Yes, a good man has gone home. The community of Effingham and, more particularly the First Baptist Church of Springfield, has sustained a shock. Jeffrey Rollins, their pastor, was killed in a single-vehicle accident late Saturday afternoon.
Members are in a state of shock over this loss and will take months to even grow somewhat at ease without his presence in life of the church and the community.
Jeff was a good man. He lived his faith and his beliefs. He pastored the church for just over 25 years. For a pastor to stay happily, himself and the church, at a Baptist church attests to his unique abilities as a pastor. We also know that he was a good family man; we mourn with his wife and children.
Jeff was not a fire-brand preacher. He spoke simply of what he believed was the truth to be shared from the Bible to congregation. His was low-key but seemed to provide the leadership for the many things to be accomplished and carried out in a Christian manner.
Jeff came to Springfield Baptist when it was the church on Main Street in Springfield. During his 25 years, he provided the leadership to guide the church and members to move out to the hill on 119 North. It is a magnificent campus and provides many services beyond the three morning services each Sunday.
If one had suggested that he was a major player in this move and this growth, he would have first given the credit to God and then to the members of the church. That was the kind of man he was. He cared about God’s word, his people, and his church. Need a pastor do more than that?
Referring to him as Jeff does not belittle the man, it shows his humility. My guess would be that most members called him Jeff or Brother Jeff, not Rev. Rollins or Dr. Rollins, a title he earned in the last year.
What caused the accident that cost his life? Officially, we don’t know. He was a diabetic and most feel that this a contributing factor.
I do know that Jeff Rollins was a man of God and will be missed not only by his congregation but by the entire community.