Church Members Stand Behind Local Pastor Battling Brain Cancer

By: Matt Howerton Email
By: Matt Howerton Email

WOODWAY (November 18, 2012)-- He was told he only has months to live.

Mike Toby, the pastor for First Baptist Church of Woodway, has been fighting brain cancer for weeks. Church members have been behind him every step of the way, but many of them can't imagine a world without the man who moved a church and a community so far.

Church member Bud Jones is one of them.

"It's been a tremendous shock for everyone in the congregation," church member Bud Jones said.

Pastor Toby has preached at First Baptist Woodway for nearly half of his life. The 65-year-old just celebrated his 35th anniversary with the church.

But in the wake of that anniversary, came hardship.

The notable pastor recently woke up with no feeling in the left side of his body. After a biopsy, he was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma. It's an aggressive type of brain cancer that doesn't give many long to live.

The pastor recently filmed a video for church members explaining what happened.

"I woke up one morning and it was like walking through the looking glass," Toby said in the video.

"It was then we began the journey where in which I discovered I had brain cancer."

The pastor decided not to undergo surgery since his illness was terminal. Members of the church, like Jones, are saddened but know who is holding Pastor Toby's fate.

"We're dealing with the lord's will," Jones said.

"Whether or not I'll miss him depends on whether or not I have the faith Pastor Toby has mentored me to have."

Pastor Toby has been given 3 to 6 months to live.

There's a good chance he won't be on Earth much longer, but he and all who know him know where he's headed next.

"I don't feel the need to negotiate with God an extra 15 seconds. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord," Toby said in the video.

Jones, who has witnessed Pastor Toby grow throughout the 35 years he's served First Baptist Woodway, sees the deeper meaning in all this..

"The Lord is using him to teach us how to die. Considering the fact we all have to die, this may be the best sermon he's ever going to preach," Jones said.

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