Pastor with UNC ties makes special trip to Omaha
Posted June 19, 2013
Updated June 20, 2013
Jack Robbins is a pastor at Berryhill Baptist Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma but he's Tar Heel born and Tar Heel bred.
"I'm a native North Carolinian, grew up on a farm down in Richmond County," said Robbins.
It was in Richmond County where Robbins developed a love for baseball.
"My boyhood dream was to be a professional baseball player. When I saw I wasn't ever going to be a New York Yankee or Saint Louis Cardinal I decided to go into coaching," Robbins said.
From coaching he transitioned into the ministry but baseball continued to be a part of his life. In 1981 Robbins first met North Carolina head baseball coach Mike Fox, who was then the baseball coach at Millbrook High School.
"Practicing out there one day this gentleman walks out and I kinda just saw him standing over there and I at first thought he was a parent of course so I'm like 'go away'," joked Fox.
"I was 38-years of age and I asked if it would be okay for me to shag a few flys and hang out with the team. He said fine. The next day he introduced me as his assistant coach," recalled Robbins.
His relationship with Fox grew beyond baseball when this one-time assistant coach became wedding pastor.
"When he found Cherly they got married and he asked me to officiate and I officiated the wedding at the First United Methodist Church in Garner, North Carolina," said Robbins.
Fox and his wife will celebrate their wedding anniversary on June 25 and Fox wanted pastor Jack to be there in Omaha.
"For him to get in his car and drive 962 miles to be here, and to really not see a game cause he had to get back, but just to be around the dugout that day and see a practice in Omaha was very, very special for me," said Fox.