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Community ready to roast Eben Gilbert
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Longtime educator Dr. Eben Nolan Gilbert Jr. will be singing a different tune Thursday, Sept. 25, at 7 p.m. when he becomes the sec-ond individual to be roasted by his friends and col-leagues in the Central Church of Christ fellowship hall.Roasters during the event will be Dr. Jeff McKinley, Judge Larry Ross, Carol Chambers, Wally McClarren, and Chuck Mullican. Tickets for the second annual “It’s Roastin’ Time” sponsored by Boyd Christian School are $50 per person and may be pur-chased at Boyd Christian School or a reserva-tion made by call-ing the school at 473-9631.Gilbert was born in Warren County on July 28, 1938. His parents moved to Chattanooga when he was in second grade. After high school, Gilbert pursued a major in music education and a minor in Bible at David Lipscomb College, now Lipscomb University. After graduation, he accept-ed a position as music teacher, band director, and chorus director in Harlan County, Ky. In 1963, he left Harlan after accepting a position in McMinnville as music teacher, band director, chorus director, and civics teach-er at Central High School, and then at City High. In 1965, he married Linda Redmon, who had also graduated from Lipscomb and moved back home to McMinnville to teach school. The couple had two children, David and Dawn, and relocated to Staten Island, N.Y., where Gilbert became the full-time minister of the Hopkins Ave. Church of Christ.Upon returning to McMinnville, Gilbert was hired by the Warren County School System as a music teacher, and preached part-time for 12 years at Rockliff Church of Christ. During that time, he became a member of the first Board of Directors at Boyd Christian School. He went on to serve as interim principal at Boyd for two years where he helped develop the school’s curriculum, selecting text-books and other education-al materials and equipment. He selected and hired the faculty, and developed the process which led to the accreditation of the school by the state.After Boyd, Gilbert accepted the position of principal at Taft Youth Center and was selected to help start the Tennessee Correctional Academy in Tullahoma. There he was youth service staff training supervisor for the Tennessee Department of Correction and the Department of Youth Development. After 11 years he went back to Taft as manager of treat-ment. While working at Taft, Gilbert also worked part-time as a counselor for the Alliance for Community Outreach, providing EAP for business, teaching court-ordered anger man-agement classes, and engag-ing in family and marriage counseling. After retirement from the state, he worked full-time for the alliance until he was asked by the elders at Westwood Church of Christ to accept the posi-tion of minister of family life and counseling. He accepted their offer.In 2000, Gilbert was selected by Southern Standard readers as Mr. Warren County and was selected for inclusion in the Standard’s special edition “Recollections of a Century” as one of the 50 Most Outstanding Persons in Warren County in the 20th century.