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One Monticello Life – Dr. Rocky Lindsey

April 2nd, 2012 by

“I worked as a vet for two months in Lake Charles, LA. I hated it, and was convinced I didn’t want to be a vet. “– Dr. Rocky Lindsey

Michael and Alice Lindsey raised two children in Herbine, AR – Rocky and Shanna. Rocky Lindsey was born on November 10, 1972 and as he became old enough to help out, he started working with his dad in the Tyson chicken houses. Rocky knew he wanted to be a veterinarian, but kept his experience working the houses in his mind as “Plan B” if that were to fail. Many in Southeast Arkansas, that use his vet services today, are thankful that Plan A was quite the success.

Rocky graduated from Rison High School in 1991 and attended UAM from 1991 until 1994. While in college he was a Sig Tau, and President of MBSF where he became friends with Rob Leonard. During his third year at UAM he was accepted into Vet School at LSU, and UAM used some of his classes from LSU to honor him with an Animal Science Degree in 1997.

“I was very grateful for the honor, though I have never seen my diploma. I guess my parents have it. I have no idea where it is. I was at LSU the night I was supposed to walk in graduation for UAM.”

He went on to praise the education he received while at UAM saying, “I really think UAM is the best school to go through to get into vet school because you learn livestock there. In Vet School it was really unbelievable the number of students that had never handled a cow before.”

While at UAM, Rocky lived on campus in Maxwell Dorm. He said that he and several guys fought making the dorm co-ed. They feared that girls being in the same dorms as boys could pose safety risks to them and they feared they would be taken advantage of.

“It became co-ed the year after I left.”

His living experience while attending LSU was dramatically different.

“I lived in apartments at LSU, including some apartments in a really bad part of town. I called my mom once to tell her that I wasn’t dead following a major shooting with multiple fatalities on my street that I knew would make the national news. We had like three murders on our street in one week. It was bad.”

Though he pretty much knew what his dream career was, he worked several jobs on his way to it.

“My first job was off our chicken farm at a tomato shed. It was actually a lot of fun. It was in Johnsville, where a grocery store is now. I separated green tomatoes from red tomatoes all day long and usually had a bucket of water beside me to throw on someone after they threw one on me. It was a fun job for a 16 year old kid.”

After that he took care of church grounds, and also worked for C&L Electric clearing power lines and reading meters.

“You got shocked a couple of times. I was usually clearing trees that were in danger of being in the lines. It’s where I learned to use a chainsaw.”

After that he worked at the Sale Barn in Warren helping with livestock auctions.

“I learned how to handle cattle in a closed environment there, learned how to read their minds. It was only on Saturdays.” “We would take them in as the farmers brought them and sort them into different pens for different buyers.” “I’d get there at 7am and not leave until after dark in the summer time. “

This point in his life is when Rocky Lindsey began what would become the start to a lot of traveling for work and missions.

“I went to New Mexico and worked at a mission the summer before vet school. It was a Missionary Baptist Church Mission, and I was their youth director for their summer. Now they’re an established church.” “I learned a lot there, I was pretty naive before I got there.”

“During vet school I worked at a Christian day care one summer, and then went to Indonesia as a missionary the next summer. Also went to Honduras my last year of school as a Vet missionary for a few weeks.”

“I went through the Southern Baptist Convention to teach basketball camps in Indonesia. It was a way for the missionaries to get known and established within the cities. We were movie stars; they all wanted to be around the Americans.” “The number one question I got asked was if I knew Michael Jordan.” “They all thought we lived like the how Beverly Hills 90210 people did, because that’s all they saw on TV.”

Rocky spent 6 weeks in Indonesia teaching basketball skills, sharing testimony, and building relationships with the people around him. He said that what impacted him most about the trip had nothing to do with how they lived, but how as Americans live.

“I always thought that America was a melting pot and we didn’t really have a culture… until I got there and looked back and realized what we project to the world.” “Their standard of living, being poor, didn’t really shock me… but our selfish nature here in America did.”

Dr. Rocky shared many stories of how they, as Americans, were idolized in Indonesia. They even were invited to attend a wedding.

“A Muslim man ditched a Christian pregnant woman because she wouldn’t convert to Islam. Over there being pregnant and unmarried would make her a huge outcast to society, so, a Christian man married her so she wouldn’t be outcast and we got invited to the wedding. They sat us at the head of the table because we were Americans, and the married couple sat off to the side. That’s how we were treated everywhere we went. It was really an odd thing to experience.”

