The following letter below is from former Lipscomb President Steve Flatt written to David Lavender just days before his passing away, informing him of the Missions Scholarship being named in his honor.
Dear Brother Lavender:
I was thrilled to learn that an endowed scholarship will be established in your honor at Lipscomb University. No finer tribute to your exemplary life could be made than to replicate your missionary spirit and zeal within Lipscomb students. The legacy of your service to the Lord and His church, your commitment to the Great Commission, your profound influence for good upon your children and grandchildren, and your sterling Christian character will live on in perpetuity within the hearts of those young men and women whose lives will be transformed through their experience at Lipscomb.
Each year it is my pleasure to award diplomas to our graduates as they march out to take their place as lights for the Lord in the world of business, education, ministry, professional and graduate schools, and many other noble endeavors. It is gratifying to witness the transformation that has taken place in the lives of these splendid young folks during their college career. It is exciting to contemplate the contribution that these graduates will make to mankind during the course of their lives. We often point to new buildings and increased endowment to measure our success, but Lipscomb’s real measure of success is found in her mission-minded graduates who go forth with a passion to spread the Good News of Jesus.
Under the leadership of Earl, your superb son, in whom I know that you are well pleased, the mission program at Lipscomb has flourished. Just a few short years ago about 100 of our students participated in summer and spring break mission trips. This year, more than 600 will go as soldiers of the Cross bearing cups of cold water in His name. I dream of the day when every student at Lipscomb will catch the vision of world evangelism and say to the Lord, “Here am I, send me.”
Through the David Lavender Missions Scholarship Fund, an invaluable investment will be made in young minds and hearts. This investment will produce immense dividends in this life and priceless benefits throughout eternity. No economic slump, recession, or terrorist attack can wipe out these returns. In my judgment, an investment in Christian education is the most fruitful way for anyone to multiply his or her influence and extend his or her cherished values far into the future.
David, congratulations on an exemplary life. The very Word of God extols your magnificent life. “The greatest among you will be your servant.” “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.” As the Lord counts greatness and beauty, you are among His greatest, most beautiful, and most successful disciples. On your behalf, I give thanks to God who “gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” You have fought a good fight, you have kept the faith, you are nearing the end of the course and the Lord has laid up for you a crown of righteousness. Well done good and faithful brother.
Your brother in Christ
Stephen F. Flatt