I Wonder What Jerry Joe Would Say?

When you look back on the Sunday School experience during your something-teen years most of it is a blur. As far as the actual teaching lessons go, those are not even in the blur category, they are flat out gone. You know they had some merit in your life because you were shaped by their themes, faithfulness, salvation, discipline, purity, and somehow everything came full circle to Jesus. A quarter of lessons from Exodus - all about Jesus. Why you need to be quiet and let the teacher teach - because you were about to experience the wrath of Jesus. Teenage boys get the Jesus threat often.

I am not quite sure how they fit chronologically into my Sunday School history, but I remember certain teachers. I remember Clayton Eaker somewhere around Junior High. He was the picture of quiet strength and humility. Clayton was a perfect choice to help guide emerging men through a very awkward stage of life. At some point in High School I had a teacher named Bobby Brown (not the fallen rapper). His mantra was openness. He fielded any and every question, no matter how uncomfortable it may be coming from puberty stricken students, like the short stop from the theological Yankees. He was also open with his home. I remember him weekly offering that if we ever wanted to talk or to come over to his house that his home was open any time. My friends Chris and Shane took him up on the offer and showed up to play ping pong at about 2 a.m. one weekend night. As best I can remember Bobby turned on the lights in his garage, gave them the paddles and went to bed laughing. They tested the integrity of his word with ping pong. Bobby won.

There was one teacher, again the chronology is blurry, that seemed to somehow follow my group around. It seemed like I had him about three times interspersed through my elementary years. And somehow even though High School only lasted four years, it seemed like I had him as a teacher about nine times. His name was Jerry Joe Guinn and he was the guy who becomes your teenage altar ego. He was the one that you always felt like if you did something bad, something your parents didn’t even know about, Jerry Joe would know. I remember the repeated lectures about how much Sunday School books cost and how we shouldn’t “just roll ‘em up”, “put ‘em in our back pocket” and just forget about it. He took time every month to theatrically demonstrate the attitude of the whole thing. You always felt like if you messed up in any aspect of life that Jerry Joe could somehow perform that lecture and make it fit the offense. He knew you thoroughly and he was the guy that could always speak to the moment. He was to Graysville rec. football what Vince Dooley was to the University of Georgia. He coached you if you were running in the hall. He coached you if you were talking about 1 Corinthians. He coached you at all times. I guess that is why he resonated so much in my life.

Unfortunately Jerry Joe Guinn passed away several years ago. Even still when I go back home I pass certain markers along the road that remind me of Jerry Joe. Apparently last week his son Thomas added to the legend. I had to share this story for two reasons. One because of the impact Thomas’ dad had on my life, and two because I can hear in my mind’s ear the theatrical lecture Thomas would get for this one! Thomas, if you read this, Shane Johnson had a propensity to sneak out of windows while your dad was teaching - I doubt Shane broke into your house, but I would at least check the windows! I’m glad you are O.K.
From The Catoosa County News
Ringgold Football Standout Survives Home Invasion

Misty Martin

Thomas Guinn likely hasn’t received the direct training on the gridiron to prepare him for the encounter he had Wednesday afternoon.

Nevertheless, the Ringgold junior fullback and nose tackle utilized football skills to fend off an intruder in his own home in Graysville.

Guinn said he entered his house from school around 3:51 p.m. and later discovered a man in a black mask.

The 17-year-old said he was defending himself during the encounter when he was shot and wounded in his left arm.

"A lot of people say, 'why didn't you let him go,'" Guinn said. "But, I didn't want to let that happen."

Guinn explained that his father died more than seven years ago and he considers himself the man of the house.

He said he felt like it was his duty to protect his home since his older two brothers and sister are no longer there.

Guinn said he called his mother Karen when he walked into the home and found the kitchen "a wreck." He said while he was talking to his mother he heard a commotion upstairs and he realized he wasn’t alone.

Guinn said his mother then told him to go to his grand parents’ home down the road.

However, when Guinn hung up the phone the intruder came down the stairs.

"I shoved him into the couch and punched him in the face," Guinn said. "He jumped over the couch and I ran after him into the kitchen...I started wrestling with him and then he got outside."

Guinn said that led to their final altercation, which resulted in his gunshot wound.

"When I caught up with him I started banging him on the car," he said. "That's when he pulled out his gun. I tried to punch him with my left arm and that's when he shot me."

Guinn said the intruder ran off into the woods leaving him with a small hole in bend of his left arm.

Ringgold Head Coach Robert Akins said the wound was enough to make Guinn worry about his future on the gridiron.

"The first question he asked (at the hospital) was, 'I really hope this doesn't affect me with my bench pressing because I really need to get that up,'" Akins said.

Guinn said he's gained more strength in the weight room over the years and he didn't want to jeopardize getting knocked out of the "1,000-pound Club."

Players have to lift a total of 1,000 pounds of combined weight between three lifts to be in the club. That includes the bench press, power clean and squat.

Akins said he was very thankful Guinn was going to make a full recovery.

He said he understood why his player took such a daring risk.

“He's a competitor and he responds to challenges," Akins said. "But, I told him what he needed to realize is that everything in that house can be replaced but he can't."

Guinn spent a few hours in the hospital before returning home that evening.


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