“Indonesia is the 4th largest nation in the world and we don’t know anything about them. The food was awful; I survived on bananas, rice, and McDonald’s, when I could get it.”

He said that many may not understand how a sports camp could be a beneficial way to spread the Gospel to other countries, but the impact it had there was huge.

“A missionary had been there for 2 years and hadn’t shared the gospel because he hadn’t been able to establish a good relationship with the people. During our time there we got to share our testimonies and he translated, and he cried while he did it because it was his first chance to speak God’s word to them.”

Back in the States, Rocky had some large decisions to make regarding his veterinary career. He could have never foreseen the many let downs, hardships, and near tragedies that were awaiting him.

“I worked as a vet for 2 months in Lake Charles, LA. I hated it, and was convinced I didn’t want to be a vet. I had a terrible boss. It was a high quality clinic, but poorly managed. I was treated like a vet tech… I couldn’t handle it… I was ready to be a veterinarian.”

Unsatisfied with his first vet experience, he moved back home. Eventually, Rocky decided to give it another try.

“I moved to Vilonia in late ’98 and decided to go out on my own in February ’99. I had the papers in hand to rent the space where Ameca is today. My last day of work, I had a head on collision with a fully loaded 18 wheeler as it flipped over in a sharp curve. God wanted me alive, because the wreck was impressive. A fence post came through the window and a plastic surgeon had to put my ear back together. I walked, well staggered, away from it though. The people that responded to the accident probably thought I was crazy because when I realized how bad of a wreck it was, and I was really okay, I just started laughing! I was so thankful for my life; I just couldn’t stop laughing and thanking God. I spent the next few months recovering.”

“I slowly began working out of my truck, met a veterinary product distributor that told me about a clinic for lease in Brinkley. After prayer I was convinced that God wanted me to go there. I went there in the fall of ’99. There I blindly walked into a set up deal where I met my wife. Everyone was in on it but me, but I’m glad it happened.”

“Alicia is from Judsonia. Her aunt was in Brinkley. Her aunt sent her a newspaper clipping of me when I moved to town. It was an awful picture but she decided to visit her aunt and check me out. Her aunt and aunt’s friend made it to where we’d have a chance to play basketball together at a church function. As I was about to walk out and officially introduce myself, I caught wind that this was a setup, and I called them on it. They “lied in church” and told me that Alicia had no idea who I was. Believing them, I introduced myself, and she barely acknowledged I existed. But, by the end of the night, she hinted that she may be worth a phone call.”

“I called her and she took me on a tour of Searcy, and I met her parents.” “I figured out what love was… it’s a choice that you make. It’s commitment.” “I knew she was God’s provision for me.” “She is the polar opposite of me, which is good. She’s good at things I’d never be good at… she’s very creative and very structured. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants. Eleven months after we met, we married.”

“I stayed in Brinkley for about six months and then moved to Ash Flat, AR. I married Alicia while living there, and decided the people were too different so we moved to a clinic in Walnut Ridge.”

Walnut Ridge proved to be a fine career move. Dr. Rocky became 1/3 owner of a booming clinic, and also was a part of starting a church called Unity Baptist Fellowship. He said they started a church with a more contemporary feel because of the large number of college students in the town.

“It went from a few people to over a 100 in a few months. But, I saw how quickly Satan can tear something apart if you let him. “

“I thought it was where I would have stayed, and if money made you happy, I would have stayed. After one year I decided I wanted to be the boss of my own place and we moved to Little Rock to buy a Rodney Parham Animal Clinic. The day of the sale the clinic owner called to say the deal was off. I was literally getting out of the shower to get ready to go sign papers when I got the call that he had decided to sell it to a former employee. So we were in Little Rock with no job.”

Rocky said that this news terrified Alicia, “but, basically I already had friends that were doing the relief work scene and so I started getting pretty busy with that.”

“I started doing relief work and travelling from Hot Springs to Mountain Home. I then got an offer to work with Larry Nafe at Hillcrest Animal Clinic. Hillcrest is a normal clinic as well as a referral clinic. In hindsight God was in control. Working as a relief vet made me learn many different ways to practice and I got to witness some well-run clinics along with some poorly run ones. Also, working at Hillcrest was just like re-entering school. Other vets would send us all of the cases they couldn’t figure out. I would say I was an average vet at best prior to Little Rock, but leaving Little Rock I knew what it took to run a high quality clinic and practice high quality medicine.”

