What some people close to "The Voice" champion Todd Tilghman are saying:
Chase Tilghman, nephew
Chase Tilghman, Todd Tilghman’s nephew, joined his family at Cornerstone Church Tuesday evening on Highway 39N in Meridian and said the moments before the broadcast announced his uncle’s victory was nerve-racking.
“The Voice does this thing where it’s like, ‘And the winner is…’ and they wait about 10 seconds then announce it,” Chase Tilghman recalled. “It was the longest 10 seconds of my life. As soon as they announced he won, it was just total chaos if we’re being honest. Some people were jumping up and down with joy, some people hugging and crying and then some just standing in disbelief trying to enjoy the moment as a whole. It was a really cool time for my family, and my uncle deserves everything he’s going to get from his gift.”
Watching his uncle’s journey has provided the Tilghman family with a unique bonding experience, Chase Tilghman said.
“It brought my family closer than ever before because we were watching every performance and reveal together as a unit, so following his journey was honestly a highlight of my life due to how close it brought my family together,” he said.
JJ Jacob close friend
“The world gets really small when you’re a pk (preacher’s kid) in a small town,” Jacob said. “Todd and I shared that bond, growing up in Meridian Miss., pk’s in thriving churches in a small town. Living under that kind of microscope can be crippling. It’s very tempting to “go your own way,” but Todd always impressed me with his passion to continue blazing that same trail. I’ve never known him to waiver from his calling to serve the body of Christ. In my opinion, commitment defines Todd. Most of the country has gotten to know him lately as an incredibly gifted singer, but more than that, he is a committed husband, father, son and pastor.
“Todd is the type of man you want to see promoted to a larger stage of influence because the actual man behind the gift is who you’d be proud to see others follow.”
James Lawson, church member and friend
I met Todd when I started going to Cornerstone in 2005,” Lawson said. “When I first met him he was teaching a class. We were in a band together and even traveled places together, youth conferences and all.
“Todd is easy going and likes to have fun. He enjoys the people he is around. He can relax and enjoy the moment, real easy going. We watched him win from home, and when he won, we all screamed so loud. I felt it in my bones he would win. I think it’s a great thing for Meridian and the state.
Stephen Stockton, church member and friend
“Todd and I have known each other for about 30 years, he is an awesome person,” Stockton said. “I moved here 10 years ago and started going to his church. I went from calling him one of my good friends to my pastor. There is probably not another person as generous, humble and as considerate as Todd and his family. They are as close as to me and my family as our own flesh and blood.
“(Clothing retailer) Harry Mayer has his picture on the back of a shirt and I told Todd I never thought I would wear a shirt with his picture on it. People are wanting his autograph and pictures with him. It really couldn’t happen to anybody better – his whole family, too.
“Probably the only thing that has changed over the last 30 years – both of us have matured a little more, but he is still Todd he is genuine. He has stayed true to himself, has been faithful in his belief system, and faithful to his family, friends and kids.
Stacy Barr, church member and friend
“I’ve known Todd for about five years,” Barr said. “When I visited Cornerstone for the first time I didn’t know him at all. I loved his preaching and later after talking with him I found out he was a runner like me, so I invited him to run with me. What it turned into – initially he was my pastor then turned into one of my best friends, and one of the finest people I have ever been fortunate enough to meet.
“There was an incredible bond from the start. because what everybody has seen through all this, I saw early on that he was who he was he was real. I feel fortunate our friendship has grown. And through the entire process I got to see first hand and experience it through his eyes.”