A Life Lived: Nick Bradshaw was a ‘fisher of men’
Published 12:51 pm Tuesday, June 6, 2023
Preacher Nick Bradshaw enjoyed hunting and fishing, and from to time he enjoyed some good catches, but he was also a “fisher of men.” For sure, Jesus used Nick Bradshaw to grow his kingdom.
A pastor friend, Sammy Icenhour, wrote on the funeral home tribute page for Nick: “Pastor Nick Bradshaw loved the Lord Jesus with all his heart and shared the love of God with everyone he met. Only heaven knows how many people he led to Jesus.” No better tribute could be paid to a person.
Rev. Cecil Darold “Nick” Bradshaw died May 8 at the age of 79. He had pastored the Little Milligan Baptist Church for 15 years or more and before that, Sink Valley Baptist Church. After he left Little Milligan, he pastored the mission at Lynn Ridge Apartments for approximately three years before bad health forced him into retirement.
Pastor Nick grew up in Cat Island and was a retired veteran, having served 21 years in the Tennessee Army National Guard.
His wife, Vickie, shared that Nick enjoyed being around people and enjoyed pastoring, and hated to give it up. “He loved the people he pastored. He was at Little Milligan so long he considered it home. Nick looked for opportunities to meet people and tell them about Jesus. For sure, he was a soul winner. Nick loved the Lord and he wanted everyone to know about about Him,” said Vickie.
In addition to fishing and hunting, Nick was a great taxidermist. He had his taxidermy business in his garage, and had fixed deer, fish, turkeys, a couple of bears and foxes, and one of the most unusual pieces he did was a black squirrel, which is not native to this area. “It was just another opportunity for him to meet people and talk to them about the Lord,” said Vickie.
Nick and his fishing buddy, Kent Williams, enjoyed fishing trips to to a couple of lakes near the Georgia-South Carolina line, as well as Lake Chickamauga, Watauga and S. Holston lakes. “He enjoyed fishing as well as hunting. He mostly hunted deer and wild turkey,” said Vickie.
And, of course fish was one of his favorite foods as well as wild turkey breast.
As much as he loved hunting and fishing, he loved preaching and pastoring more. “He definitely was a soul winner,” shared Vickie.
Nick and Vickie had been married 56 years and were the parents of three sons, Cecil Howard, deceased, and John and Robert, also retired military. He doted on his grandchildren, Autumn and Nicholas Bradshaw of Elizabethton.
Pastor Nick’s real name was Cecil Darold, but very few people knew him by that name. He acquired the nickname “Nick” early in life and that’s what family and friends called him.
Nick’s favorite Bible verse was Phil. 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” His favorite song: Amazing Grace. “He often would say, ‘If it wasn’t for God I couldn’t get up in the morning. He gives us life and the very air we breathe,’” Vickie shared.
And, about God’s amazing grace, Nick was quick to share that God so amazingly forgives us, and his grace is amazing.
Pastor Nick was laid to rest at Mountain Home National Cemetery, and today he has joined another group of fishermen – Peter, James, and John.