Dr. Rocky said that he never saw himself moving back to Southeast Arkansas, but began feeling pulled back home.

“When I got to Baton Rouge I saw what Christianity should have been. I saw really active churches where people had a choice, and there was such a difference. Thankfully, I was wrong about that, because I got into a really great church in Warren and now am involved with Pauline which is a great church as well. I wanted a church where Christianity is a lifestyle, not something you do on Sundays.”

“I called Dr. Steve Elliott at Warren Animal Clinic and we quickly struck a deal for me to take over there in the spring of 2004. I’ve had the clinic since, and it has become a busy, high quality vet clinic. After being there for 2 years I was asked by the directors at Warren Bank to serve on the board of the bank. I accepted and am still on the board at Warren Bank and Trust.”

In 2010, Dr. Rocky and Dr. Poirrier, at Monticello Animal Clinic, came to an agreement for Rocky to take over the business aspect of the clinic.

“Dr. Poirrier is still the primary veterinarian at that clinic, but it is under my management. We moved it to its present location, and are providing high quality care at an affordable price there now, too. I don’t know of another veterinarian that did what I did at Monticello, but it works for us.”

Though Rocky and Alicia were very happy at Immanuel Baptist Church in Warren, they began to feel God leading them to make a change. He said, “It wasn’t that we even wanted to leave… it was really God pulling us and calling us somewhere else.”

“Getting my foot in at Monticello opened the door for me to again get involved with Pauline and the MBSF. Alicia and I now teach the College class at Pauline and work with Rob Leonard with his college ministry.”

“I became involved with MBSF my 3rd year at UAM and it impacted my life enough that my parents left their church and moved to Pauline to help out more.”

Rocky and Alicia feel a special connection with college-aged students, and have delighted in their ministries with them.

“When you go to college and you have a big decision to make, a lifestyle you’re going to choose. When I went to college I found the Christian lifestyle. You have so many ministry and mission opportunities at that age, and it’s harder to do those things once you get a career, wife, and kids. We encourage them to take advantage of it.” “We challenge them to make good choices and to further their walk.” “It keeps us young. Alicia and I love it!”

The Lindseys are quickly becoming a mission-minded family, now including their two sons, Isaac, who is 8, and Jonah who is 6.

“I’ve been to Mexico 4 times on mission trips, Honduras, and Indonesia. My wife and two sons are going with Rob and the college students to Belize this summer. It will be sports ministry, teaching beach volleyball and soccer.”

Rocky and Alicia’s two sons keep their world busy and fun.

“We wanted three kids until we had two. Isaac is very introspective and sensitive. He’s a speedster. Jonah is built more like a linebacker. He is absolutely care-free. Both are smart boys and for brothers that are 2 years apart, they get along pretty well.”

“Isaac looks and acts just like me, and the Jonah looks and acts just like Alicia. They get along really well and I think that’s why. Isaac is really protective and Jonah is really easy to get along with.”

The Lindsey family is content with where they are in life currently, but Rocky said that the future is always up in the air, depending upon what God leads them to do.

“If God wants us to stay here and work with college ministry, we’re fine with that. Alicia and I both feel like at some point we’re going to be called to step out in faith… and we don’t know what that means.”

MLive would like to thank Dr. Rocky Lindsey for taking the time to share some of his life story with us. We know the entire Lindsey family has greatly impacted many in our area, loving our children (the two and the four-legged), and ministering to those they encounter. Thank you for your wonderful service to our community.

5 Responses to “One Monticello Life – Dr. Rocky Lindsey”

  1. Virginia says:

    What a great role model for young men!

  2. Miranda says:

    Loved it. Wonderful article and such a great story. So glad to share a community with people like this.

  3. Greg Montgomery says:

    Great friends to serve along side of, we love you guys.

  4. Rocky Lindsey says:

    Thank you for the article. Mandy did an outstanding job.

  5. I love my dogs says:

    Dr. Rocky is such a great dr. My family loves him, including my 4-legged members. His attitude and patience is so honest. We love you Dr. Rock.

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