Church member describes how pastor impacts life: 'He's amazing'

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - When you talk about a man that's been a pioneer in the faith-based community for decades, many would claim he needs no introduction.

"He has said that the only two things in life that matter are God and people, that's it," said Melinda Stallings, a church member. "I can't even put into words the impact he's had on my life."

So when you mention Donald Tabb, in the eyes of his church members, you're referencing a leader. "He's amazing," Stallings said. "The man is truly amazing."

Tabb, who has worn many hats in his lifetime, is one of the founders of The Chapel on LSU's campus and also helped found what would become The Dunham School. He's been missing since Wednesday morning after a boating accident in Plaquemines Parish.

"His reach is hundreds of thousands, probably millions when you think about the ripple effect of what he and Mary have done and continue to do," said Stallings.

Stallings recalls when she moved to Baton Rouge in 2014, Tabb and his wife, Mary, welcomed her with open arms during a rough time.

"I don't know what it was, but it was just a sense of peace that started to come over me," she said. " I had one of the best days in a very long time. They're just amazing people."

She said in just two years' time, the pastor's reach was powerful, guiding her back to her faith.

"He wasn't one of those that crammed it down your throat. He always said that people need to be ready to receive God," Stallings said. "Donald Tabb has just changed my life and brought me so much closer to God than I ever was."

Stallings says there are countless lessons she studies from the pastor's weekly teachings, but one in particular continues to stand out. "It is not an enduring faith that saves you, it's faith in an enduring God," she recalled the pastor saying.

Along with his ability to connect with people, Tabb also unknowingly changes lives.

"To put my finger on it, I don't think there's really one thing. He's just larger than life. He's just an amazing man," she said.

Tabb's wife and one of their daughters were in London when they heard the news and quickly flew home. According to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, the search continues.

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