In 1969, a high school Boy Scout by the name of George Lucas walked up and down the aisles at Memorial Stadium in Columbia, Missouri selling Coca Colas to the fans. By doing so, he earned money for an upcoming trip to camp. He was earning money in the stands where his favorite team, the Mizzou Tigers, was playing on the field. What could be better? He was in a hurry as he ascended and descended the steps selling his sodas because the faster he sold his allotment of trays, the faster he could sit in an empty seat and watch the game.
“It was the best team Mizzou ever assembled,” stated present day Chase Oaker George dressed in Mizzou attire. “And he,” pointing to Terry McMillan who was sitting beside him, “was the best quarterback we ever had!”
Today, Terry is a Chase Oaker himself and George’s LifeGroup Leader. He laughed at George’s commentary on the past. “I had a lot of talent around me,” he replied with humility.
He was the Mizzou quarterback making the plays on the field as George looked on with enthusiasm. Although Terry did not play football in high school, he decided he wanted to play in college. So he did what boys with no high school experience did back then…he played at a junior college to get noticed by the scouts. His natural talent landed him the quarterback position with Mizzou and during his tenure, he and his team defeated Alabama when Bear Bryant was the coach. (Yes, Jeff, that Alabama!) George eagerly related other details of Terry’s football career with obvious admiration of his friend’s God-given gift. Terry, however, finds his gift insignificant and instead spoke of his esteem for George’s MU PH.D. earned by perseverance, discipline, and intellect.
“You see, back in my day as a football player, your job was to play for your school and beat your rivals. The alumni were there to help us get a job after graduation. That’s just how it worked,” Terry explains, implying hard work was not necessary on his part. He further states, “Getting a PH.D… now that’s talent!”
The mutual respect between the two friends with a connection to Mizzou is clear. The two view their connection as part of God’s plan, placing people in your life at various points that will make an impact in your life in a positive way—if you seek Him.
So how did these two Tigers land at Chase Oaks and finally meet one another? For Terry, Chase Oaks has been his church home for a long time. Having relocated from Colorado to Plano, he and his wife Darlene visited several churches in the area, but none felt as comfortable as Chase Oaks. That was back in 1985 when Chase Oaks, or Fellowship Bible Church North as it was called at that time, was led by Dr. Gene Getz. In their quest for spiritual growth, Terry and Darlene committed to a LifeGroup. The group they joined evolved over the years, growing & dividing. This provided an opportunity for Terry to lead a LifeGroup of his own.
“God has a plan for each one of us. If we seek Him, He will use us,” Terry remarked.
Terry remains devoted to his leadership role in a LifeGroup that has been together for many years. “The goal is to get everyone playing a role, everyone involved,” Terry stated. He believes the purpose of the group is not just spiritual growth but to make a difference, and they do that by working together.
George and his wife Kelly arrived in Plano approximately two-and-a-half years ago from Memphis, Tennessee. Like Terry and Darlene, they visited a number of churches in search of a church home. The Faith, Family and Friends Special Adults LifeGroup attracted them to the Legacy Campus given that their son, Austin, is autistic; and it made Chase Oaks stand out from the others. It met the needs of the entire family.
“You feel like you’ve always been here,” George declared. They quickly immersed themselves in the Chase Oaks culture, committing to Coffee Bar duty to serve God by serving those who attend services at the Legacy Campus. The next step was finding a LifeGroup.
George remembers Kelly arriving home one night and informing him she had information on a group led by Terry McMillan. “Terry McMillan? You mean Terry McMillan the Mizzou quarterback?!” George exclaimed. “Like I would know that!?” Kelly questioned. To his delight, George, an avid sports fan, discovered it was the very same Terry McMillan—Mizzou’s greatest quarterback ever. On the eve of their initial visit to the group, Terry asked the question he asks all who visit the group. “Will you tell us a bit about yourself?” The answer startled him.
“I know more about you than you know about me,” George responded with a grin on his face.
Terry discovered he had an adoring fan from the good ol’ days as a hot shot college athlete in his company—a fan who had seen him throw passes and duck and weave to avoid being tackled in the very place where the two started their journey into adulthood.
The connection was strong, and from that night forward, the two alumni Tigers have developed a close friendship, as have their wives Kelly and Darlene. George and Terry work to be transformed by God’s love together.
“We both struggle and want to be changed. God has put someone in my life who makes himself available to help me along the way,” Terry attests. George agrees wholeheartedly.
Oh, what a friend we have in Jesus, and Jesus blesses us with friends in our quest to seek Him just as He masterfully orchestrated this friendship beginning about 40 years ago some 550 miles away using Mizzou as a tool in His work!