as both a man and a pastor. He was an outstanding tennis player too! Whether behind the pulpit, visiting the sick, or on the court, Brother Gardner fulfilled his calling, to love and serve those around him.
February 14, 2018
When I first started in the Singles @ Friendly, I knew I was home. There was such acceptance and love. These attributes only mirrored the leadership of Bro. Milt and Zell. As a result, my life will never be the same. I gained a whole new extended family that I carry with me today. Thank you Bro. Milt and Zell for you love, concern and acceptance. You made being around you a better place and gave us examples of what Christ wanted us to be.
February 11, 2018
I moved to Tyler in 1974. A lady I worked with invited me to a revival and mention they had a good singles department. I decided to go one night. The revival preacher was Sam Cathy. Wow for such a little guy he stood tall in the word! Well singles no guessing herethe first Wednesday night after that revival; I got a knock on my door. Now I wasn't easy to find. I had moved into a new 6 apartment complex not totally finished but the tenants let me move in early. Zell being like a bloodhound found me putting her way past visitation time. Back then there were no cell phones and the church was frantically looking for her. Zell's niece had been killed in a tragic accident. I will never forget that visit and how heartbroken I was for her loss, and for a lady who went that extra mile to witness to me and reminded me of God's love. She was so gifted in helping an individual realize how important you were to God and others thru her ministry of love and devotion. The following Sunday I heard my first sermon from Bro Gardner. And from that day on I felt like Bro G. was my own personal Billy Graham. He literally walked you thru the word with his knowledge, humor, and grace! He and Zell complimented each other in how they served the Lord. Zell was instrumental in pulling people in and Bro Gardner was the shepherd that guided and protected his flock because he was not only a preacher but a minister. I couldn't write this message just about Bro G because he and Zell were one. I spent many hours in their home. They were everything to me. I had the honor to visit Bro G two days before his passing. I apologized for eating all his food through the years. He always tickled me because in his cute way he would say: with Zell it is God first, singles second, and me last. Because of these two; Friendly was a big church with a small church atmosphere. One of his sayings that I will always remember was: The Church is a hospital for sinners not a showcase for saints! We are ALL sinners saved by grace! The leadership and stewardship of Bro Milton and Zell Gardner will live on. I end this with a song Bro Gardner loved dearly; Love Grew Where the Blood Fell!
February 11, 2018
A very remarkable man , Bro. Gardner and a beautiful tribute by his grandson, which was a joy to read. Bro. Gardner was a true friend with the biggest heart. He was a reflection of Jesus' love to Friendly Baptist and anybody he met. His preaching was Gods truth, no holds barred. He said it plainly but he was humble keeping himself on the level of his flock. He got joy out of life no matter what he was doing. He was wise so I think he read the Bible whenever he had spare time. I've heard that only 1% of speakers can reach an audience keeping them completely focused AND be able to counsel someone on an individual level. He was one of few who could do both. I thank the good Lord that he was my pastor for 13 years. Bro. Gardner was, I think (as the assistant pastor said when and Zell retired from Friendly)), the best kept secret of the Southern Baptist Convention. I will remember him fondly, him and Zell. Knowing them has enriched my life.

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