Three Cheers for Love

In the fall of 1946, a young Kansas teenager, Esther Hibbert, was one of the students who enrolled as a freshman in the very first class of a first-year bible school just on the outskirts of Oklahoma City. That bible school school would eventually become what is now known as Southwestern Christian University.

Esther was the campus pianist that initial year, serving the new campus church in that role when it was started to serve the new student body. The next year, Dick Goad, a young sailor fresh from serving in the US Navy during World War II, also enrolled at Southwestern. Dick and Esther fell in love within their first year together at Southwestern, and married on August 23, 1948, despite the misgivings of Esther's ministerial parents.

Their love endured despite her parents' concerns and twenty years later, their son Richard enrolled in Southwestern. Sure enough, lightning struck twice in the same place as Linda Foster, from Guymon, OK, and Richard met in the fall of 1969 and by the end of the school year in 1971 they, too, were wed.

It was a story that the two generations of Goads could pass down to the grandkids. The grandkids, however, had their own story to tell. In the Fall of 1992, Richard and Linda's daughter, Laurie, went to SCU. While there, she would meet John Leggett and within two years (1994), John and Laurie would be married. There wedding was held at Muse Memorial Church, which was the extension of that campus church where her grandparents first worshipped together in the forties.

All three couples went into full-time ministry upon their graduations from Southwestern.

Today, Dick and Esther (married 63 years) are retired and live in Oklahoma City. They attend River of Life Church (the former Muse Memorial) - the same church where Richard and Linda (married 40 years) are the Senior Pastors. John and Laurie pastor Fallspointe Church in Wichita Falls, TX.

All of this is possible because of the love that was born more than six decades ago at Southwestern Christian University.