One of the greatest men I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing went to be with Jesus yesterday.

Alva Stephens, known as “Pops” to almost everyone, ended his battle with pancreatic cancer and finally saw his Savior. Pops has been like a “grandpa” in a way to the whole youth group. He lived every single day for his Maker. He never once missed an opportunity to share the Gospel or what the Lord was teaching him with the people around him. Even in his last days, he was teaching all of us something about the Lord.

I guess I first met Pops when I came into the youth group. I’m not completely sure. But, I do know that over the years, he was always there, smiling and encouraging every single one of us in the youth group. Every time he spoke, he taught. He was a teacher, a servant, a friend, an encourager.

Pops got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September. I got to see him in early October, and I’m so thankful that I did. After his passing last night, I checked out twitter to see what people were saying about Pops. Back in October, his son-in-law (who is a local youth pastor) got t-shirts made that say “#teampops” on the front. Everyone has been using that as a hashtag on twitter, so I searched it. I saw so many awesome things. I remembered that Pops sent me a facebook message a few years ago, and I had to go and find it again. It was so encouraging.

This man literally impacted THOUSANDS of lives. He was such a huge blessing in SO many lives, and I’m so grateful that I knew him. And I’m glad we can all know that it was all for the glory of the Lord that he went home yesterday afternoon.


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