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Where are they now? with John Mansfield

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

John Mansfield spends a great deal of his time serving as an Abraham Lincoln presenter, making public appearances across the country as the 16th president of the United States. He provides a first-person living history experience for those in attendance. He has received a great deal of publicity in his role as Lincoln. He spent a few minutes with LipscombSports.com to talk about his time at Lipscomb as well as his life after school.

What sport(s) did you play at Lipscomb and when?

Basketball from 1958-1960

Who was your coach?

Charlie Morris

What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?

The first thing that came to mind was those goal high passes from Bryant Matthews that made my job of laying the ball in the goal so easy.

Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?

This is a difficult one because I consider all of my teammates as a major and good influence from my days at Lipscomb. They were such great guys to work/play with. I do not remember a discouraging word from any of them.

What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?

That is an easy one. It would be meeting and dating my future wife, Betty Sue Sparkman.

What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?

I learned the value of thinking of others, putting others first and being part of the team, even in things off the court. The most important thing was that Lipscomb students and faculty showed me a Christian love that helped point me in a direction of deeper love and appreciation for God and what He had done for me and what He expected of me.

Who was your favorite professor?

Axel Swang. The personal attention and care he showed to me and I now know to others as well. He was a man that taught not only a subject he loved but demonstrated love and concern for each student as he taught and as he lived.

Where do you live now?

About one half a block from the campus.

What is your occupation? What does your position entail?

I am a Abraham Lincoln Presenter. I portray Lincoln at reenactments, churches, schools, business meetings or anywhere “his-story” needs to be told.

Tell us about your family:

Son Brian, wife Nancy, four children, Nick, Zach, Gracelyn, Annalise. Daughter Sonya Mansfield Ross and husband Russell, no children. All live in the Nashville area and Nick is a Senior at Lipscomb High School. Betty is still putting up with me after almost 49 years.