A good friend of mine and a great man of God, Todd Wortham, went home to be with Jesus today. I’m very sad about that, and I hurt for his wife and two kids, but in many ways it’s okay, because Jesus is Todd’s absolute favorite. Anyone who knew him here would tell you that.
I had the wonderful privilege of knowing Todd very well during his time at New River Fellowship in Franklin, Tennessee. I was blessed to meet with him for a men’s Bible Study almost every Thursday morning for a few years. He is the most authentic (and hilarious) person I think I’ve ever known. When I think about Todd, I remember that he was a caring friend, a Bible scholar, a hardcore Jesus follower, an avid Captain America fan (he got a kick out of my name – I was glad to be his sidekick when I could), a WWII buff, a gun aficionado, a family man, occasionally inappropriate, and a devout Texan! He’s leaving quite a legacy. I think he shared Jesus with anyone who ever gave him the time of day. As legend has it (well, I heard it straight from his mouth), he once snuck backstage to witness to Eddie Van Halen. He did the same for Gene Simmons (that time, he was so nervous that he stuck a tract in Gene’s fishnet legging and made him promise to read it before he went to bed that night – he realized how weird that was after the fact). Todd was always a straight shooter – honest about life, his beliefs, his strengths and weaknesses, and never afraid to encourage me or call me out when I needed it. I also had the honor of ministering with him both here and in Haiti. It was always great to work under Todd’s leadership because he had an amazing ability to motivate people and keep the focus on Jesus.
Let me tell you something: Haitians loved Todd. His selfless compassion for people shined through when he was telling complete strangers about the grace of Jesus or acting out stories and playing wild games with Haitian kids.
Haiti gets straight-up HOT; Todd always encouraged us to push through the fatigue and sweat to make the most of our time and “leave it all on the field” — and he led by example. When someone had a hard day, but bucked up instead of complaining, he would award them with the honorary title of “Trooper of the Day”.
I’m really shocked that he went home so suddenly and so young. I’m devastated for Cassi, Jackson, Bethany, Wells Branch, Restoration Ministries, and the thousands of others who love him and will miss him. It’s strange to think that Todd’s earthly journey is complete. But I know that he finished well and left it all on the field. I nominate him for “Trooper of A Lifetime”. I’m forever inspired.
Here’s a video from another Haiti trip. The first voiceover is Todd, and I think it represents his life philosophy very well.