A daughter’s plea for her father and his church

Published 4:07 pm Monday, January 31, 2011

Helena’s Crossbridge Pastor Morrell Aldridge and his wife Deanna. (Special/Beth Chapman)

By BETH CHAPMAN / Community Columnist

As a child, I would hitch a 30-minute ride from Greenville to Rutledge with a young minister and his wife. Their names were Deanna and Morrell Aldridge. They took up a great deal of time with me and didn’t mind my riding with them to see my grandfather at his little country church they pastored.

Much to my amazement, Morrell and Deanna’s daughter, Jennifer Macomb is now all grown up and lives in Alabaster. She sent out a Facebook message a couple of weeks ago that really spoke to my heart, and I wanted to share it with you since it regards a Shelby County (Helena) minister and church.

The letter read as follows:
“We are planning a surprise 60th birthday party for my daddy, Morrell Aldridge. In 2007, just as our church (Crossbridge Community Church) was in the planning stages of our first building, daddy (who is also my pastor) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His prayer at the time was that God would allow him to live long enough to see this church completed.

With the help of many of you and hundreds of volunteers across the U.S., this dream was realized. God, with His amazing love and mercy, granted his wish. The building was built for approximately $250,000 and appraised for over $1 million.

In August 2010, we learned that daddy’s cancer had returned in both lungs and, more recently, in the bone and is now in the advanced stage. Nothing would please my daddy more than to see this church debt-free in his lifetime.

For that reason, I’m writing each of you who have meant so much to us over the years, to join us in helping make his dream a reality once again. If you would like to make any contribution, no matter how large or small, please make your donation checks payable to:
Crossbridge Community Church, Debt Retirement, P.O. Box 304, Helena, AL 35080.”

The party is over, but the need continues. I hope many of you will be able to contribute to this great cause.

Morrell Aldridge is not only a man who has committed his life to God and his church, but he has also contributed in a positive way to the lives of many people. I know, because I am fortunate enough to have been one of them.

Beth Chapman, Alabama’s secretary of state, is a Shelby County resident and writes a weekly column for the Shelby County Reporter. You can reach her at bethchapman@bellsouth.net.