Funeral Services for Tommy Charles Higle, 68, will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 28 in the First Baptist Church of Ardmore with Dr. Alton Fannin and Reverend Lawrence Anderson officiating. Burial will follow at the Lakeview Cemetery in Marietta with the assistance of Keith Cochran, Joe Buxton, Tyler Cochran, Josh Cochran, Joseph Higle, Caleb Buxton, Titus Higle and Paul Weaver.
A time of visitation and support for the family will be held from 6 till 8 p.m on Friday evening at the Harvey-Douglas Funeral Home.
Tommy Charles Higle was born Oct. 24, 1949, in Concordia, Kan., and passed from this life on July 23, at the age of 68 years, eight months, and thirty days surrounded by the family he loved so dearly.
Tommy was the son of Tom Higle and Flona Haddock Higle. The first year and a half of his life was spent in Kansas and Montana before moving to Caddo, where he and his sister, Linda, were raised by his single mom.
Tommy graduated from Caddo High School in 1967. Working several jobs to cover the cost, Tommy began college at Murray State College in Tishomingo, for one semester and then transferred to Southeastern State College, Durant. During his first year of college, Tommy began dating Virginia Boydstun, also of Caddo.
In the first days of their dating, Virginia invited Tommy to join her at a revival service at Caddo’s First Baptist Church. During that service, Tommy was touched by the telling of the story of Jesus’s crucifixion. As Tommy and Virginia were leaving the service, Tommy shook the hand of Brother Bud Jenkins and told Bro. Bud he would like to talk to him sometime. Bro. Bud replied, “What about right now?” and took Tommy to his office, where he shared the Roman Road gospel presentation. That night, on his knees at the age of 19, Tommy’s life was forever changed, as he surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Six months later, Tommy surrendered to the call to preach and began his 49 years in the ministry.
Tommy and Virginia were married in Caddo on May 30, 1969. During the first years of marriage, Tommy served as a medic in the Oklahoma National Guard, finished his bachelor’s degree at Southeastern, and began theological studies by commuting to Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth, Texas. Because time and money were tight, Tommy never finished his seminary degree, but instead poured his energy into his growing family and the pastorate.
In the span of four and a half years, Tommy and Virginia had three children: Monta Lynn, Jeremy Charles, and Holly Ann.
During his ministry, Tommy pastored six churches in Oklahoma and Arkansas. In 1982, Tommy and Virginia, moved to Marietta, Okla., where he spent the last 34 years of his pastoral ministry as senior pastor of Marietta’s First Baptist Church. He retired in 2016.
Tommy’s ministry legacy is his writing and teaching. Though he failed his high school senior English class and had to take summer school to get his diploma, Tommy copyrighted his first book, “Journey Through the Bible” in 1980. Until his very last day on this earth, Tommy kept writing and held on to the words of encouragement from his 7th grade English teacher, who gave him an A+ on a writing assignment and told him he was a great writer.
His Bible studies, called The Journey Series®, now includes over 60 titles and have sold over one and a half million copies. For over 30 years, Tommy travelled the world training pastors and church leaders to teach the Bible using his “Journey” books. In 2017, Tommy began the Journey Leadership Institute, a non-profit organization that will continue his legacy of training church leaders to teach God’s Word.
In April of this year, Tommy was awarded an honorary Doctor of Ministry from Southern Philippines Baptist Theological Seminary.
After his retirement, Tommy and Virginia became members of Ardmore’s First Baptist Church. With his pastor’s blessing, Tommy continued to weekly teach his “Journey” books through the Community Bible Class he started there.
Tommy was preceded in death by his mother, his father, a brother Clint Higle, a sister Judy Freeman, and his precious granddaughter Daisy Elizabeth Higle.
Tommy is survived by: his wife Virginia, of the home; one son Jeremy Higle and wife Pam of Velma; two daughters, Monta Cochran and husband Keith of Atoka, and Holly Buxton and husband Joe of Branson, Mo. He is also survived by nine grandchildren: Tyler Mark Cochran and wife Sophie, Joshua Keith Cochran, Joseph Charles Higle, Caleb Matthew Buxton, Ashlynn Nichole Cochran, Titus Charles Higle, Brooklynn Faye Buxton, Isaac Charles Higle, and Bethanny Dawn Buxton.
Additional survivors are four sisters: Linda Watkins and husband David of Murphy, Texas; Becky Alvis and husband Steve of Phoenix, Ariz.; Lori Peterson and husband Gary of Phoenix; Katie Phelps of Ponca City; One brother, Greg Higle of Kennewick, Wash.; and his step-mother Phyllis Higle of Deer Lodge, Mont.
Tommy is also survived by: Two sisters-in-law: Holland Marich and husband Ronny of Arlington, Texas; Houstine Weaver and husband Von of Caddo; One brother-in-law: George Boydstun and wife Libby of Columbia, S.C.
Finally, Tommy is survived by many cousins, nieces, and nephews, plus countless brothers and sisters in Christ around the world.
 In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Journey Leadership Institute, a 501 c3 non-profit organization. Donations can be mailed to Journey Leadership Institute, P.O. Box 374, Marietta, OK  73448.
Services are entrusted to Harvey-Douglas Funeral Home and Crematory where condolences may be left for the family online at www.hdouglasfuneralhome.com.