A Life Lived: Jeff Andrews was a true Christian servant, teacher

Published 11:07 am Tuesday, August 29, 2023

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Jeff Randal Andrews died August 15 at the age of 55. The past several years of his life were defined by physical disabilities and limitations, which kept him from doing the one thing he desired and loved – teaching. Yet, he did teach Sunday School at Oak Street Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon and often sang in the choir.
Jeff was adopted when he was three months old by Will and Eleanor Andrews, and according to his father was a good son. He was a life-long student of the Word and servant of the Lord.
He graduated from Elizabethton High School and from there, attended and graduated from Carson-Newman College. He was also a graduate of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Divinity and a Masters Degree of Art Education.
“It was his desire to teach Hebrew and Old Testament, but those teaching jobs are hard to find, so he went back to Milligan College and was certified as a teacher in education. He was a quite knowledgeable young fellow, who never grew tired of learning,” said his father.
However, Jeff was plagued with illness from the time he was 20 years old until his death. “He struggled with kidney stones and gout from the time he was 20 years old and on. Later he battled diabetes and ended up having part of his left foot amputated. Life was not easy for him as he spent his latter years either on a walker or in a wheelchair,” his father shared.
Yet, he never gave up. He habitually read and sought to share his knowledge with others. “He had numerous friends who called him, e-mailed him, and stayed in touch with him. He corresponded with friends on Facebook. For some time, he and Thomas Isaacs had been teaching the book of Revelations on Wednesday nights at church. He enjoyed Bible teaching,” said his father.
“He was a good kid growing up and did well in school. He was good in English, but struggled some in math, but Jeff was always kind, helpful to others, and loved by his brothers and sisters, and nieces and nephews,” his father shared.
Jeff, according to his father, enjoyed reading and studying the Bible. “He was very intelligent and dedicated. He had a vast collection of books. Among his favorite authors were Dr. David Jeremiah, and Dr. Charles Stanley, which he watched a lot on TV. He read a lot of fiction, too.
Will said his son watched TV some, and played games on his phone, but he enjoyed people and being around them most of all.
Jeff was preceded in death by his mother, Eleanor Andrews, who died 10 months ago and a sister, Julia, and a brother, Earl Alvin. Jeff’s father was his principal caregiver and ofter remained at Jeff’s bedside when he was hospitalized. He is also survived by a sister, Joy Fields, two brothers, James and John Andrews and 10 nephews and nieces and nine great nephews and nieces. “They loved to visit Jeff and he loved to see them,” said Jeff’s father.
Outside his family, Jeff’s greatest love was his church, Oak Street Baptist, and his church family.  “He had a number of things wrong with him which kept him from doing and giving his best. In 2012 he suffered a heart attack and his heart was only functioning at 40 percent. But, he never gave up. He kept pushing himself. There were time he would get down, but he would always rally back. No matter, he enjoyed his friends and loved to laugh,” said his father.
A friend wrote on the funeral home tribute page: “You were a great man, funny and a joy to be around,”
Jeff’s favorite Bible verse was John 3:16, and his favorite piece of music was “Grace That Is Greater Than My Sin.”
Jeff Andrews would agree with a quote from Eugene O’Neill: “We are born broken. We live mending. The grace of God is the glue.” For Jeff, he was broke physically and knew it…but he enjoyed God’s grace.
Today, he is at rest from his labors, but one day he will enjoy a new body that is not broken.

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