Gregg Harper, Go Rest High On That Mountain

Photo used from the online obituary. 
Tuesday morning, my wife called to tell me that our friend Gregg Harper had died. He was born Gregg Malchom Harper on December 27, 1957. Gregg and Karen Harper have two children daughter and son in law, Dr. Lindsay Harper Pounds and Joey Pounds and son Derek Harper aka “DHarp”.

The family were active members of First Baptist Church Concord. The church that has been my home church since 1993. The Harper’s son Derek and my oldest son are the same age and have been in the same schools throughout their youth. In middle school, our sons were on the same CBFO football team for three years. Gregg served as one of the volunteer coaches. He was a passionate man that worked with the boys and instilled a driven work ethic and passion in all those boys.

Gregg founded 47 Sports and co-founded Wazoo Sports a 24/7 cable television network dedicated to high school and small college sports. Gregg led Farragut High School football Booster Club as President for two years. During his time as Booster Club President, he was instrumental with exceptional growth of the club and was instrumental in the development of the farragutfootball.com website, sponsorships, and video streaming of games. I can remember those two years that he served as President that the week before the rivalry game of Farragut and “the school to the east”. Gregg would patrol the stadium, knowing that kids will be kids and trying to ensure no vandalism would occur.

In addition, to his volunteer commitments I always sensed that he and I shared an almost work alcoholic personality. We would always discuss our business travel and the time and dedication that it takes to stay a step ahead.

My wife has reminded me this week that in September of 2008 that Karen was one of the first to check on my wife after our oldest son had a car wreck and he was first being treated at UT Medical Center. That too was a time that I was on the road and had to travel back from Louisville, KY to UT Medical Center. So, knowing that the Harper family was there was a comfort to us.

Gregg and I would discuss community issues and he was never fearful of taking a stand. If in his beliefs he was convinced that something was wrong or not held to a high standard that it should be, he had   no problem in “speaking truth to power”. Gregg was a true example of profile in courage.

Gregg and I talked a couple of times this past football season at Farragut High School football games. His son graduated almost three years ago. But he was still there. The Admiral Spirit still lived and breathed in Gregg.

While I will miss running into him at church and at Farragut High School football games. While I grieve for his family and our loss, I know that he is in a better place. I ask that you pray for Karen, Lindsay and Joey and Derek. The funeral service will be tomorrow night with a private interment.
As I thank my God for bringing Gregg into my circle of friends over the last many years. I celebrate that he finished the race strong. I celebrate in knowing that he is in the presence of our God and experiencing Heaven. I know that just as he cheered for teams from the sidelines that he is now cheering for the rest of us here on earth from Heaven in encouraging us to finish the race we have before us. So, that we can all be together again with Our God.

Gregg, Go Rest High On That Mountain!

In honor of my friends life, Shock And Awe will remain silent all day, today, Thursday January 19, 2012.

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