The first 50 years of Warren Frederick Mathis’ life and his teachings are chronicled in “Here Is a Man ... Fist First for Faith.”
Mathis, who died June 27 after serving as a minister at Fountain Square and Cruft Christian churches for 61 years, was known for his many inspirational messages, but the one that always reverberates in James Bvone “Pete” Miller’s head is, “There is no such thing as a throwaway person.”
Mathis generously gave of his time to the downtrodden, said Miller, who wrote the book and is working on Part 2. “I try to incorporate his works into my ministry and counseling at Southport Christian Church and in my freelance counseling. Everyone has value. Everyone is worth redeeming because Jesus said so.”
While readers will gain an insight to Mathis’ life, the important lessons to be learned are the values of faith and relationships and the incredible heart of Christian charity.
There are many rewards from having a good, tight-knit family, said Miller, a graduate of the University of Indianapolis, Indiana University School of Law and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School’s master’s programs.
“Warren Frederick Mathis taught me that the most important decision I would ever make in my life is finding my faith and accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior,” Miller wrote in the foreword. “The second most important decision I would ever make is choosing my life mate.”
Two other vital ones are building “good self-esteem into my children and working hard at learning not to take myself too seriously and even harder to take the things of God very seriously.”
Mathis, who earned bachelor’s and graduate degrees from Butler, was heavily involved in the community. “He had a generous heart and touched the lives of many,” said Miller, noting that the book will be available after the first of the year at all major bookstores and online. Proceeds will benefit Miller’s ministry while also being used to carry on Mathis’ legacy.
Mathis read the book and gave it a thumbs-up.
The book covers his childhood years in Council Bluffs, Iowa, where he met his future wife, Elizabeth, when he was about 5. The couple were married in the 1943 and had four boys before unofficially adopting Miller in 2012. They also have seven grandchildren.
“Theirs was a beautiful love story,” said Miller, who added that Mathis’ last words to Elizabeth were, “You are just adorable.”