BOURBONNAIS — Andrew Ray Twibell, 36, passed away Monday morning (June 8, 2020), at his residence with family and friends encircling him.
Andrew was born Oct. 21, 1983, in Muncie, Ind., the son of Barry and Renee Samples Twibell. He attended Burris Laboratory School and graduated from Heritage Hall Christian School, Muncie, in 2002, where he served as class president and was a member of many successful athletic and academic teams.
He graduated from Olivet Nazarene University in 2006 with his Bachelors of Science in Biology and with his Masters of Arts in Religion in 2007. As an undergraduate student, Andrew served as class president during his sophomore year and as student body president during his junior and senior years. Following his college career, Andrew served as a resident director for four years on the campus of Olivet.
In 2010, Andrew enrolled at Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Ky., and was selected as the Beeson Scholar for his class. After he graduated in 2013 with a Masters of Divinity, Andrew was ordained as an elder in the Church of the Nazarene in 2013. Following five years of meaningful pastoral ministry at Grace Community Church in Nicholasville, Ky., Andrew and his family moved back to Bourbonnais, where he served as the Assistant District Superintendent for the Chicago Central District of the Church of the Nazarene.
In 2017, Andrew was called to serve as the lead pastor of Kankakee First Church of the Nazarene, Kankakee. Andrew’s life and ministry reflected the heart of Jesus. While intensely battling cancer, he walked 1,000 miles in one year to support the mission of Kankakee First Church. Residents of the Bradley-Bourbonnais area will remember seeing Andrew walking many miles a day in rain and snow, early morning and late at night. He reached his goal in February 2020.
Andrew served on district and national leadership committees for the Church of the Nazarene and authored several articles for denominational publications. Along with his wife, Simone, he led many mission trips to Central and South America and Europe. Andrew and Simone served as volunteer missionaries in the Meso-American Region of the Church of the Nazarene.
More important to Andrew than all of his many life accomplishments was his deep faith in God and his relationships with family and friends. He was a committed and loving father to his children, Lucas and Sofia, and he deeply cherished his wife of 12 years, Simone. He was a student of God’s word and lived out his faith by serving others. On his journey of suffering, he embraced humility, gratitude and worship. To know Andrew was to love Andrew, and those who knew him learned much from him. His greatest desire in life was to see lives transformed by God’s redemptive grace.
Pastor Andrew is survived by his wife, Simone, son, Lucas Andres, and daughter, Sofia Caris, all of Bourbonnais; his parents, of Muncie, Ind.; grandfather, Glen A. Twibell, of Muncie; two brothers, Cory (Jamie) Twibell, of Centennial, Colo., and Craig (Amber) Twibell, of Jacksonville, Fla.; mother- and father-in-law, Alfredo and Rute Mulieri, of Buenos Aires, Argentina; two sisters-in-law, Aline, of Buenos Aires, and Beth (Devin) Harwell, of Littleton, Colo.; aunts and uncles, Cindy (Kip) Gross, of Hartford City, Ind., Teresa Dittus, of Muncie, Ind., Scott (Jan) Twibell, of Muncie, J.R. Samples (Megan), of Aurora, and Douglas (Cheryl) Samples, of Oklahoma City, Okla.; nephews, Ethan J. Twibell and Camren J. Twibell, of Littleton, and Elijah A. Twibell, of Muncie; a niece, Avery Renee, of Littleton; and many cousins and friends around the world.
Preceding him in death were his brother, Christopher Twibell; grandparents, Mary Twibell and James and Naomi Strickland Samples.
The family sincerely thanks the Kankakee First Church of the Nazarene and Olivet Nazarene University communities for their incredible support during Andrew’s journey. They also are forever grateful for the exquisite and innovative care they received at the Lou and Jean Malnati Brain Tumor Institute of the Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. Saturday, June 13, until the 11 a.m. funeral services at Andrew’s childhood church, Middletown Church of the Nazarene, 698 N. Fifth St., Middletown, Ind., with Dr. Philip Rogers, Rev. Paul Johnson, and Rev. Woody Webb officiating. Burial will follow in Garden of Memories Cemetery, Muncie, Ind.
A visitation also took place Friday afternoon at Middletown Church of the Nazarene in Middletown, Ind.
On Monday, June 15, a drive-by memorial event will be held near Centennial Chapel on the campus of Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais. That event will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. to commemorate Andrew and express condolences.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Twibell Family Memorial Fund through Kankakee First Church of the Nazarene, 1000 N. Entrance Ave., Kankakee, IL 60901. While gifts are not tax-deductible, 100 percent of gifts will go into a trust for the children, who were Andrew’s greatest life investment. Checks can be mailed to the church, or instructions for giving online are available on the church website k1.church.
Online condolences may be directed to the family at ballardandsons.com.