“My mom and dad said to be sure to tell you ‘Hi,’” a Super Summer camper would say to Terry McIlvain.
McIlvain will retire on Dec. 31 after serving 35 years with the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists. He led the convention’s youth ministry and served as Webster Conference Center administrator/director.
Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2017, was his last official day in the office at KNCSB. He is taking vacation until Dec. 31.
When he stepped down from leading Super Summer he had seen grandchildren of early-day participants attend camp.
“I got to see three full generations of kids come through,” McIlvain said of Super Summer. “It was extremely rewarding to see what God did.”
As McIlvain led Super Summer his goal was to equip campers to live their faith when they got home.
“Super Summer is just a tool. It’s what you do when you get home that counts.”
McIlvain was one of the leaders for the first Super Summer youth camp. It was held in summer 1975 at Emporia State University, Emporia, Kan.
At the end of Super Summer 2014 McIlvain quietly passed the Super Summer leadership baton to new leaders. He attended Super Summer in an advisory role in 2015.
Joe Stiles and Danny Payne took over as co-directors of Super Summer.
Stiles is pastor of First Southern Baptist Church, Lawrence, Kan., and Payne is pastor of Pleasantview Baptist Church, Derby, Kan.
Stiles was a camper at the first Super Summer in 1975. Payne came as a camper a few years later. Both men were youth ministers earlier in their careers and brought groups to Super Summer.
McIlvain also led the Super Summer international mission trips through IGoGlobal. Teams served five years in Tokyo and five years in Amsterdam. They partnered with local workers to share the gospel.
Although McIlvain was highly known as director of Super Summer, he had other important roles.
“My ministry was bigger than Super Summer,” he continued.
One of his major, but somewhat less visible roles was equipping youth leaders in churches and associations.
“I love God. I love teenagers and the people who love teenagers. Teenagers are the leaders of today and tomorrow. Teens reach teens.”
During his KNCSB career McIlvain also served as administrator/director of Webster Conference Center.
“We’ve come a long way, but it’s not because of anything I have done,” McIlvain said of WCC.
KNCSB acquired the former Camp Webster in 1981.
During the recent WCC board meeting McIlvain recalled the first time he visited the camp and found the buildings in a major state of disrepair. But he told how the facility developed through the years through the teamwork of Kansas-Nebraska Southern Baptist churches, WCC staff and board members, plus dozens of volunteers.
He urged board members to help KNCSB staff member Mari Parker take Webster Conference Center to a new level. Parker becomes WCC director on Jan. 1, 2018.
“I couldn’t be more thrilled with who the convention has selected as the new director,” McIlvain said of Parker.
McIlvain’s plans for retirement are “very simple”—to spend more time with his family and continue in ministry.
“I’m retiring from [KNCSB] and Webster, but I’m not retiring from ministry,” he emphasized.
He will continue his current ministry as a chaplain in the Civil Air Patrol. And he is asking God to reveal possible new ministries.
McIlvain wants to keep in touch with all of his friends. You may contact him at email@example.com
A Tribute to Terry McIlvain (TMac)
By Brenda Evans
Of all the servants of Jesus Christ that I have met through the years, Terry McIlvain (TMac) is at the top of my list. I had the blessing of serving with him on the Youth Evangelism Staff (YES) and watched firsthand the passion he has for youth.
The desire to present them with the opportunity to receive Christ and the priority of discipleship in their walk with Jesus was always his focus in the activities that were planned for Kansas-Nebraska youth.
I had the opportunity and privilege of serving alongside him in Tokyo and Amsterdam in partnership with iGoGlobal Ministries the last nine out of 10 years.
During this time I had the opportunity to get to know and understand his heart for missions. This included leading teenagers and college students to not only grow through the ministries they were involved in but also to witness and experience the pure joy of planting seeds and leading others to Christ.
TMac has become an important mentor in my life as he has to many, many others. To watch this humble man be the man God has called him to be to bring glory to our heavenly Father is an example to all of us.
He may be retiring from KNCSB, but believe me, he won’t be retiring from being used by God to continue to share the love of Christ! I’m sure I can say from all who know him that he will be greatly missed by all of us adults but more so by the young people he has touched and served over the years of his ministry.
Jeremiah 29:11-12, my friend!
Terry McIlvain and “Shalom”
By Dale Phillips
It has been my honor to have known Terry McIlvain from back in 1970s when he was a “Youth Director” at a church in Wichita and I was new in the saddle as pastor of a new church plant in Nebraska.
We were both asked to serve on a planning group led by Lynn Clayton working with KNCSB in planning a summer youth camp called Super Summer.
A couple words come to mind as I think about this dear brother in Christ. The first is “Shalom”—not just because he includes/concludes most any communication from him with that word but because it is a word that personifies who he is and the effect his presence brings into where he is.
Shalom is a word that captures the qualities of “complete peace, a feeling of contentment, completeness, wholeness, well-being and harmony.” That to me is TMac and the qualities I have seen him bring into small-group planning sessions as well as large-group rallies.
The other word that comes to mind is authentic. I have never known anything less from this brother in Christ. There is no mask wearing or game playing when it comes to Terry. He is genuinely, sincerely real and compassionately straightforward whether going through trial or triumph. In small or massive groups he authentically shows outwardly who he is inwardly.
One of the greatest joys of my journey is that in the living out of my story it has been my honor and privilege to have this godly gentle-man as a friend!
Dale Phillips was a long-time pastor in Nebraska before he embarked on a drama ministry called CareActor Inc.