GRAPEVINE, Texas — During what was a semi-formal event for a Dallas/Fort Worth-area pastor ultimately turned out briefly into one that, well, took on a surprisingly compelling sports-related twist Friday night in the Conference Room at Courtyard Dallas DFW Airport North/Grapevine.
For all the right reasons, I might add.
An avid Dallas Cowboys fan who has close ties to arguably the most beloved — and disliked — NFL franchise, Andrew Jackson., Jr., with his back turned to the entrance in which he and his wife, Sandra, were met by thunderous applauses by a standing-room-only crowd of close friends, family members, and a host of well-wishers, was the beneficiary of what seemed to be the biggest surprise of the evening.
After fielding a simple tap to his left shoulder, Jackson turned and was met by two pom-pom-bearing Cowboys cheerleaders, both of whom extended hugs and handed him a jersey that featured his last name and latest age.
Ahhhh…..60 never seemingly felt so good for a devoted, die-hard Cowboys fanatic on what undoubtedly was a festive, exuberant, memorable night tailor made exclusively for him.
When the 4 ½ hour event was nearing a celebratory end, Jackson and his wife took to the podium and addressed the 200 or so witnesses, reminding them, among other things, that although his illustrious ministerial career essentially was birthed in Memphis under the leadership of his father, recently-retired Faith Temple Ministries Church Pastor Andrew Jackson, Sr., the DFW is where he was destined to be all along, let alone the establishment where he was purposed to have, you know, a Texas-sized impact.
And we all know they do things big in Texas.
WHAT ABOUT WEST IRVING? http://www.westirvingchurch.org/.
A native of Chicago, Jackson, who relocated from Memphis to Dallas in 1986 as part of a strategic plan to advance his career as a Corporate America professional, has been the senior pastor at West Irving Church of God in Christ since October 1998.
“I almost went back to Memphis,” Jackson said with a straight face while displaying a slight grin. “But the Lord canceled that thing. He said your assignment is here in Dallas.”
And just like that, such wise, eloquent, seemingly tear-jerking words from arguably one of the wisest, beloved individuals in the place were met in large part by a raucous, well-deserved round of applause on what undoubtedly was a festive, exuberant, memorable night tailor made exclusively for Jackson.
Ahhhh…60 never seemingly felt so good for a devoted, die-hard Cowboys fanatic — with two pom-pom-waving cheerleaders of arguably the most beloved — and disliked — NFL franchise having shown up to appropriately provide a sports-related twist to a semi-formal affair.
Talk about a Texas-size surprise.
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Andre Johnson is a senior writer for MemphiSport. A 2000 graduate of the University of Memphis School of Journalism and a former staff reporter for the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Johnson is based in Dallas, Texas and covers the NBA Southwest Division. To reach Johnson, call him at 901-690-6587 or send email to email@example.com. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.