It was twenty years ago on this day (October 5, 1995) that my college roommate Jeff Gammel drowned while swimming in Lake Cortez in Hot Springs Village. He was was swimming with a few other guys from Louisiana Tech but got separated from them at one point. When the Tech kids reached the shore and didn't find Jeff, they called the police. Divers found his body the next morning. No one is sure what caused him to drown, but my guess is that he cramped up or something and wasn't able to get to shore in time.
Jeff was in Hot Springs Village for the weekend along with his best friend Brandon Procell to be with the Hot Springs Village church youth group for an area-wide get together. Jeff and Brandon regularly traveled to Hot Springs Village to work as youth ministers for the youth group. In other words, Jeff lost his life while serving others. Although Jeff's death hit us all like a ton of bricks, we knew that he was just doing what his Savior did. And we knew that he had received his reward.
"For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it." - Matthew 16:25
Below is the article from the Harding University Bison that talked about Jeff's accident and the chapel program the following Monday.