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Facing a giant

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A familiar face and pillar of the Clarendon County community is fighting a giant. In early September, Spencer Jordan was diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Many know Jordan from his 14 years serving as headmaster at Laurence Manning Academy.

Current Headmaster Tripp Boykin recalls, “I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with Spencer since 2003. Over all these years, we worked so closely and developed a tremendous friendship, very much like brothers. To know Spencer is to feel like part of his family. He means so much to so many in our community and around the State. The LMA family, the SCISA family, his church families, and the community are praying without ceasing for Spencer and Kim and are quick and eager to rally around them in any other needs they may have.” Boykin continued, 

”Spencer is fighting this illness with everything he has and we are all supporting him and fighting alongside him and his family. He has faith in God, and we have faith in God If you have ever visited his office (LMA or SCISA), a picture of our school sign with that promise is always prominently placed.”

Boykin ended by saying, “We love you Doc, Kim, Jake and Mickey. Lean on us for anything.”

Former students echoed the same feeling for their former headmaster. Rollin Barwick from LMA’s Class of 2020 said, “Many people know him as Dr. Jordan but he has always  been Mr. Jordan to me. I have always been lucky to have him and his family in my life since I was about three years old. I was fortunate to have him as my headmaster for many years and I was taught by him in high school. He is one of those people that just draws people to him. I think it’s because he genuinely cares about others.” 

Barwick recalled an example. “About sixteen months ago, I lost my best friend, Eaddy Osteen. Eaddy was also Mr. Spencer’s next door neighbor. I was going to be speaking at Eaddy’s funeral and Mr. Jordan was going to be giving the eulogy. Just as he always does, he made sure that I knew if I couldn’t do it, that he would be right there with me and would take over if I needed him to. Just knowing he was on that stage gave me great comfort and helped settle my emotions. He has had such an impact on so many people, and I hope he knows how much he is appreciated and loved.”

Britton Morris from LMA’s Class of 2021 said, “Dr. Jordan is always about his faith first and he showed it in every instance as Headmaster at LMA. He always made sure we knew that he loved us and this spread outside of the classroom even after he left the campus.”

After leaving LMA, Jordan took on the role of head of South Carolina Independent School Association (SCISA), where he has been for the last four years. He is also the Preacher at Mt. Vernon United Methodist in Williamsburg County. 

Jordan has just completed his third round of chemotherapy. He has had ten days of radiation as well. He will have three three more cycles until another scan is done. Jordan is undergoing all of his treatments at McLeod Hospital for Florence under the care of Dr. James Smith and Dr. Virginia Clyburn-Ipock. 

Jordan spoke about his caretakers, saying “Both have been amazing. After the scans in January, we will reevaluate.”

 Jordan said, ”This diagnosis has made me realize just how precious life is and how important a relationship with Christ, family, and friends are in our lives. I am so blessed by the outpouring of love that I have received from our entire community, especially the LMA family, the Mt. Vernon UMC family, The Lane UMC family, the Manning UMC family, and all the schools in SCISA. I have been truly blessed at how Christ has placed His hand of grace and mercy on me and my family.”

Jordan gives much credit to God and to his wife Kimber. He said, ”She has been my rock! She has been my caregiver throughout this journey and she continues to give me strength and support throughout this difficult time. I love her more than words can express. My boys, Jake and Mickey, have been great! The love and support they have both given me has helped me through these rough times as well.”

Jordan continued, “I again want to thank all of my friends for their tireless and unending support and prayers. From visits, cards, to calls and texts, their support and love have been invaluable. This experience has helped me become closer to Christ and His Majesty.”

Clarendon as a community immediately stepped up, planning several fundraisers for Jordan and his family. Layne Osteen, a long time friend of Jordan, has been very involved in raising money to help the family.

Osteen said, “I have known Spencer for many years through coaching and our children. He has just been really good to me and my family. Even with what he is going through now, I could call him up and he would ask what he could do for me He deserves my life savings. I can never repay him back for all he has done for me and my family.” 

On Nov. 12, 2022, Shannon Greens hosted a fundraising tournament in honor of Spencer Jordan. 

Osteen said, ”Dave Burton was awesome in working with all of us, we thought we could only have thirty teams, which we had signed up for and a waiting list. But Dave was able to extend that to 36 teams.”

Osteen wanted to make sure all the sponsors, attendants, teams and volunteers know how thankful everyone is for the support.

There is another fundraiser still going on until Dec. 18. There will be tickets to win a 1st prize 12 Gauge Browning Maxus II 28, a 2nd prize 20 gauge Benelli M2 28, and a 3rd prize $250 gift card to Simpson’s Hardware. Donations are ten dollars each. Tickets are available at Corner Diner in Manning and Simpson’s Hardware of Manning. You can also call Layne Osteen directly at 803-468-6073 to make a ticket donation.

Kimber Johnson, Spencer’s wife and biggest supporter, had only one thing to say when asked about her husband. “He is the most amazing man I have ever known.” 

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